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”
wow, that’s a lot of stuff, awesome! now to find something to print ..
What format did you find that MeshLab, FreeCAD or Blender etc. can’t read?
stl files here
MeshLab opened the one I tested at random, can you be more specific?
You can read STL files in B3D
awesome!… now I have reason to build some 3D printer :)
This seems to require proprietary tools:
NASA-3D-Resources/3D Models/The Ben Franklin/BenFranklin-comp.lwo
LWO == “LightWave Object”
https://nasa3d.arc.nasa.gov is a more browsable portal to the collections.
That Saturn V model is gonna take a LOT of filament!
Make sure to build it at 1:1 scale.
There is a 1:1 model in Huntsville, AL. It cost more than the original.
Someone needs to invent combustible filament so we can print the fuel right inside as we go. Hotends + fuel sounds like a rock solid idea.
I suggested this to one of our material scientists. They warned me that combustible materials and an hotend for extrusion might be a bad idea.
I would bet that these materials will burn with a NO2 oxidizer. Look up hybrid motors.
Printing your own firecrackers! That would be neat!
How many jarddrives do you need to store 1-1/2 jiggabytes?
“jiggabytes”? Just because the .gif guy has weird pronunciation requirements doesn’t mean we need to spread them to other perfectly fine words.
I’m thinking that’s more of a Back to the Future reference.
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.
When do we make the open source Kerbal Space Program clone using these models, then?
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.
Now you know how they faked all those photos. ;)
/me runs and hides.
Still no Pathfinder :(
Why didn’t the put them on Thingiverse?
I see some .mb files in there, which are Maya Binary.
1.5GB takes a while to download, and I’d hate to find a download error at the end…
Is there a Bittorrent version?
I need to get started in cad/modeling for my robotics project – any suggestions on a good hobby level software? I usually just build stuff without any plans at all, but its getting to be a complex project.
Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)