Nasa - New Horizons 3D Model and 3D Printing

In case anyone doesn’t know… Nasa offers up files for 3D printing an viewing etc. here: http://www.nasa.gov/image/ames/take-new-horizons-for-a-spin-and-print-your-own-model
Pretty cool.

As for an Inventor exercise, you can open the .stl files and save them as parts (.ipt) and then assemble them in an assmbly (.iam). They come in as “Imported Components” and so the only way I found to constrain them was with “mate constraints” using their origins and offsets (I couldn’t use “insert” constraints like I wanted to, inventor didn’t see the objects’ features)

Unless someone out there has a better suggestion on constraining Imported Components? (maybe I’m missing something)

Anywho, it was a fun exercise and I have attached some screen shots.









If anyone wants a fun project, make the model above into one that’s 3D printable without supports required. (Remove thin features, add chamfers that are still eye appealing and appear realistic. Multiple parts built to press-fit together with proper tolerancing would work (and would make the spacecraft multi-colored).

As an added bonus, I’ll even print a nice big spacecraft model for whoever makes this.