3D Printing Aircraft Models

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Hello there,

Firstly I’d like to apologize in advance, as I’m not entirely sure which forum this should go in. Please move it if need be. 

On to the topic...

There are a few aircraft I’ve repainted to a custom, personal livery, and I’ve been recently interested in 3D printing the models. 

Does anyone know of a way to export the model and texture files to form some kind of 3D printable file? Mainly I’m looking at the Majestic Dash 8, but also perhaps the PMDG aircraft. I’m using Prepar3D v3 and v4 if that helps. 


Thanks in in advance for any help.

Tyler Choo


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56 minutes ago, choo2310 said:

Mainly I’m looking at the Majestic Dash 8, but also perhaps the PMDG aircraft. I’m using Prepar3D v3 and v4 if that helps. 

Can't help you with your original question, but I will say I'd think very carefully before printing a "hard copy" of anything that was produced by a profit-oriented company like PMDG, etc.  Do you have a good lawyer?  :laugh:

You wouldn't run into a problem printing a "hard copy" of say the User's Manual for your own personal use to read.  But printing an entire 3D AIRPLANE MODEL might be frowned upon.  PMDG owns their model, not you.  Copyright laws and all, which still haven't been decided (or at least universally agreed upon) yet concerning things like using a 3D printer to print OBJECTS instead of just documents.

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With the amount of detail that's in the planes, I'm not sure it would turn out so good anyhow. I remember a few years back, somebody tried to do a 3D print-out of just the engine alone, and although the engine nacelle came out fine, the fan, not really so much. I don't remember off hand where I saw this, though.

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You are going about this the wrong way. It is not necessary to 3D print something from Flight Sim. The way to go about it is finding any 3D Model of a real aircraft in full scale and just scale it down for a 3D printer.

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STL files are a standard file type that interfaces between Computer Aided Design (CAD) software and 3D printers ,  when one exports a model from 3Ds Max its one of the formats available , in order to print a model one would need to clear out the interior .

Buying a model in that format from turbo squid in .obj or .stl  would be legal ,  ripping a model out of sim would not yield the results expected.


Best CJ 


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You're not going to see your liveries on anything coming out of a 3D printer. If I wanted to do what you are after, I'd get either a Gemini or Skymarks 1/100 scale model of the aircraft, spray it white, then print the liveries you've done onto waterslide decal paper at a suitable scale and apply them to the model. You could probably do all that for 40 quid.

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