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Thanks Mark,


then stay tuned, this could actually become an adventure ... up040577.gif&key=327a20a361d18ad6d35cabf


BTW, tonight I counted the rings on the LO2 Tank again, more on that later. cant-believe-my-eyes-smiley-emoticon.gif

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Hello everybody,


let's go on with the analysis of the SOFI Rings. cool.gif


Since my first count of the rings on the LO2 Tank on this ET-8 photo seemed to be a bit vague and upto the top was incomplete anyway due to the lack of resolution, rolleyes.gif


Source: retropaceimages.com (STS-6)


I repeated the count again today on this new (old) photo of the ET-8 because its resolution is much better. top.gif 


Source: forum.nasaspaceflight.com (Jester)


For this I had set the zoom mode (MS Word) to 250%, where one can see the rings pretty well, and came up to 66 rings. up045518.gif


And that would have to be roughly the area, where at the Airfix-LO2 Tank, which is 81,5 mm long, the front Nose cone cap is put on, the tip of which unfortunately broken several times and must be replaced. huh.gif




With this the determination of the ring widths was made, or in slightly more complicated expert wording, the Valley-to-Valley distances:
81,5 mm : 66 = 1,2 mm, which agrees well with the value of 1,3 mm for the rings determined on the LH2 Tank, and would match also from the optical impression. speak_cool.gif


Unfortunately, in the photo above, the Nose cone is covered with foil, but in the following image one can see different cones on LWTs of the first generation (1988), whose shape is interesting for scratching, top.gif


Soure: forum.nasaspaceflight.com (Jester)


and therefore here once more a slightly larger section. 




And already thereon one can see that the Nose cones of the LWTs looked a bit different, than one knows them in Graphite composite version from the last missions with SLWTs. up040577.gif


Source: californiasciencecenter.org

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Hello everybody,


there are enjoyable news. cool.gif


Fortunately Michael Key had compassion for me and has modified his 3D model of the IT, bow.gif so that I can save me the painstaking post-processing of the Thrust Panels by using my mini-saw, which I had tested about a week ago.  speak_cool.gif 




Here is his 3D-Update of the  flown STS-6 tank ET-8, which is now to be found at Shapeways under its new name Early LWT. top.gif


Source: Shapeways (The Aerospace Place)


Before this action, I noticed still just in time that at his previous model still lacked two small details that I had previously overlooked. rolleyes.gif


So far I had mostly only ET photos of the side facing the shuttle, but hardly any of the opposite side.  


Source: retrospaceimages.com (J. L. Pickering)


There I was always fixated only on the Access Door and the Carrier Plate Assembly.


But also on the back there are exactly opposite the same two items as on the front side, as one can see in this photo from George Gassaway. The pink circle involves the RSS Antenna and the blue circle an aerodynamic Vent


Source: georgesrockets.com


And exactly these two items were missing on the back of my IT, which of course could not stay that way,  i5684_no2.gif wherefore I should have to scratch them if necessary.





But these two things Michael Key has kindly complemented next to the modification of the Thrust Panel Ribs, so that the IT now is perfectly matching the Early LWT. up045518.gif






Source: Shapeways (The Aerospace Place)


And this IT I have ordered now once more in WSF and will probably use it in this form for my ET. up040577.gif


BTW, the IT modeled for my ARC friend Mike (crowe-t) for his STS-135 (ET-138) Shuttle stack is offered at Shapeways under Late SLWT. top.gif

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Really nice save Manfred!

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Hello everybody,


today, still a supplement to the 3D-Intertanks. top.gif


Meanwhile, Michael Key still also offers a further modified Airfix-IT. And that is the Early SLWT, which was flown since the STS-91 (ET-96), which here is presented in the new Shapeways Design. huh.gif


Source: shapeways.com (The Aerospace Place)


For this he only needed to modify a few details on my previous IT,




which he thankfully has done too. bow.gif


Here once again the front side with the 26 Integral Ribs and the 7 Circumferential Ribs in the Thrust Panels, etc.,




and here the back with the Graphite Composite Access Door and the Vent




This configuration of the Early SLWTs was flown up to the STS-107 (Columbia disaster), starting with the STS-114 the PAL Ramps were omitted at the Late SLWTs, and from STS-122 then also the 7 Circumferential Ribs


