Introduction: 3D-Printed Purdue Boilermaker Express Commemorative Water Bottle

This instructable will walk you through how to create your very own 3D-Printed Purdue Boilermaker Express Commemorative Water Bottle similar to the one you see pictured above.

Step 1: Boilermaker Express History / Instructable Introduction

The Boilermaker Express has been the symbol/mascot of Purdue University since its creation in 1940. It represents the University and its values and is synonymous with the phrase "Boilermaker". The 3D printed water bottle/souvenir is an object that serves a few different purposes: celebrating the 150th anniversary of Purdue, celebrating the graduating class of 2019, and also serves as a water bottle. This instructable serves as an easy way for anyone who wants to celebrate Purdue or simply grab a drink of water to design the object themselves.

This instructable is geared towards users that are very familiar with the 123D Autodesk software and how to use most of its tools. Before you start this instructable, you need to have downloaded Autodesk 123D. If you get stuck during any point during the instructable, please visit the following link to look at helpful youtube videos for 123D.


123D Download Link:

Estimated completion time for experienced users: 1 hour 15 minutes

Estimated completion time for inexperienced users: Around 5 hours 30 minutes

This was a group project collaborated on by Sam Felber, Ryan Stevenson, and Samantha McDougall; undergraduates at Purdue University.

Step 2: Create First 2 Basic Shapes

  1. Create a cube with the following dimensions: 45 x 60 x 65 (mm)
  2. Create a cylinder with a radius of 25 mm and a length of 80 mm
  3. Click on the top face of the cube and select the shell tool (do not use the shell tool that is provided on the toolbar)
    1. Shell the cube leaving 2 mm walls behind
  4. Click on the top face of the cylinder and select the shell tool (do not use the shell tool that is provided on the toolbar)
    1. Shell the cylinder leaving 2 mm walls behind

Step 3: Combine and Hollow

  1. Draw a circle on the front of the now hollowed out cube
    1. Make the center point of the circle align with the center of the face of the cube
    2. Make the diameter of the circle 50 mm
  2. Extrude the circle the circle towards the inside of the cube until the wall dissapears
  3. Rotate the cylinder 90 degrees onto its side
  4. Center the cylinder with the left and right side of the cube
  5. Align the center of the cylinder 56 mm from the bottom of the cube
  6. Use the grouping tool to group the 2 shapes together

Step 4: Add Supports

  1. Draw a rectangle starting from the bottom left corner of the face of the cube that attaches to the hole with the dimensions 60 x 10 mm
  2. Click on the rectangle and use the extrude tool to extrude the rectangle forward 85 mm

Step 5: Smokestack

  1. Create a circle on the grid with a radius of 7mm
  2. Copy the same circle and move it 10 mm above of the first circle
    1. This can be accomplished by clicking on the original circle and pressing control c, control v.
    2. Once you have created the new circle, drag the up arrow upwards until the text box displays 10 mm
  3. Create another circle 15 mm above the previous with a radius of 15mm
  4. Create one last circle 10 mm about the previous with a radius of 7 mm
  5. Use the loft tool on all of the circles to create one solid smokestack
  6. Use the alignment tool and move the smokestack in line with the center of the train, 5 mm from the front edge of the cylinder.
  7. Use the extrude tool on the top circle and extrude downwards past the bottom of the smokestack through the cylinder to make the smokestack and the spot where it meets the cylinder hollow leaving 1 mm walls behind.

Step 6: Wheels

  1. Create a cylinder with a radius of 16 mm and a height of 12 mm
  2. Use various shapes and designs to cut holes and patterns through the cylinder. *This step is customizeable to the user and can be manipulated however he/she desires.
  3. Be sure to make sure that the wheels still has the same dimensions of the original cylinder when you are done.
  4. Create 3 copies of the wheel that you created.
  5. Align the 2 back wheels 15 cm from the back face of the train
  6. Align the 2 front wheels 60 cm from the back face of the train
  7. Be sure not to group the 4 wheels to the train, you will be printing them out separately

Step 7: Seal Cap

  1. Create a cube on the grip with the dimensions 60 x 51 x 5 mm
  2. Create a rectangle on top of the cube with the dimensions 56 x 41 mm
  3. Use the alignment tool to make sure that the rectangle is directly in the center of the cube
  4. Extrude the rectangle upwards 5 mm
  5. Rotate the rectangle 180 degrees and attach it to the top side of the hollowed out cube, being sure to make sure that all of the edges are aligned with each other
  6. Be sure not to group the seal cap to any other parts of the train as you will be printing out this item separately

Step 8: Add Details

  1. Create circle on the front of the cylinder with a radius of 20 mm and extrude it outwards 3 mm
  2. Use the filet tool on the four top edges of the seal cap and make the filet radius 7
  3. Use the bevel tool on any rough edges of the train to your desire
  4. Create a 30 x 35 mm rectangle on both sides of the cube portion of the train and extrude inwards .5 mm to create windows
  5. Add Text through the text tool
    1. Add the Purdue P to the Front of the extruded portion of the cylinder
    2. Add the word Purdue in all caps to both sides of the train portion of the cube underneath the windows
    3. Add the word Boilermaker Special to the leading edge of the support on the bottom edge of the train
    4. Add the words "Purdue 150th Anniversary 1869 - 2019" to the back of the train
    5. Add the Purdue P centered on top of the seal cap
    6. Be sure to extrude all of the text you placed on the train inwards .5 mm so it will be engraved onto the final object
  6. Change the material of the object by clicking on it and clicking the material bottom on the bottom toolbar. You can choose whatever material you want however most 3D printers use different variations of plastic material.

*All of the text placed on the train during step 5 is completely customizable to the user. I chose the words that I did in order to make the object commemorative Purdue's 150th anniversary but the user is able to write whatever he/she wants on it.

When you are done you should have something that looks similar to the pictures above

Step 9: Print

  1. Create separate stl files
    1. Export the main body of the train, the wheels, and the seal cap all as separate stl files as they will all be printed out separately
    2. Save them all into the same folder to make it easier for you doing the printing process
  2. Import the separate stl files into makerbot 3d software
  3. Click on print preview and then export print file
  4. Click on print and then configure the settings appropriately for the 3D printer you will be using
  5. Repeat all of these steps for each stl file and print them out

Makerbot Software Download Link:

* If you get confused and don't know how to work the makerbot software, or you are having problems with 3D printing configuration, watch the following video:

When you are finished, your prints should look similar to the ones in the pictures above. However, my printer made a mistake and didn't print out the smokestack. This was a printing configuration mistake on my part and should not happen to you.

Step 10: Combine Parts and Finish

  1. Place the seal cap on top of the hollowed out section of the cube. If the cap doesn't fit at first, sand the edges of the inner walls until it slides in
  2. Glue seal cap in to place, use super glue for best results
  3. Glue all 4 wheels on into place and centered, use super glue for best results

You have now completed your very own 3D Printed Commemorative Boilermaker Express Water Bottle!