NASA Puts its 3D Models Up on GitHub

NASA has a bunch of its 3D models up on GitHub, and if you didn’t know about it before, you do now. It’s a ridiculously large download, at over one and a half jiggabytes, but it’s full of textures and high-resolution models of spacecraft, landing sites, and other random NASA ephemera.

Not all of the models are in formats that we can read — maybe some of you can? — but there are STL files galore in the “3D Printing” folder. These include a printable Curiosity rover, the famous 3D-printed ratchet wrench, and more. That said, this is a collection of random tidbits rather than a complete catalog, so some things that you’d like may just not be there. In other folders, you’ll find textures that’ll be useful if computer modeling is more your thing than printing.

There are also terrain maps of the various Apollo landing sites, so if you want to fake your own 3D-printed moon landing, you’ve now got what it takes. Stock up on moondust-colored PLA.

Thanks [Ruben] for the tip.

28 thoughts on “NASA Puts its 3D Models Up on GitHub

  1. Fun experiment with https://nasa3d.arc.nasa.gov/detail/as11-40-5878, Armstrong’s bootprint on the moon. It always looks to be an outdent instead of an indent to me, just as many craters look like domes. I’d read somewhere that that’s because our brain interprets shadows going in one direction as indents and in the other direction, outdents. I just downloaded that one and rotated it 180 degrees and finally I see the first bootprint on the moon! I guess they did go after all.

  2. Am I the only one slightly disappointed? From what I can see, these are not engineering 3D models, more like props. I would really like a working model of a self deployable dish from a satellite and other intricate mechanical models of technical mechanisms.

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