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3D printed lunar models


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We'll they are images of the moon, just a 3d printed part of it....

Part of my work involves working with the Additive Manufacturing (3D printing) industry. I noticed that NASA have released some 3D models of spacecraft and also 2 of parts of the moon. http://nasa3d.arc.nasa.gov I sent the STL files to a local 3D printing bureau and got a quote. They reckoned the size needed to scaled a bit so the detail wasn't lost. I opted for 200% scale, the price of the print depends on the volume of material needed, for the original scale they are around $10each, I paid around $50 each for the bigger copies. These were printed using EOS polymer laser sintering made in a white nylon material, which has a very fine grain roughness, making it look very moonlike. These machines cost something like $300000 and are what the professionals use. I wouldn't try making these with one of the ever growing number of home 3D printers such as a maker bot/rep rap etc as the way they build the print up will never give you resolution that these models need. Using a print bureau like Shapeways/imaterialise (there are a large number springing up) gives you cost effective access to the proper kit.

The detail and relief are really stunning, with wrinkle ridges and lunar domes visible, moving them in your hand and seeing the changing shadows is just amazing! Remember these are printed with NO variations in colour, you only see the craters due to the shadows produced from the surface texture.

Spent a bit of time with my favourite moon app MoonHD rotating the moon and scrolling the illumination and shadows to help. NASA don't tell you the area or the scale… Spotting Fauth helped pin the near side region which features Copernicus near the centre.

The farside was much harder to identify, given the fact that we never see it! I found what I thought was a fresher crater on one edge and then looked at the ray craters visible by their bright regolith near full moon, finally pinned it down as King!

I am going to enjoy showing people these (must be a bit careful as they might yellow a bit from too many greasy fingers). For outreach or just shear coolness…. Go get yourself a set!

PEterW

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Probably stretching the definition of lunar imaging a little too far. Creating areas of the moon , albeit in plaster, is not a new idea. Back in the 1870s inventor James Nasmyth and James Carpenter who worked at the Royal Observatory used this technique to publish a hugely successful book The Moon: Considered as a Planet, a World and a Satellite. The book was illustrated with images of finely crafted plaster reproductions of the Moon's craters . http://www.wired.com/2008/11/mocked-up-moon/

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... If you printed the right region... I know a guy who can produce the right files from the raw LRO data if you can provide suitable coordinates

PEterW

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Probably stretching the definition of lunar imaging a little too far. Creating areas of the moon , albeit in plaster, is not a new idea. Back in the 1870s inventor James Nasmyth and James Carpenter who worked at the Royal Observatory used this technique to publish a hugely successful book The Moon: Considered as a Planet, a World and a Satellite. The book was illustrated with images of finely crafted plaster reproductions of the Moon's craters . http://www.wired.com/2008/11/mocked-up-moon/

The book is available to download from here https://archive.org/details/consideredasmoon00nasmrich .

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