My friend Eduard is a rocket scientist. He works for a Russian space program. He’s got a lot of spare time recently as only few Russian satellites reach their orbits, so he decided to turn a 3D model into the physical object.
Being a creative person, Eddy just took a scan made by others.
Than he put a 3D model into a 5-axis CNC machine (he could be fine with 3-axis only) and made a nice and very detailed replica made of modeling plastic.
Let me mention a good CNC router fetches much better surface quality than a 3D printer. This is my personal experience though. And CNC model is a bit cheaper for a big size. As you can imagine CNC usually has a much bigger working volume.
That part was machined by Eddy’s employees as they have some spare time as well. I was hoping to get some of tips and tricks for converting obj into machine readable codes from Eddy, but my dude had nothing to share with me. Don’t forget a Russian space program is a top secret one.
Then he bought a Smooth-On modeling liquid and made a jelly-like greenish mold. It is great easy to use forming paste, but the color makes me vomit.
He made a cast with an acrylic gypsum. It is almost a simple alabaster powder, but some added modifications make it feel like pure ceramics after curing.
And then he asked me to paint the cast with acrylic paint (actually I used only 3 colors) to make an “old bronze” texture. Patina looks great unless you zoom it.
This is how a scan lof a finished product looked in 3D. Heey, this is an interactive model, click and drag to play with it!
I used a free (not stolen - I don't know why they call it "unlicensed"- version of CopperCube just to test their technology):
This was Eddy’s first DIY project since his teenage. I am sure the Russian rocket program will benefit from it a lot. I was promised this my3dscanner.com made artifact will go into the space. It will be the first item to test a Russian space station new toilet system.