This is a drink coaster design inspired and featuring the first image of the black hole in galaxy M87 released on April 10th, 2019.
About the two options for the "Coaster Bottom_xxxxx" files:
The one I made turned out a little tall/thick (in my opinion). I thinned out the base in a second model to fix this. However, while everything else should be the same, it isn't tested.
The one labeled "thick" is the original, "thin" is the modified one.
Materials (in addition to the filament)
- 0.08" Acrylic sheet
- Glue for joining the two pieces (I used Loctite super glue)
- Glue for black hole picture (I used 3M super 77 spray adhesive)
- Black paint (optional)
- Silver paint (optional)
Tools (in addition to the 3d printer)
- something to cut the acrylic into a 3.8" diameter circle. (I used a 4" OD hole saw)
- color "2d" printer (for the picture of the black hole)
- paper for the color printer (I recommend glossy photo paper)
Step 1: Painting
If you are planning to paint the coaster, I recommend painting as the first step after the print is complete. I also recommend using spray paint for the main color because it will ensure an even coat.
I chose gloss black paint for the main color and silver paint for the text, but you can paint it whatever color you want. Just be sure to paint the text after the main color has dried completely.
Step 2: The M87 image
I have included a correctly sized image of the black hole here. It has a faint outline of where I cropped and resized it. After printing, cut as carefully as possible in a circle around the image, tracing the border between the black hole image and the black background.
After cutting it out, you will need to glue it inside of the "Coaster bottom" part. (I would include photos of this, but I forgot to take any during the process... sorry about that)
I do not claim ownership of the image of M87's black hole. I simply want to use it for this project to celebrate the milestone in science it represents.
Step 3: Acrylic cover
The next step is to fit the cut acrylic circle into the "Coaster Bottom." It should sandwich the the picture of the black hole and sit flush with the lip of the part.
While you could glue the acrylic down to the picture, I DO NOT recommend this. I did this very carefully, but I still got glue that spread out to where it is visible in the final product. (visible in the photographs). The acrylic will be kept in place by the "coaster cap" print which should be sufficient.
Step 4: Coaster Cap
The final step is to glue the two 3d printed parts together.
Sparingly apply glue to the "Coaster cap" part and carefully press it (oriented with the black hole image) to the "Coaster bottom" part.
Make sure the edges line up all around the part.
Wipe away any excess glue and keep light pressure for a minute or two (you can put a book on top of it) to set the glue fully.
The black hole coaster is now complete!
On April 10th, 2019 the first image of a black hole was unveiled. That image was of the black hole at the center of galaxy M87.
I watched the press conference live and was awestruck by the image. It is incredible that this feat was able to be accomplished. The image was produced with an entire network of radio telescopes.
The image quality we got was really impressive, but it was not exactly a screenshot from Interstellar! One of the first things I thought of when I saw the image was that it looked a bit like a coffee stain. Partly because of that similarity and partly because I thought it was really cool, I wanted to make a drink coaster with the M87 black hole on it.
It took me a month to get around to it, but I finally did it!
Quick links about the black hole at the center of M87