- 3D printers are becoming increasingly popular. They provide a quick and affordable way to produce prototypes for subsequent evaluation. Many goods produced by 3D printing have even reached the market, because of their good quality and low price. In the beginning, only workshops or architecture studios could afford them. They are now are within the grasp of schools and hobbyists, and will shortly be part of many homes
- The capability of building objects using a modest amount of raw material may change the paradigm under which certain goods are produced and acquired. In some cases, the emphasis will change from buying the product to buying or licensing the 3D model. In parallel to commercial activities, there are initiatives to put model files in the public domain for widespread use
- Many space enthusiasts collect hardware models of space missions. This activity is typically limited by the number of companies offering good quality items, and is usually restricted to a bunch of famous missions. Some skilled fans also produce their own replicas. This usually requires the investment of a significant amount of time.
- 3D modeling can be a complementary way to obtain space hardware. One strong point is the potential for collaboration. A large number of people can be involved in the development of a complex model without the need to share a common physical space. Models can be customized or grow in complexity and detail over time.
Create an open hardware design for the European Space Agency (ESA) that can be generated by a 3D printer. All of the open hardware designs will go into a public domain library of designs, and ESA will pick the best one to emerge from the 2013 International Space Apps Challenge.
- The model shall reproduce, in whole or partially, any aspect of an ESA space mission. Some examples are satellites, launchers, landers, rovers, space stations modules, dioramas, instruments and ground segment equipment. One particular example (by no means exclusive) will be modeling the spacecraft, service module or, payload of the Gaia mission.
- The objects should be solids suitable for printing. The models shall be an original creation of the participants. Any unauthorized inclusion of third-party intellectual property will be the sole responsibility of the participant.
- The build size should not be larger than 20x20x10 cm (7.87”x7.87”x3.94”).
- Monochrome and color models are accepted.
- An STL format version of the model is required. Additional files providing color and texture information (e.g. X3D, VRML, bitmap textures) are optional (and welcome).
- A single compressed file (zip, rar, tgz) will be sent by each participant. In principle, models will be sent directly to the email of the person of contact. Should another means be set up (e.g. web or ftp server), it will be announced to the participants.
- Models will be accepted until the challenge is over (22 April).
- The winner will be made public not later than 15 May.
- The designs will be evaluated in terms of fidelity, detail, ease of manufacturing and creativity.
- You are not limited to existing infrastructure. You can also generate 3D models related to future missions.
ESA main web pagehttp://www.esa.int/
Plenty of information about the European Space Agency
There are many Sketchup models depicting space hardware. Some examples related to ESA can be found in the link below. They can be considered just inspiration, because they are not valid models suitable for 3D printing.
Several existing ESA 3D models can also be searched by Google.
ESA's Gaia Missionhttp://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/area/index.cfm?fareaid=26
Information on the GAIA mission can also be found at http://www.rssd.esa.int/index.php?project=GAIA&page=index
University of Barcelona's videos on Gaia
Sample 3D models
The following projects are solving this challenge:
3d Model of the GAIA Telescope Module designed to be printed in multiple parts. Visit Project
Create Dishes, Bowls and Plates from Planetary Data! Visit Project
Team up to create printable models. Help other teams on visualizing their ideas and make their ideas happen. Visit Project
Next generation Postbox collaborate with space data. Visit Project
Cold-Gas Propulsion Module
Our mission: Visit Project
Star Map Sculpture
Using data from the Astronexus HYG-Database, we created a web application that makes a 3D-printable representation of a given star's neighborhood. Our model, which closes the space between the stars, represents the ambitions of Nasa: Closing the gap between Us and the world beyond us. Visit Project
a 3d printable model Visit Project
EXPERT Payload Bay
A 3-D model of the ESA EXPERT Mission's Payload Bay propelled by a VOLNA Launcher. Visit Project
REPROV wheel (Self-Replicant Rover wheel)
An original conceptual 3D design of an exploration rover wheel, suitable for printing, in the context of a more ambitious project called “Self-Replicating Rover based on 3D printing technologies (REPROV)” has been carried out and physically printed for the ESA 3D Printing contest. It should be no... Visit Project
ESA ESTRACK ANTENNA 3D MODEL
The antenna is one of the most important infrastructure of space missions, if we don´t have communication we can´t take the information of the satellite so we don´t have nothing to work with. I make three models of the same ESA Antenna because i don´t know the exactly specifications needed in ... Visit Project
The group project goal is to successfully create a 3D model of the Ariana 6 launch vehicle which later on can be printed using the modern 3D Printers. Once printed we hope that our model can be used as a way to show a small part of ESA's missions which strive to bring space knowledge closer to th... Visit Project
Ariane 5 ME
The group project goal is to successfully create a 3D model of the Ariana 5 ME launch vehicle which later on can be printed using the modern 3D Printers. Once printed we hope that our model can be used as a way to show a small part of ESA's missions which strive to bring space knowledge closer to... Visit Project
Project RAMP (Resonant Acoustic Mode Pump)
Project RAMP seeks to start the process of making rocket engines affordable by designing, building, and testing a sub $200 dual use rocket propellant pump capable of delivering 1 kg of propellant per second at 10 MPa of pressure. The pump will use no moving parts apart from a vibrating membrane t... Visit Project
Discovery space shuttle 3D model
We will design a printable 3D model of the Discovery space shuttle in order to make more visual to the people what is a space shuttle. This project has the objective of giving a nearer point of view of the most popular vehicle what ESA has sent to the space. Visit Project
After immediately recognizing that 3D printing could be applied to making custom parts for space missions and solving technical issues, we began trying to design a solution to one of these problems. We then recognised the nature of 3D printing makes it an ideal means of solving the unforeseeable.... Visit Project
Mars Express 3D Tactile Mars for blind people
Using topographic data from ESA's Mars Express, and interpolating the gaps where there is no topographic information (still), we created a synthetic image of heights. We enhanced the heights, and smoothed the resulting image (as too much tactile information is confusing to blind people), speciall... Visit Project