How to: Eve Online ships made out of paper or cardboard, and other 3D stuff if you don’t have a 3D printer.

So after I moved into my new house, started buying furniture and give a thought a decorating it, I was thinking at getting a ship model for my desk.

There is a way getting them from the official-backed store but it’s a limited offer, only Condor, Naga, Oracle, Tristan, Tornado, Talos and Magnate are available. They look neat, plastic, painted, with a cool stand, but that also shows on the price, depending on the size (around 6-7 inches) a ship model can cost from 40 to 100 dolars. Ouch.

There’s also some other dudes that tease the Eve Online subreddit with intricate 3d printed models that also look amazing, but they aren’t allowed to sell them, and I haven’t seen them donating them, so that’s that.

After doing some arts and crafts activities with my kids I figured that I already have the tools, and skill, all I need is a project, turning one of my favorite ships in Eve Online into a paper/cardboard big-ass model. Maybe put some LEDs into it and hang-it from the ceiling. I dunno.

I already knew about the github repository for EVE 3D printers but I had no idea about how to turn 3D models into flat 2D sheets of foldable paper that I can glue and paint. But I knew someone did-it before years ago because I found a pdf file with Rifter (Minmatar frigate) textures ready to be cut and glued. So after some more long minutes of google-fu, I found the holy grail of nerds with too much free time and less money.

It’s a bit of software called Pepakura Designer that can take 3d files downloaded from the repository in .stl format and transform that in 2d cut-outs with flaps too. For example, the image above is the result after downloading the Moa 3d model and unfolding it in this software. After this it’s easy to just export to pdf. Printing that should be the easy part.

I’ll try to find a solution to get that printed on 2 A1 paper sheet and I’ll do another article about the results. It should come out a Moa with 87mm hight, 329mm long and 228 wide. That’s not big but not that small either. Wish me luck.

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