The Gadfly Inter-dimensional Ship




Ever since I was a kid (still a kid just a bit older now) I've loved Space and Science Fiction. I watched, read, ate (remember Quisp cereal?) & consumed anything to do with space.

Technological reality, has finally, it seems to be catching up with some of the fantastic concepts of science fiction. The movies are able to bring some of these written concepts even more so to life.

But back in the day (as my kids like to torment me) all I had was my imagination and pencils & markers to flesh out and idea. Now however thanks to Computers and 3D Printers I can take those ideas even a step further and make something more physical.

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Step 1: Original Design Concept

Welcome to the "GADFLY"! One of my early designs was a space ship based on a microscopic bug called a Tardigrade. Mostly inspired by it being pretty much indestructible in nature (read about them, fascinating).

This was a high school art class project to take something from nature and make into something useful or reimagined in the real world. So I designed a space ship. At the time I wasn't crazy about the name Tardigade for the space ship. So I came up with Gadfly (an annoying pest if ever there was one). Chalk up the name to my rebellious teen years.

Step 2: Create 3D Model in Tinkercad

Finding my original drawings from high school was actually the hardest part (I'm such a pack rat). Using TinkerCad has been awesome (and its FREE check it out ). Even if you don't have a 3D printer or the ability or affordability to make the actual 3D designs. The fact that I could generate something in a 3D view is still pretty satisfying. To render and image it so you can rotate and view in 3D is just awesome.

Step 3: Export Printable Formats

Knowing what I already knew about 3D printing. I realized I would need to run the legs out separately from the body. Once I was happy with the final creation of the ship I exported the body and legs out separately.

Step 4: Printed 3D Portions

Luckily for me, my daughter has access to a 3D printer and was able to print out my exported files.
They turned out a bit rougher than I'd like but beggars can't be choosers. So took what I got and made do.

Step 5: Paint Details on Ship

Using my original drawings as a guide, I painted as much detail as I could manage on such a small model version.
Having never really painted on the resin material before it was a bit more challenging than I'd thought. I made sure to wait and assemble after the paint had thoroughly dried.

Step 6: Glue Legs to Body

A touch of super glue, or Testors model glue, I positioned each leg on the bottom of the body.

Ta Da!!!! Pilot to Tower, ready to launch!

Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning

Step 7: Optional Additions

Another idea I had is to add a led light into the bottom, still working on this. But with the body mostly translucent I thought it would be cool to light it some how. Plus I'll drill two tiny holes on either side of the front of the ship where the sensor wires will be placed.

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    5 Discussions

    GFireriff raff

    Reply 1 year ago

    LOL I think you can still get it some place!!


    1 year ago

    you should smooth the print! then it would add another bit of awesomeness to this awesome build!

    2 replies

    Reply 1 year ago

    Yeah I know... my daughter did a really course print too. But time was a factor for her as she had many other files to print for her art class. So like I said beggars can't be choosers. I was tempted to use the methods I saw in the recent Pro tips challenge. But I didn't really want to experiment on it since it might be my only one.


    Reply 1 year ago

    great build though, love the concept!