Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Make 100: 3D Printed Mars Rover Landing Site Terrains project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound
$1,031 pledged of $5,000 goal
backers
$1,031 pledged of $5,000 goal
backers

What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

Bb6f9abe287b874fcc81c675714a7f97 original

Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

About this project

At Tethon 3D, we are fascinated and excited by 3D Printing, materials development and Space!  It's only natural, then, that we would want to produce a limited edition object that combines all of our passions for a Kickstarter Make 100 project.

Fortunately, the materials that comprise Martian soil are also fairly abundant here on Earth.  We refer to Mars as the "red planet" because it has a thick layer of oxidized iron dust on the surface.

By processing a mixture of materials that simulate the composition of Mars soil into a very fine powder, we made a material that is compatible with a power/ink jet binder 3D printer.

NASA offers digital models of some popular lunar, Mars, asteroid and space equipment objects.  We selected the Gale Crater for our project, as it is the landing site of the Curiosity Rover - that is still up there researching the planet today.

Mars Curiosity Rover
Mars Curiosity Rover

 

            

For our project, we will 3D print replicas of the Gale Crater with our simulated Mars soil.  These will be mounted in an 8 x 8 inch black framed shadow box, labelled and numbered with a brass plate.

8 x 8 inch black framed shadow box
8 x 8 inch black framed shadow box

We will make up to 100 of these 3D printed replicas and NEVER fabricate any more at this scale, by this method, with this material.  In fact, due to coloration differences in the material, no two replicas will be identical.

Your support of our project will allow us to experiment with this new material in 3D printing, educate others about Mars exploration and bring joy to Mars enthusiasts.  

Thank you!

 

Risks and challenges

The biggest risk to this project is the 3D printer hardware that we will use to print these replicas. We have several old Z Corp powder/binder jet 3D printers that are all quite temperamental. They break down frequently. We are pretty good at troubleshooting printing errors and replacing broken parts, but there are dozens of parts on each machine that could potentially break. Some parts are easy to replace - others are not.

We anticipate that one of our printers will break during the course of printing 100 objects. That's pretty much a given. We will address all hardware issues immediately to find the best and quickest resolution. We also have projected very conservative timelines for reward delivery, thereby giving us a cushion should we experience a delay.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Project Enthusiast - No Reward

    You Love Mars. You know you do.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    3D Modeling and Printing Enthusiast

    The Mars Gale Crater .stl file, enhanced for successful large scale powder/binder jet 3D printing, emailed to you.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Simulated Mars Soil Sample

    One pound (16 oz./.45kg) of simulated Mars soil, processed into powder, as used in this 3D printing project.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Curiosity Landing Site Saver

    Receive 3D printed model numbered 50-100 (in the order of backing) at a later date.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Curiosity Landing Site Adventurer

    Receive 3D printed model numbered 20-49 (in the order of backing).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Curiosity Landing Site Explorer

    Receive 3D printed model numbered 10-19 (in the order of backing).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Curiosity Landing Site Innovator

    Receive 3D printed model numbered 2-9 (in the order of backing).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Curiosity Landing Site Pioneer

    Receive 3D printed model numbered 1/100. Numero Uno! The most prized collectible of a limited edition. This is truly a unique reward for a Mars enthusiast.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)