There are now three versions of the Airfix IT (1:144), my Early LWT, which is now on its way to me, and next to the Early SLWT also the Late SLWT, all of which can be found here both in WSF as well in FUD. up040577.gif

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Hello everybody,


meanwhile, I did ask my ARC friend Joe (crackerjazz) if he would not even have time and inclination for modeling the Crawler Track Shoes in 1:160, whereupon, to my surprise, he has started right away. cool.gif 


BTW, he did also the 3D design of the Aft Skirt Thermal Curtains (ASTCs) for my SRBs


And what the CAD expert has delivered with the help of the drawing without further ado, is simply stunning again, I think. erschrocken2.gif 


There's nothing like a good technical drawing with measurements, even if they are just so on the limit of readability. rolleyes.gif


Source: arcforums.com (crackerjazz)












Now he has to downscale the Track shoe "only" still to 1:160, whereon I'm really curious. top.gif


Hopefully there will be some left over from the details after 3D modeling, especially as one can see based on David Maier's Paper Kit how small these things are in 1:160.  eek.gif




While the holes in the Pin lugs (Ø 3,3'') with Ø 0,5 mm (1:160) and the 0,4 mm (1:160) wide grooves (green) should still be printable,   






the small holes (pink) with Ø 0,2 mm (1:160) should unlikely to be printable, although one should be able to live without them, because later they are hardly recognizable anyway from a normal viewing perspective. smiley215.gif


Now I'm curious what my friend Joe is going to say, whereby Shapeways has the last word anyway.up040577.gif

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Hi Manfred,


  I did not realize that you were also going to build the crawler along with your launch model project.  With as much attention to detail that you are putting into this project, you'll be busy for another 20 years.  It's been 5 or 6 years to get this far.  A crawler and a launch tower!  We'll all be 80 years old when you finish this.


  The CAD drawing are really cool.  I hope that you get to keep the details when it is reduced, we'll see.


  Great job on this mighty project!

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Thanks Rich for your nice words, bow.gif


of course the Crawler should not be missing on my Launch padtop.gif


omgsign.gif20 years ... the Rollout of the Challenger to the Pad I want to experience in this life yet ... smiley_worship.gif At worst, I just have to leave out some details ... 00000016.gif


I really hope that the downscaling will be successful, therefore JC_doubleup.gif JC_doubleup.gif JC_doubleup.gif

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Hello verybody,


there are good news, because the Track Shoes look amazing after the download to 1:160. cool.gif


Source: arcforums.com (crackerjazz)






But the exciting question is and remains, how these tiny shoes will look in the printed state? smiley215.gif


Now my friend Joe should connect the shoes but still together to a set, as can be seen in Simpson 3D Design, because referring to printing it should be more favorable and therefore cheaper than 20 separate parts. top.gif


Source: shapeways.com (Simpson 3D Design)


This has also been confirmed to me by Shapeways because the production team only needs to handle a single model instead of 20 separate parts when printing a set with sprues. As a result, planning the models for printing and cleaning/post-processing is cheaper. And although there are more material costs, the labor/handling costs for a set are lower! speak_cool.gif


Then I was still interested, which arrangement of the shoes in the set would be more favorable for printing, standing upright as in Simpson's set, or if the shoes would lie flat?  hmmm.gif


And the answer to that was very interesting and extremely important. cool.gif

Although the position for Shapeways doesn't really matter, it's favorable to keep the parts flat and as close as possible (smaller footprint).  


If one keeps them flat (rather than stacking on top) it will reduce the amount of wax required to print in Fine Detail Plastic (so less support material sticking to the set), which is very important for subsequent cleaning the sets, if I remember the pull-ups at my FUD-IT ... eek.gif 

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2 hours ago, Caerbannog said:

You should write a book on this build - "The definitve guide to Space Shuttle builders" or so 🙂



Thanks for your nice compliment, :worthy:


but I'm already writing at this book the whole time ... up040577.gif

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22 hours ago, Mustermark said:

Amazing work on these new developments. The crawler tracks will be another must-have when they are ready!

Thanks Mark, :worthy:


but keep in mind that the shoe size is only 1/160up040577.gif

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Hello friends,


meanwhile we are one step further, but unfortunately still not at the finish because the shoes are still pinching a bit. hmmm.gif


My friend Joe has now inserted the supports into his  3D-Model, which corresponds to the configuration of Simpson 3D Design, but has in my view not selected the most favorable arrangement of his model (see below), which I had actually recommended him after consultation with SW. smiley_worship.gif


Source: arcforums.com (crackerjazz)


At first he had uploaded the upper version with upright standing 20 shoes, for whatever reason, whose price (10,80 €) but seemed suspicious to me, rolleyes.gif especially since from Simpson 3D Design the set of 20 (1:144) for 7,81 € is offered. huh.gif


And the result is now the lower variant, which would be acceptable in terms of price (7,61 €), but does not seem to be the preferred direction for minimal support wax residues, if I did understand SW correctly.


But just that would be strived for the Ultrasonic cleaning of the FUD shoes, which I still well enough know from my FUD-IT know. smiley_worship.gif


But, as I've heard from others, SW is principally indifferent to this aspect because they print the models (against better conscience) as they are uploaded by the designer, as the customer ultimately pays for it, which is why I'm going to grill SW once again because of the preferred variant. top.gif


Regarding the prices, I was surprised that the even finer version Smoothest Fine Detail Plastic, formerly FXD if I'm not mistaken, is only marginally more expensive (7,78 €)!!!  speak_cool.gif


Unfortunately I only have a comparison between FUD (left) and FXD (right) based on my ASTC Rings, which do not have as small details as the Track Shoes, as one can see here, huh.gif




which is why I'm not sure if FXD would actually make a noticeable difference in the details of the shoes? undecided.gif If so, I would prefer FXD for these little shoes (14,3 mm x 2,5 mm). cool.gif


Therefore I made my friend Joe still aware once agian and asked him to turn the middle arrangement 90° and put the shoes flat on the running surfaces as this in my view should be the most favorable arrangement of the model, if I understood SW correctly, so that during printing (FUD/FXD) as little as possible wax residues remain. huh.gif




Now I'm curious what will come out ...  up040577.gif

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Hello everybody,


Thank goodness! pray.gif 


After a week is finally over the confusion about the SW information keep the parts flat, which had confused me and led to the misunderstanding between flat and upright standing Track shoes.


As my ultimate demand at Shapeways has shown, the arrangement of the 20 Set in my friend Joes' offer is the preferred arrangement for FUD/FXD prints with the fewest wax residuals. speak_cool.gif 


Source: shapeways.com (Crackerjazz)


But as SW did remark, the wall thickness in the image is only 0.2 mm and needs to be corrected, because the minimum wall thickness for these materials is 0.3 mm. schlaumeier.gif And if SW says that, it will be true. huh.gif


Source: Shapeways (Mitchell Jetten)


But the too small wall thickness should not be the problem now, maybe it would be a useful compromise, to reduce the width of the grooves from 0.4 mm to 0.3 mm and to move them by 0.1 mm to the center, then the wall thickness would also be 0.3 mm, which would be the demanded value. cool.gif




This would mean that also the small holes (Ø 0.2 mm) have to be slightly shifted, whereby it is questionable whether they can even be realized.


But at this statement from SW I can only laugh, if I think of my FUD Intertank ... muaha.gif

"But keep in mind that Shapeways removes the wax.
We ship the models after we have removed the wax and cleaned the model.
The only thing we recommend the customer to do is use a bit of soap before starting to paint since a bit of oil could still be left on the model (used to remove the wax)." default_whistle.gif


I think I'll have to send SW an image with greetings from the Dental lab ... up040577.gif

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Hello everybody,


in the meantime, my friend Joe (crackerjazz) has corrected the wall thickness to 0.3 mm :worthy: and uploaded both a Set of 20


Source: shapeways.com (Crackerjazz)


and a Set of 40 Track shoestop.gif


Source: shapeways.com (Crackerjazz)


These sets are very inexpensive, and therefore I ordered immediately the Set of 20 in both FUD and FXD for comparison and I'm curious to see what the Track shoes will look like. up040577.gif


BTW, a Set of 100 is not possible. Because the file size is too big Shapeways doesn't accept  the upload. hmmm.gif

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Hi Mark,


as you can see in this photo, there are 57 Track shoes per chain, of which there are two chains per truck, i.e. 8 chains with a total of 456 Track shoestop.gif




That means I would need 12 of these 40-Sets. up040577.gif



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Hello everybody,


as a Raumcon friend told me, the maximum file size is 64 MB or 1.000.000 polygons. This friend already has a lot of experience with 3D printing and lets himself print a lot at SW. cool.gif


BTW, he also has an interesting assessment regarding the wax residuals and thinks that the flat arrangement of the set would be more favorable for cleaning for the following reasons:


In the arrangement with upright standing Track shoes, one has indeed less support wax, but in places which are difficult to clean, such as e.g. the grooves on the surface and between the joint parts. In addition, the lower side is touched by the support wax and has a rough surface, while the upper side is not touched by the wax, and therefore is smooth. top.gif


Therefore, he would take the flat set arrangement, because here the support wax touches almost exclusively the tread, which is smooth and therefore easy to clean.


By using Fine Detail Plastic no overhangs can be printed , so everything has to be supported from below with supporting wax.


At the flat arrangement of the set, the track shoes lay on their treads, everything above it has no overhang, so it does not need support wax. But if one puts the shoes on their side (upright standing shoes), one needs a support wax on the side that matches the shape of the shoes.


In the following image he has marked the areas that are touched by the wax.




Rose = set with upright standing shoes
Green = flat set arrangement (the entire smooth underside is touched by the wax)
Orange = is touched by the wax in both arrangements


Since I find his point of view comprehensible, I confronted SW once again with it, let's see what they will say this time. up047089.gif


From the point of view of the model builder that would mean that the 3D designer should then rather choose the flat set arrangement in his 3D model. 


That's why I want to see the two Sets of 20 first and judge their quality, then I can make a decision as to which arrangement is more favorable for printing of the remaining shoes. smiley215.gif

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Hello everybody,


to anticipate it, since a week I try so far in vain to get an information from the Shapeways customer service regarding the image of my Raumcon friend with the support wax, which is sad, but true.  smiley_worship.gif And then, on top of that this sudden price increase for the Track Shoe Sets, up043952.gif which can be seen in  this overview.




Right at the beginning I had ordered a Set of 20 both in FUD (5,18 €) as well as in FXD (5,98 €), which I would like to introduce to you soon. cool.gif


After that, in consultation with my designer Joe (Crackerjazz) I let him model and upload a Set of 40, which was economically priced and has costed 6,80 € (8/21/18) for FUD


The more surprised I was, when it was offered a few days later for almost double the price of 12,68 € (08/25/18), whereupon I have confronted SW with it of course. boese.gif


I would not like to comment on the unpleasant chewing gum discussion here, whereupon SW would introduce a new price structure in order to remain competitive with other companies and not to lose any money. Therefore, one would charge a surcharge on smaller offers in order to be able to better compensate for the overall costs. erschrocken3.gif 


Supposedly, one would previously inform the shop owner about such price increases, what my friend Joe could not confirm. nono.gif


On the other hand, it is just as surprising that the FUD Sets of 40, 52 and 56 with 12,68 € have the same price, what would speak in the end for the Set of 56.  


And now to the two sets, which were already eagerly awaited, of which I was pleasantly surprised.  top.gif


From the normal observer's perspective, you can not see much more than the actual size, and at first glance, I was rather surprised by the small sets in the SW bags, which is why one has to take a little closer view. huh.gif




On the left side of the pictures one can see the FUD Set, and right next to it the FXD Set.










As one can see in this picture, the FXD Set (right) seems to be a bit more detailed,  speak_cool.gif at least I imagine it.




What strikes one immediately is the fact that almost all the fine details come out well,  cant-believe-my-eyes-smiley-emoticon.gif both the drillings in the Pin Lugs (Ø 0,5 mm), as well as the fine grooves (0,3 mm) in the slanting upper sides, which for such tiny booties 14,3 mm x 2,5 mm was not necessarily to be expectable.  klasse4.gif?w=510 


Even the small slants at the ends of the treads can be seen, only the small holes (Ø 0,2 mm) have apparently fallen by the wayside, but what one can get over. 




First of all, I drilled the holes in the pin lugs with a thin twist drill (Ø 0,45 mm), and cleaned them this way of possible wax residuals, and then threading the shoes on insect pins (Ø 0,3 mm). cool.gif






So for now, the result is extremely pleasing, and in my view one would not necessarily need the FXD Set, especially since the differences at those small parts are really low. 


I will now ask my ARC friend Joe (crackerjazz) to upload the Set of 20 in the proposed Flat set-arrangement to see if or how the price is possibly changing, in order to decide on the final variant. up040577.gif

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  Looking good Manfred!  The one shoe that I ordered at 1/72 was an FUD track.  $15.00 U.S. by the time I received it in hand.  Your idea of ordering enough tracks to do the entire job will save you huge amounts of time, and the "pinning" looks to be real clean and easy to work with.


  Good Job!

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Thanks Rich, :worthy:


but I have to clean it anyway from the wax residuals and will sign up again with the Dental lab guys if I have all the shoes, but that still has time ... up035091.gif


Do you still remember the diameter of your needles, but certainly too thick for the holes in the Pin Lugs with 0,5 mm, therefore they should be about 0,4 mm ... :hmmm:



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Hi Manfred,


  Sorry it took so long to get back to you.  


  If you remember, that the scale of my Crawler was 1/72.  This will make my pins very much larger than the ones you use.  In fact, if you remember, I used small wood nails.  These are 1.25mm thick and I just pushed them into place, much like you are doing.


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Thanks Rich,


that's clear, it was just a thought, but maybe I could find smaller pins with Ø 0.4 mm in your source. :hmmm:

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Hello everybody,


in the meantime my ARC friend and designer Joe has uploaded the new Set of 20 in flat orientation to check the pricing. top.gif


Source: arcforums.com (crackerjazz)


Source: arcforums.com (crackerjazz)


Source: arcforums.com (crackerjazz)


But that's only half the battle. Unfortunately that's not the most favorable orientation of the set for printing, i5684_no2.gif what fairly surprised me, because I explained it to him in a PM and email exactly on the basis of this SW image, modified by me. 


Source: shapeways.com (Mitchell Jetten)


Because important is not only the flat arrangement of the shoes in the respective set, but in particular the flat orientation of the set for printing, and the designer has to set the 3D printing Orientation for FUD/FXD himself on the 3D Tools page before uploading the 3D-File to make sure that it is printed as well this way. up045518.gif


When this is not done, Shapeways will orientate the model at the production department in a way it will be printed most efficient, whatever SW may understand by that ... noidea2.gif


Therefore pressing the red button 'Save Orientation' ist very important before uploading any 3D models. schlaumeier.gif


Then the preferred orientation will be used everytime for printing the model. 

Therefore I asked him, to select this flat orientation for the new Set of 20 in the 3D Tool and to save it once and for all.


In the last 14 days I have intensively exchanged with Mitchell Jetten (SW customer sevice) about this problem of the different orientation of the parts during printing. Namely, the support structure (yellow) depends on this orientation in the printing process, which is illustrated by these pictures in every possible orientation of the set.


This orientation corresponds to the previous set arrangement with upright standing shoes.


?name=inline-1190049679.png  ?name=inline-889733047.png
Source: shapeways.com (Mitchell Jetten) and following pics


In this arrangement with upright standing Track shoes, one has indeed less support wax, but in places which are difficult to clean, such as e.g. the grooves on the surface and between the joint parts. In addition, the lower side is touched by the support wax and has a rough surface, while the upper side is not touched by the wax, and therefore is smooth.


Therefore, our 3D expert (Half-Dead) would take the flat set arrangement with sprues, because here the support wax touches almost exclusively the tread, which is smooth and therefore easy to clean (left pic), while the top with the grooves does not come into contact  with the wax. Therefore, the reverse arrangement (right pic) would be conceivably unfavorable. 


?name=inline257520733.png  ?name=inline678525854.png


And for the sake of completeness, here is the upright arrangement of the shoes, which is also out of the question. i5684_no2.gif


?name=inline-222383236.png  ?name=inline301194050.png


One should note that in theses pics the sprue was removed, so these examples are only applicable when one orders the shoes separately.


On a sprue much more support could be needed once shoes are stacked on top of each other.






While the two upper shoes look good, the underlying ones are totally covered in wax as wax must be added on each shoe to support the overlying shoes. But that would mean immense subsequent cleaning effort. eek.gif

And Joe's set arrangement with upright standing shoes would look similar like this, and therefore he should select and save the flat orientation. up040577.gif

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