Designing and 3D printing a detailed RC model boat

3D printing is a relative new technology that as it reaches more and more people we discover new ways of taking advantage of it. A good example is this amazing model which is designed and 3D printed from scratch.

Nikos Paterakis, an engineer and a scale models enthusiast, took a course of 3D printing at CommonsLab and decided to get into 3D printing in order to produce parts for scale models that he likes to design and build. After buying a Lulzbot TAZ 6 3D printer from CommonsLab and testing several materials with our help he started working on designing a new model.

This is the USS Oscar Austin, DDG-79 an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer of the US Navy. He designed from scratch after studying photographs from the model Boats magazines, 01/2006 to 03/2006 and from the navysite.de. Then he produced 3D models to a 1:96 scale and printed them using the Lulzbot TAZ 6 which provides him with the big print area and reliability that is needed for so big and accurate prints that are needed.

The model has inside fittings to keep the separate hull parts together with press fitting them. It will take two DC motors to drive the propellers and a servo for steering. Water tight compartments have been designed in order to add extra weight for stabilizing it on the water.

The hull, hull connections and deck (light and dark grey) prints are all printed using colorfabb’s nGen while for the internal parts he has used ABS (white parts) and Polymaker’s PolyPlus PLA (blue parts).

The numbers are impressive:

  • Model length: 162cm
  • Model width: 21cm
  • Model weight: ~10,4kg
  • Design: > 120 hours
  • Slicing: > 10 hours
  • Printing: > 100 hours

The model of course requires more work, post processing the printed parts, about 3 days work of smoothing the parts (press fitting of parts is perfect), designing and printing deck details, gluing, painting, fixing the motors and electronics, stabilizing it with extra weight etc.

We will follow Niko’s work and keep you up posted…

USS Oscar Austin RC model Boat 3D printed.

Hull parts of USS Oscar Austin 3D printed 1:96 scale model

USS Oscar Austin model boat. Deck details.

USS Oscar Austin 3D printed 1:96 scale model. Details of hull parts together with steering mechanism.

USS Oscar Austin hull connection details

Steering mechanism and rudder of RC model boat 3D printed.

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