3D printing is fast becoming the go-to way for enabling the public to interact with objects that are quite literally out of this world. Space exploration has championed 3D printing technology with parts for satellites, 3D printed metals and even sending a 3D printer on its very own mission.
Back on Earth, 3D printed models allow us to examine and feel these space related objects in a real way. The latest example comes from the European Space Agency’s Rosetta 10 year mission set to chase, orbit and land on a comet. To mark the proposed landing date, the London Science Museum will be exhibiting a 3D printed model of this very comet.
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has been described as ‘rubber-duck’ shaped, measures about 4km wide and has been found in a location known as ‘J’.
Images taken from the OSIRIS camera on board ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft have been used to generate a 3D model of the comet which is available to download for free to be 3D printed.
For extra points you can also build your very own Rosetta model to go with your print. Made from a 2D paper template but a nice idea nonetheless!
The comet model can be downloaded here.
3D printed models have proved to be a useful tool for demonstrating things that are out of our reach such as replicas of historical artefacts and NASA’s 3D resources that allow users to download and print key objects from moments in space exploration.