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How To Print This Multi-Part Rocket Model?  

Active Member
How To Print This Multi-Part Rocket Model?

The Issue

I have downloaded and tried to slice the files in this zip archive:

Vulcan Centaur Rocket

However, the "VC Booster-Aft.stl" file has some tricky internal structure to print near the engines. I don't know how to best downscale and print this.

In the original non-down-scaled .stl file there is what appears to be a fuel line going from the bulkhead of what will after assembly be the upper tank in the first stage to the engines. This disappears when down-scaled and leaves me with two dome-shaped structures/bulkheads without that fuel line as internal support. I would rather not have to cut the model and have to glue it together afterwards.

Requested Result/Output

If anyone can help me slice it for my Prusa Mini+ and reply with a zipped folder containing the .gcode files and the down-scaled .stl files I would very much appreciate it. Preferably with as low a layer height as possible where possible for detail preservation (In my attempts I've used variable layer height in varying combos).

I've tried several ways on my own before writing this but need help because I can't find a solution and really wan't a larger format rocket model to print out as a decorative piece.

Helpful answers are appreciated. I usually respond to Tweets directed at me.OS: Raspberry Pi OS & Windows 10. Programming Languages: Python & Java

Posted : 25/11/2021 11:52 am
Eminent Member
RE: How To Print This Multi-Part Rocket Model?

Quick Question, Can you open the booster part? Like it's split in half and you can see the inside of the booster. I have got an idea if you can do it.

Posted : 19/12/2021 10:47 am
Noble Member
RE: How To Print This Multi-Part Rocket Model?

Chuck has printed a lot of rocket parts, let's see if he will chime in.  Paging Chuck!  😉

I just took a look at this.

I don't have a mini, but it looked like it may be of interest to me.

To get a visually-appealing print, this is probably going to need a lot of support material.

I'm playing with the booster forward right now, alternating between PS and Cura, and I can envision it coming out misshapen if it's printed horizontally without supports.

It's almost counter-intuitive, but the position that I found uses the least support material is vertical, with the open side up, and the other end resting on a 'raft' of support material.  (See below)

Booster aft seems more tricky.  It's mostly hollow, and no matter how I position it, the slicers want to fill it with support material.  Placing it vertical seems to use slightly less of the support material, but it's going to use a ton of it.

I have no Mini experience, but the experience I do have tells me that this is a job for a printer that can do soluble supports.  Perhaps if you modified it, maybe cutting the top (as shown below) and printing it separately might allow you to get away with only break-away supports on the underside.

I would definitely not try printing those pieces horizontally, even with supports.

My hunch is that you want a print with a degree of eye-appeal, and I can envision it sagging toward the lower layers if you try to print it horizontally.

If you want to try it, you might use PS or whatever to split off some sections and try printing them to see how your printer handles the cylindrical shapes.

Posted : 20/12/2021 2:30 am
Honorable Member

I have it vertical and scaled to 90% to fit on the mini in PS. I added .1mm xy compensation to get that center cylinder to slice as a solid column. I don't see any overhangs or perimeters printing over air (except on the bottom). You might be able to print this without support on the inside. You would need to add the scale and perhaps tinker with xy compensation to the other pieces of the rocket so that they will fit together. 


Posted : 20/12/2021 7:37 pm