It was 47 years ago today that Apollo 11 landed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the moon, and the Smithsonian is celebrating today with the release of detailed 3d models of the spacecraft's exterior and interior.
"To mark the 47th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon-landing mission, the Smithsonian has made available a high-resolution 3-D scan of the command module 'Columbia,' the spacecraft that carried astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin and Michael Collins to the moon," the museum writes on its website. "This highly detailed model allows anyone with an internet connection to explore the entire craft including its intricate interior, which is not possible when viewing the artifact in the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum."
Many of the Columbia command module's pieces can be 3d printed, since the data that the museum and Autodesk created is compatible with 3d printers worldwide.
The command module, the pilot seat and multiple control panels are all available for 3d printing, and the Smithsonian also has virtual reality ready files available.
"The 3-D scanning process for the command module was extremely challenging," the Smithsonian wrote. "The module is composed of reflective surfaces that 3-D capture devices do not read well. Its interior dashboards are made up of many components that are delicate and intricate, which also presents a challenge for many 3-D capture devices. Because of the complicated nature of this scan, the Smithsonian 3-D team worked with its technology partner, Autodesk Inc., a leader in cloud-based 3-D design and engineering software."
You can find all the 3d models on the dedicated page Smithsonian setup for this exciting release.