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Fireball XL5 3D Printed Model Build

Garyr

Alphans
Since I enjoyed building my 3D printed Fireball Jr so much, I thought I would tackle the full model of the rocket. Here are some photos of the main pieces just off the printer. The model will be about 28" long when completed. I had to print it in sections due to the relatively small size of my printer's build area. Once assembled and finished, the seams will be invisible. I'm using the same 3D model from 3D Warehouse (Simon C.) as the source but adding some additional details and fixing it so it prints properly.





 

tryptych

Alphans
Fantastic job!
Looking at what you did for Fireball Junior, I'm sure this will turn out just as good.
My one concern about 3D printing are those layer marks/ridges. How easy are they to get rid of? I'm thinking that sanding will remove all those nice window details.
I assume the plastic is fairly thick and hard?
 

Garyr

Alphans
Fantastic job!
Looking at what you did for Fireball Junior, I'm sure this will turn out just as good.
My one concern about 3D printing are those layer marks/ridges. How easy are they to get rid of? I'm thinking that sanding will remove all those nice window details.
I assume the plastic is fairly thick and hard?

Thanks for the vote of confidence! The layers are not a big deal to get rid of. I use an automotive grade filler/primer which does a nice job without removing the details. It does take a good bit of sanding and multiple coats depending on how deep the layer groves are. But when you are done, you probably won't even see them. As for details like the windows, if you are careful they will not be a problem. However, I may wind up removing them and adding individual windows with glazing in them to make it look better. 3D printing still winds up being significantly easier and more accurate than scratch building the whole thing, in my opinion.
 

tryptych

Alphans
I guess it might be worth over-emphasising the detail on the 3D model mesh so that they will protrude a bit more and cut through the primer so you can afford to rub them down a bit.

As for the windows, do they not do a transparent print material?
If not, then I guess it's best to print minus the glass area, or at least with a depression so you know where to cut.
 

Garyr

Alphans
I guess it might be worth over-emphasising the detail on the 3D model mesh so that they will protrude a bit more and cut through the primer so you can afford to rub them down a bit.

As for the windows, do they not do a transparent print material?
If not, then I guess it's best to print minus the glass area, or at least with a depression so you know where to cut.

Yes, sometimes overdoing the scale of an item helps when finishing it. As for the transparent material, they do make a clear filament but it comes out more like translucent. The layering process doesn't work well for really clear pieces. You would have to use a resin type printer which produces a clearer part.
 

tryptych

Alphans
Have you considered maybe trying to vacuum form clear polycarbonate?
(I was going to suggest acrylic, but I have heard nightmare stories about it.)
You could make a mould from the nose cone you printed, say out of plaster, and then make a resin cast and then use it as a former. I'm sure you can find a workshop locally that has a machine.

Failing that, use a grill and hot air gun and manually push it down inside your nose cone with the windows cut out with some gloves on or make a negative former. (Called "Drape Forming".)

This kind of idea:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpIVyZsdpyY
 

Garyr

Alphans
Have you considered maybe trying to vacuum form clear polycarbonate?
(I was going to suggest acrylic, but I have heard nightmare stories about it.)
You could make a mould from the nose cone you printed, say out of plaster, and then make a resin cast and then use it as a former. I'm sure you can find a workshop locally that has a machine.

Failing that, use a grill and hot air gun and manually push it down inside your nose cone with the windows cut out with some gloves on or make a negative former. (Called "Drape Forming".)

This kind of idea:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpIVyZsdpyY

Already one step ahead of you. I purchased some clear PETG plastic of varying thicknesses and I already have made the plugs for the cockpit pieces for the JR and the new XL5. They just have to be finished up a bit and then I'll throw together a quick DIY vacuum form table and I should be good to go. I'll post pictures when I get around to that work. It may be some time as I am focusing on the full Fireball model for the moment. Thanks for thinking about different ideas!

 

tryptych

Alphans
Ah cool!
My only thought was the thickness of the model's shell.
I assume you want the windows to be flush with the hull?
 
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