3D Printing Brings a Child’s Imagination to Life

Telling somebody that you’re going to make their dreams come true is a bold, and potentially kind of creepy, claim. But it’s one of those things that isn’t supposed to be taken literally; it doesn’t mean that you’re actually going to peer into their memories, extract an idea, and then manifest it into reality. That’s just crazy talk, it’s a figure of speech.

Original sketch of the CURV II

As it turns out, there’s at least one person out there who didn’t get the memo. Remembering how his father always told him about the elaborate drawings of submarines and rockets he did as a young boy, [Ronald] decided to 3D print a model of one of them as a gift. Securing his father’s old sketchpad, he paged through until he found a particularly well-developed idea of a personal sub called the CURV II.

The final result looks so incredible that we hear rumors manly tears may have been shed at the unveiling. As a general rule you should avoid making your parents cry, but if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it in style.

Considering that his father was coming up with detailed schematics for submarines in his pre-teen days, it’s probably no surprise [Ronald] has turned out to be a rather accomplished maker himself. He took the original designs and started working on a slightly more refined version of the CURV II in SolidWorks. Not only did he create a faithful re-imagining of his father’s design, he even went as far as adding an interior as well as functional details such as the rear hatch.

Once the pieces for the submarine were printed out, it was time to begin the finishing process. The bulk of the documentation for this project covers how [Ronald] took the raw printed parts and finished them, which is sure to be of interest to anyone who’s ever wished their printed projects didn’t actually look like they were printed. The secret is a mixture of filler primer, sand paper, and an incredible amount of patience.

As if he wasn’t already making us all look like terrible children by comparison, [Ronald] finished up the CURV II model with LED lighting (controlled by a little switch on the sub’s control panel) and a wooden base. The end result is a high quality model that’s sure to be sitting in a place of honor for years to come.

The 3D printed models we see here at Hackaday tend to be of the engineering variety, so it’s nice to see something that isn’t quite as serious. We love that for all the refinement that went into the model, the overall look still retains the cartoony lines and proportions that remind you this is the product of a child’s mind.

25 thoughts on “3D Printing Brings a Child’s Imagination to Life

        1. That’s weird, you aren’t the first person to say that an Imgur link takes them to something different. It’s working as expected when I click it.

          Are you on mobile or desktop?

  1. Lovely job, Ronald!
    Lovely intent.

    For some reason, it has me thinking of the Beatles “Yellow Submarine” artwork and the old TV series “Voyage to the bottom of the sea”.

  2. This reminds me of all the airplane drawings that I drew when I was an 11 year old kid, not too many years after this sub was created. They were similarly cartoonish, though they lacked much of the impressive detail shown on the sub drawings.
    Very well done, I’m sure that the recipient of that gift will cherish it for many years to come.

  3. This is awesome. Probably most people visiting this site have childhood memories of doing sketches and designs like his Dad. Bringing that kind of thing to life is such an incredibly thoughtful gesture.

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