NASA releases 3D files to print your own Voyager spacecraft

24 Jul 2014

3D printing space enthusiasts are likely to be rather happy at the news that US space agency NASA has released the files to 3D print models of some of its most famous places and spacecraft.

In total, 21 objects are available to print, with the files available from a beta site. The objects include some of the most familiar ones related to NASA, including the Voyager spacecraft, the Kepler Space Telescope and the Gale crater on Mars, which the Curiosity rover is now exploring.

As the site is only in beta, the number of models and the detail to which they can be printed are still in the early stages. However, the files could prove to be an interesting way to build models for a person’s own enjoyment or for use in a classroom setting.

According to CNet, some of the files are in the STL format, which offers incredible detail which most owners of the more standard models of 3D printers might find difficult to attain.

To help the process along, NASA has also called on users of the models to interact with the space agency to improve upon what’s on offer.

With the launch of the site has also come a series of games, imagery and visualisations of the Earth and outer space for enthusiasts to play around with, including a game that recreates the experience of a space walk outside the International Space Station.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic