Introduction: 3D Printed Titanic Toy

About: Confused but excited entering the world of making things. An enthusiast with big hopes learning the skills and gaining the confidence for creating stuff. Starting with designing solutions to my everyday issues…

As Christmas was approaching I was desperate for a quick gift for my niece and nephew.

I haven't done any 3D printing before so I came up with ideas that could double as a present and as my first projects. After figuring out what the kids are into I chose a flat-screen TV to Elena and this Titanic to Oli.

Step 1: Create a Solid Geometry 3D Model

First, I created the 3D model from scratch in SketchUp as I couldn't find any good one in the Warehouse. Starting from a Titanic section drawing I made a simplified solid geometry model suitably for 3D printing. (Maybe I could have kept more details but I didn't know what the limits of the technology are so I sought to keep the whole project as simple as possible.)

Step 2: Let It Break

Adding some fun to the model I decided to make it 'breakable' so it could sink in two parts as happened in the RMS Titanic's catastrophe.

I considered many joint solutions but again, the lack of experience in 3D printing made me cautious. Eventually, I decided to use magnets in order to avoid potential pitfalls of printing joints, like two parts not fitting properly. (As I learned later, the printer works with different tolerances vertically and horizontally, thus one needs to take into account this when modelling joints.) But I had no magnets at home and it was late evening, all the hobbyist's shops were closed. Luckily, in a shopping centre, I found Christmas decorations with magnets on their back and I chose two figures whose magnets liked each other. (I made a mistake by picking one with its magnet glued --no way to remove--, but the other was secured with double-sided tape, super-easy peel-off magnet source.)

For additional locking one magnet is sticking out by the half of its thickness and sits into the other part.

Step 3: Get Colour

I was hesitating which colour should I use and I only learned at the very last minute that it can be printed in more than one colour by changing the filament at any hight I wish. I regret not to choose three colours (red, black and white as it should be) but I only learned about it on the spot in the printing shop and ended up with just black and white.

Luckily, Oli tested that PLA can be painted. :) (Yes, you see right in the picture, he got another but proper, moulded plastic model too from his parents. :) )

Step 4: Launch

I wanted it to be able to float but had no idea how the model will behave. However, we can state it floats, only sideways. :) I didn't create any weight to balance the model and couldn't calculate what inner structure the slicing software will create. (In order to make the printing cost-effective the slicing software doesn't print solid blocks but creates a hollow structure in the body.)

Step 5: