Aug 17, 2015 | By Alec

People in the 3D printing community often enjoy looking forward in just about every field of technology, which sometimes leads to shocking reminders of how old something actually is. The Curiosity Rover, for instance, was launched way back in 2011 and has now been driving around for just over three years (since landing on Mars on 6 August 2012). While that might be just a shocking reminder of how fast time flies, NASA has taken the opportunity of this anniversary to release a cool 3D printable model of the Curiosity Rover.

As a reminder, the Curiosity was launched in late 2011 on a long journey for Mars – only touching down after a 563,000,000 km (350,000,000 mi) journey. It is there to investigate the Martian climate and geology and to help scientists learn more about the environmental conditions on that distant planet. Are there, or were there, ever conditions favorable for (microbial) life? To find out, it has been particularly focused on a place known as the Gale Crater. It is, and remains, a key achievement for the field of space exploration.

Curiosity rover 3D printed by Caleb Kraft

Of course, NASA has been known for offering free 3D printable files every now and then, but few are as cool and as detailed as this set for the Curiosity Rover. While some NASA designs have received a bit of criticism in the past, they have really done their best one this one. The set for the Curiosity includes both a simple and a complex version to accommodate users and fans of all levels. Tabs have also been included with all models to improve bed adhesion.

If you’re interested, you can download the necessary files on NASA’s website here. However, they have already acknowledged that actually 3D printing and assembling one can involve a bit of trial and error. They are therefore already asking users who modify, adjust or improve the STL files to share them with NASA for the benefit of other users.

Landing of the Curiosity Rover three years ago.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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