The Smithsonian has published a high-resolution scan of Apollo 11 command module Columbia that is freely available online and includes data files suitable for 3D printing or VR viewing.
If we ever want to build long-duration bases in space, astronauts will require the ability to manufacture their own tools – this is where additive manufacturing comes in.
It’s as accurate as it can be
The Apollo 11 command module Columbia stands as a monument to humanity’s achievements in space, and has been preserved at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum for more than four decades. Now you can get closer to this iconic artifact using a recently released 3D model; its unique perspective gives an idea of what astronaut life was like during the 1960s and 70s.
The model can be downloaded from the Smithsonian’s Digitization Portal and will include models of Armstrong’s flight suit and Wright Flyer as well. To create it, a team used laser scanning and photogrammetry for geometric data capture; additionally CAD software provided color information resulting in an extremely accurate representation of Armstrong’s command module.
Smithsonian staffers found this model an eye-opener; having only seen its interior once or twice since its acquisition in 1971. Large-scale 3D scans enabled them to discover hidden writings other than just “astronaut graffiti” that were hidden by protective covers.
Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong made two distinct footprints on the lunar surface during their walkabout: one was boot-shaped; while the second, partially covered by boots. Due to lack of water or wind erosion on its surface, these footprints appear almost impregnable over time.
Although the digital model is nearly identical to its physical counterpart, there are some minor variations between them. Although its accuracy may not match exactly, its close approximations brings you as close to reality as possible without sending astronauts into space – and you can download it completely free!
The Smithsonian’s 3D printing division recently released a high-resolution scan of Apollo 11 command module “Columbia,” making it possible for anyone with internet access to explore this spacecraft in unprecedented detail that cannot be done while viewing it at the National Air and Space Museum. Furthermore, this model can also be downloaded as a file that can be printed out or seen with VR headset.
The Smithsonian Institute and Autodesk have collaborated to digitize the spacecraft that carried astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins on the first lunar landing mission in 1969. The result of this complex 3D scan – called one of the “milestones in digitization” by Autodesk – can now be viewed and downloaded freely online.
One of the most fascinating features of this model is its ability to recreate the lunar surface, using data provided by NASA scientists. Furthermore, this model depicts details from inside a spacecraft such as calendars, coordinates and warnings about an especially smelly area on its walls.
Buzz Aldrin left his iconic footprint when he landed the lunar surface for the first time, immortalized by Neil Armstrong in a photograph and later recreated by Master Replicas using 3D scanning technology to make life-sized replicas of it.
Though a 3D printed version of your footprint makes for an unforgettable keepsake, nothing beats experiencing walking on the moon itself. That is why Smithsonian Institution is offering an engaging virtual reality tour of Apollo 11 spacecraft which will allow viewers to step inside it and navigate its interior spaces.
Immersive virtual reality experiences are free to use, however a reliable computer with a fast graphics card and the latest browser version should be downloaded for optimal experience. This will ensure your video renders correctly and you are able to control your spacecraft efficiently.
It’s easy to print
This week marks the 47th anniversary of Apollo 11, which marked humanity’s first successful voyage to land humans on the Moon. To mark this historic event, the National Air and Space Museum is showcasing Neil Armstrong’s gloves and helmet from their successful crowdfunding campaign; additionally, Smithsonian has published a high-resolution 3D scan of Columbia command module which can be viewed online or printed out.
The resultant model of Columbia spacecraft is exquisitely detailed, from its control panels to the crew couches and even down to notes scrawled on walls with dates and coordinates written directly onto them. Additionally, The Smithsonian also provides publicly available data files which can be printed out or viewed using virtual reality headsets – this model was painstakingly digitalized by both Autodesk, Inc. who host its National Air and Space Museum and Smithsonian itself in order to present this experience for visitors today.
Although the model isn’t exactly like an actual footprint on the moon, its accuracy still represents an amazing accomplishment. Master Replicas’ prints used an image file created from two close-up photos of Buzz Aldrin’s boot print to produce lifelike reproductions as close as possible without actually going up there to pour plaster over his footprints.
Additionally, users can download parts of LMs and print them separately to build their own lunar landing vehicles. The Smithsonian has published STL files for exterior of spacecraft, pilot seat and control panel knob – making this an exciting way for space enthusiasts to experience what it was like traveling through space in a lunar landing vehicle.
An ideal printer for printing the Apollo 11 3d requires high printing speed with low tolerance levels, checking temperature settings regularly to make sure it works as designed, using high quality filament, and never skimping on maintenance. Without these essential elements in place, printing this model could prove impossible!
Your printer nozzle’s recommended print speed should always be followed for best results, or else printing could take too long and come out poorly. Also, any rough edges should be smoothed down for a more professional appearance.
It’s a unique gift
The Smithsonian’s high-resolution 3D model of Apollo 11 command module Columbia, which carried astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to the moon on December 20, 1969 is now available online or for downloading onto 3D printers. On the 47th anniversary of mankind’s first lunar landing it gives us an inside glimpse at a spacecraft which has changed history forever.
The Smithsonian took an ambitious approach with their Apollo 11 spacecraft scanning project, employing several scanning methods in order to accurately capture every nook and cranny of its inner workings. Laser scanners were used for geometric data collection while photogrammetry provided color information. A glass windshield and dark blue circles painted onto the plane presented several challenges that they needed to navigate around; additionally they had to manually edit each scan in order to remove stray objects while making sure no detail went unnoticed.
As the result of meticulous digitization work, the public can now witness for the first time the interior of Apollo 11 command module. You can view online version or get STL files that allow 3-D printing or viewing via virtual reality goggles.
Though not as detailed as Buzz Aldrin’s actual lunar footprint left on Earth’s natural satellite, his model remains impressively realistic and nearly as durable as its real life counterpart, having survived 47 years on the lunar surface. On Earth, footprints in dirt or sand tend to quickly disappear under rainwater or erosion while this one remains relatively undamaged despite repeated exposure.
Master Replicas offers life-sized prints of the Apollo 11 footprint for sale online via digital scans of its real version, with users being able to select size and material preferences before receiving it with its own engraved plaque in a box.
For those unable to afford the $200,000 price tag of original prints, the company also provides cheaper versions at $350 and $699, respectively.