Modular Snap-Fit Airship

by RealAbsurdity, published

Modular Snap-Fit Airship by RealAbsurdity Jan 29, 2013

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This is a fully modular snap-fit (no glue required) model of an Airship. It is the vanilla base for a series of absurd mashups that currently includes a Trireme and a Saturn V rocket. Designed for 3D print, it comes in two flavors: solid and shell.


Both the shell and solid versions have been prototyped on a Replicator 2 with no supports (and no raft but that depends on your confidence with over/under-sticking). Sliced in skeinforge it works best at I had good results with the following settings in print-o-matic:

no support/no raft
layer thickness: .15mm (or less)
Number of shells: 1 or 2
feed speed: 80mm/s
travel speed: 150mm/s
fill rate: 0 (for shell version) or .1 (for solid version)

My actual slice profile is a little more complex but with print-o-matic those are the settings that will get you started.

The shell version was designed to keep the material use to a minimum and works quite well but I think the solid might actually print faster at low rates of infill because there is less shell and perimeter to print even though they have been minimized in the shell version.

The snap fit is pretty self-explanitory with the seperate H-clips intended to attach the two main halves together with the nose and tail cones snapping into the integrated snap prong features on the main body. The propellers just push into place. Print two and you can have a four engine Mega-Airship and a windowless drone ship! Or check out the Trireme and Saturn V upgrades to make a mega crazy super cool ultra futuristic ancient star ship. Coming soon: Riverboat and a Warp Nacell upgrades!

Trireme Hull: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:45305
Saturn V: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:45316

This is a work in progress for an art series I am working on so for the moment I licensed it as no-derivatives but I will open it up soon after I finish a few more parts.

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This is a cool idea good job! smiley face

fantastic design___Thanks

~~~ ╔͎═͓═͙╗
~~~ ╚̨̈́═̈́﴾ ̥̂˖̫˖̥  ̂ ) Congratz ! Epic model ! Really good !

This is a fantastic design. Thank you for sharing!

thanks you;
i always want to create a airships.

You are welcome : )

Hope to be able to communicate with you

Thanks I am happy you enjoy the model.

Thanks for sharing very beautiful model

nice model!

i love airships.

i always hoped that the -No derivatives CC- would never be used though.
i understand this as a form of censuring any future caricatures

Glad you like the model. I understand your point about the license but it is neither censor nor censure but rather a compromise to maintain some creative control over a series of related works as they are in development while sharing them at the same time. As noted in the instruction section: in due time the license will be opened up to derivatives.

Try turning off Comb in your slice profile. I had issues with comb coming back with this kind of error too and it is unnecessary for this model. There is also a fix for Comb, more info here: https://github.com/Phroon/ReplicatorG/commit/9231c42eec33240ba05245f2b5a0a3f94ece605dhttps://github.com/Phroon/Repl...

Really ingenious - I like the way the snap-fit end pieces hold the body together. The rib design adds a lot of strength, too.

I've made it my Thing of the Week on http://3dgeni.ushttp://3dgeni.us so do check it out and leave a comment!

Just finished this print and I would have to say great model - but print it hollow. ANY warping at all - and lets face it with a almost 6 hour+ print you are going to get some, results in the top and bottom halves having a gap and that makes snapping everything together difficult. In addition I feel the transparency you get with the hollow lends more of a sense of lightness to the airship.

Indeed, keeping temps low for the same reason can help counteract the warping but it is a bit of a problem.

I always print PLA around about 175-185. But yes it can

What machine do you use? If I drop below 195C in the two2 the extruder starts skipping steps, especially on thin layers.

I have the Ditto by Tinkerine Studio. Relatively new company but their printer has proven to be pretty nice.

That is a sweet little machine. I still miss the classic wood frame; feels more like furniture that way. Nice price for such a large build volume too. In my own 3D printing research over the past few months print temperature has been a difficult thing to nail down and it seems to vary widely from one machine to the next. This must be because of differences in how the various hotends are built, where and how big the heater block is, how wide is the nozzle where is the termsistor, that sort of thing. Is this something you have noticed too?

Definitely have. Quality of filament makes a HUGE difference as well. I have some crappy stuff (I no longer use) had to be printed 10 degrees hotter than my other PLA otherwise it would simply just block up the printhead.

Amazing model - to bad my Ultimaker Pulley (Y Axis) got loose and i don't have a spare screw to fix it at the moment

Really cool model, though not having a wonderful time trying to print it with ABS, moving on to PLA (:

I have not tried Irvine ABS since my only printer is a Replicator 2. What is going wrong with the abs?

Oh, yeah, I'm printing on a Mendel Max 1.5 - Just some warping because the model is fairly big for my 200x200 print bed :P The ABS came out nice, just a little warped. PLA has been printing awesome though. I'll post a pic when its finished and together.

Awesome stuff. Any chances of separate pieces so we don't actually have to print it twice to get the pieces we need for awesome hybrids? :D

That is on the way. The Trireme is already there and so is the Saturn V, I just need to separate out the original Airship pieces. Stay tuned.

Nice model!

I tried slicing the shell version using your settings in Skeinforge and it fails after the Jitter routine. I tried both Makerware (most recent version) and ReplicatorG 40.

There could be several reasons due to the thin walls of the part. I can't recall precisely what follows jitter at the moment, but it is likely in that module, maybe cool? Did it kick out an error code when it failed or any point prior? There were a few fatal errors while prototyping this one that were related to 'orbit' settings in the cool plungin. Switching to 'slow down' fixed them. I can upload my skeinforge slice profile as well if that would help. You might also try the MakerWare slicer (medium setting) with a .15 layer thickness. I tried it the other day with my Snap-Fit Saturn V and it was super fast and super accurate. You can even edit custom profiles for it now and they are way more straightforward than profile editing in skeinforge. The new version has come along way.

the solid version sliced and printed fine. it looks great and i love the snap together fittings! i'm running the slicing again on the shell version so i can post back the error messages.

I got a question, How does the snap too fit work does it just clip in?

There are two types of snaps in the design each with their own male/female counterparts. The first is fully integrated in that both the external prong and internal lip features are attached to the main parts of the model. The nose section and tail sections connect with this type. The second is less integrated in that there is an H-shaped clip that is not attached to parts of the main body. Two of these connect the top and bottom halves of the middle section. The reason for the two types was to section the design so that there was no need for supports. I am going to post the snap features as separate components when I find time so keep an eye out.

AMAZING! I also have a replicator 2

Thanks, post your results if you can. Mine have been good so far but I am curious how it works for others.

Hah, took the words right out of my mouth. Very nice model.

Thanks Taylor, let me know if you have any problems printing it, so far so good for me.