3D Printed SpaceX Dragon 2 capsule

2019-03-03 12:16
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SpaceX successfully launched and docked the new SpaceX Dragon 2 capsule and what better way to celebrate with a 3D Printed miniature?

I’m really a big fan of both 3D Printing and SpaceX so when I saw the Dragon 2 capsule for the first time I thought it had to be 3D Printed. That’s exactly what I did!


To achieve this I designed a model in Autodesk Fusion 360 based on the material available at the time, using T-splines (sculpt) and other features to build a highly detailed model that would work to 3D Print.

Viewport render of SpaceX Dragon 2 project file in Autodesk Fusion 360

Different from other models I’m releasing two major versions of the SpaceX Dragon 2 capsule. One is a paid “HD model” download and the other is a (future free  low-res model) that contains less details, but still looks awesome!


The HD Model is already released and can be bought here for €6 here.

The reason for the HD model is that I’m now running a personal business and have to pay the bills somehow.

I chose the HD / Free concept as a way to please both those who really enjoy what I do, and the one’s who contribute in other ways and want to be able to print it too.

If you believe in me and my YouTube channel, 3D models and projects you can become a $4 Patreon here and you’ll get this HD file and all future updates and test-releases of upcoming projects while supporting me!


3D Printing SpaceX Dragon 2 capsule

Designing is just one side of the story here. The real deal is the 3D Printing!

I’ve designed it to be printed on most 3D printers by limiting it’s size. However, for many users you might still need to scale it down to around 80-90% to fit on a 130×130-150×150 sizes.

The main body, door and hatch prints very easy, specially with PLA. The door might need support, so print it separate, together with the nose cone.

When printing the Nose Cone it’s important to support it as it has very unfriendly angles (sorry).


Recommended 3D Printing settings for SpaceX Dragon 2 capsule

I recommend using a FDM printer with 0.4mm nozzle. There are tiny gaps designed for FDM tolerances.

Although I’ll be printing in SLA soon enough, I’m not sure how the model behaves on that technology just yet.

Use PLA (white and black) and around 0,15-0,20mm layers for the main parts. You can use slightly smaller layers on the nose cone to better smooth out the top.

The heatshield should be printed in black and I recommend using 0,10-0,15mm layers to really get the details right.

In general, use slow speeds (40-50mm/s) for better surface finish. Infill around 5-15%.




Versions of the Space X Dragon 2 HD model

As I’ve stated the HD model will be updated! This  will be at Pinshape Cults3D, so all purchased models are affected/included to receive updates.

There will be a HD version without the complex nose-cone-angles, making it an easier print for anyone who don’t want to use support.

The Dual-Color version is going to be made for printing with a Dual-extruder. Single-extruder version will also be made, where you can assemble different colored parts into one model. Those parts include the engines and RCS areas.

Of course there will be a Trunk-model as well!

Why I’m charging for the 3D Model

I’ve been doing 3D-models and YouTube videos for a long time. It’s great fun and I love learning and sharing what I do. Even so much that I started my own business to do just that! Work and help others with 3D.

The reality is that as a person running my own business which is expensive and time-consuming. I have to value my time in a way I didn’t before. I’m not saying that selling 3D-models is part of the business, but it’s something that I can do more and more If it helps put food on the table too.

By spending extra time to make something “HD” I can hopefully motivate a few of you to contribute to my time spent and the next project as well. But for the majority, it just means that there will be a slightly less interesting model released later that’s free, and you’ll just have to wait.


Download the SpaceX Dragon 2 3D Printed model now!

You’ll get any updates and help out a huge amount! Buy the HD-model via Cults3D here or sign up as a Patreon here.


You can also help me as an creator out by using affiliate links when shopping at any Amazon location here!


How to create the Dual-Extrusion version

I also made a video explaining how I create Dual-extrusion models (two STLs from the same model) to achieve two-color 3D-printing.

This technique also works when doing multiple colors in a Mosaic Palette for example.




About The Author
- 3D-visionary enthusiast exploring the world of 3D-printing.With 12+ years of 3D experience from visualization, VFX and CAD-design and the industry itself, I tend to find interest and ideas from the world around me.

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