One of the things that compelled me to get a glowforge during the kickstarter was a really neat and large cardboard globe. I saw it and I was all “I want that.”
It’s debatable that spending thousands of dollars on a tool just to cut cardboard was a rational decision, but I actually had lots of ideas of things to try so I got the forge and, somehow, never looked up the plans for that cardboard globe (partly because I was just busy doing other things).
I had always planned to make some cardboard models myself, and it started innocently enough with a little sci-fi rocketship.
Since I’ve always been fascinated by the huge airships of the early twentieth century a zeppelin seemed a good second choice of subject.
With some effort I soon had a diminutive little 16 inch model of the Graf Zeppelin. It was cute and all, but I felt some of the largest flying craft ever built sort of call for a model that gets at that size. So I hit the plus button on my plans and soon had a 32 inch model (posted elsewhere here).
I was happy for a few days, but for some reason I felt the need to challenge myself to build a model bigger than the forge itself. I wanted something visually arresting, something with…presence.
A bit more work and a few hours of assembly later produced what will surely be the final version of this design, a cardboard model of the Graf Zeppelin 48 inches in length, which works out to about 1:192 scale.
This one was large enough to warrant some engine pods and little cardboard props.
It was designed in Fusion360 with inkscape for the final layout. There are 16 rings and 16 ribs. The multi-piece ribs meet at differing rings around the model to hold it together (I still glued every joint for maximum durability). The parametric ability of Fusion was pretty much critical to making this design work.
Total time on the forge to cut the 102 pieces was a bit over 70 minutes.
It’s large enough to be impossible to hold and photograph at the same time.
I think a greater challenge than designing or building it, however, will be figuring out where to display it.
By request, I put together some instructions and posted the files to thingiverse:
I didn’t document the build process very thoroughly, but I’ve tried to explain the process in the instructions well enough to recreate it. If anyone completes the model, I’d love to see your example.