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2020 Tesla Roadster

by Shadowcraft Apr 23, 2019
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Per the comments on logo & lettering: it should be pretty easy for you (or any of us) to remix by inserting one of the logo models (for the frunk hood) and the lettering such as https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1089117 on the rear lid. This would provide enough vertical offset for the logos to print well.

Tesla Logo
by anubhav

Thanks for this, I forgot that this is something I still need to do. Printed on their own, the back letters are not thick enough to print unless you have a nozzle under 0.4. However, I just now found out that when I print them with the body as one piece, they will print fine. I will do more testing, and make sure to update the files this weekend.

I'm so stoked to print this when it's done. Fantastic work. Love the comments I'm seeing here too.

Actually... I'm going to print this right now.

Let me know how it goes! Shouldn't be too much longer before I can finish my model and upload the files.

Stunning model! You did a fantastic job, I can't wait to print this.

What sort of optimized for 3D printing model do you plan to upload? I'm working on trying to print your current model now and am finding that pieces like the wheels are probably going to be best printed separately.

Thanks! I plan to separate objects like the wheels, modify parts to be larger than 0.4 mm, and split the main body in half to reduce supports and make it possible to print on small printers in 1/10 scale.

I printed the model as-is for now at 50% scale to test (I plan to print at at least 90% scale later as that seems to be as large as I can fit on my build plate). I'm pretty happy with how it turned out (pictures attached)! Prusa MK3 with 3D Solutech real green PLA, 0.1mm layer height. I really appreciate the clean lines on this thing--it's going to make sanding so much easier.

I have a few comments if you're interested:

1) The "panel" lines are quite shallow, which I realize is definitely to scale with the real vehicle (for aerodynamics and what not), but I'm pretty sure that as soon as I prime and sand the model for painting the panel lines are going to completely vanish (especially if I use the automotive body filler primer, which I intend to do). I might suggest making at least the door and roof panel lines more pronounced to allow for at least light sanding without completely masking the lines. This may detract from the "realism" a bit, but I think it will help add much needed contrast to the model for those of us planning to paint it.

2) I had a bit of trouble getting the headlight and taillight lenses to print properly, so I went into Meshmixer and made them solid (otherwise my Slicer wanted to skip them entirely as they were too thin to print). I know you're working on an optimized model for printing and probably are already addressing that, but I figured I'd mention it. I didn't even bother trying to print the TESLA logo or lettering on the back since I knew it wouldn't show up at this scale.

3) I haven't started on the wheels yet, but I can already tell that they are going to be a real trick to print since there is a gap between the outer decorative rims and the inner wheel. I might suggest a more solid inner tire with the rim / brake pad detail coming out from that (to avoid the need for supports, which would be pretty much impossible to get out). I know not everyone will want to paint this, but simply black basing the tire and then dry-brushing the rims and detail brushing the brake pads would seem to be a perfect solution. You may also want to consider putting some sort of a peg-style connector in between the tires and the base as otherwise it will be very difficult to get all 4 tires to line up properly without the model rocking back and forth.

Again, thanks so much for making this model. I've been waiting ever since Tesla announced the Roadster 2.0 for someone to release a model of it :).

Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it! For the panel lines, I'm not sure if those will be an issue or not. When I split it will be printed vertically to reduce supports, so with a finer layer height it might work, but I'll check. I want to see if I can make the logos printable at least for a 0.2 nozzle, but we'll see. The wheels will be split into several parts- the tire, rim, brake, and brake pad. I didn't think of the peg though, I'll add that. I really hope I can finish this soon, it's a beautiful car and I'm really excited!

Me again--I had some spare time lately so I went ahead and tried printing this a few different ways. Specifically, I tried your idea of printing it cut in half (front and back). As you can see from the pictures, I had a lot of trouble getting the seam line to fade though I admittedly did not take as much time as I probably should have. I've attached a few photos of my process so far.

A few observations:

1) The panel lines for the doors / roof did pretty much entirely disappear with the initial sanding, even before I applied the filler primer. I /did/ print this at around 50% scale at 0.1mm layer height (variable down to 0.05mm on curvature areas) with a 0.4mm nozzle so that probably has something to do with that but I don't anticipate vastly different results at 100% scale.

2) My printer has a tiny elephants-foot on prints, so when I gently filed this off that ended up creating a larger than anticipated canyon between the two halves. I used Vallejo modeling plastic to fill the gaps but ended up having trouble contouring properly to the curvature of the roofline / doorlines. I'm thinking that more precise calibration on the first layer might make the melding process a lot easier (less to fill back in)--also the discussed peg solution would probably help ensure the two halves are more precisely lined up.

3) The roof line of the sunroof ended up being largely a casualty of the sanding / filling process. If you look closely at it you can still see it (and obviously the paint will play into that) but it may be just a little bit too shallow. I thought about moving the split down to around where the windshield meets the hood so that the line would be easier to hide since there is a natural panel line there for the door but I haven't tried this yet.

I'm also trying to print this model split in 2 long halves (ie: cutting the model into two identical halves) and will post photos of that once it's done.

All in all, this is turning into a really exciting project and I'm happy to post more WIP pictures as I try to figure out what the best way to print / paint this is if you'd like. Once I settle on a specific print orientation I plan to make a ~100% scale model to actually paint / shade which I can post as a "Make".

Thanks for your continued testing! I have fixed the panel lines, I have made them all wider and deeper, though after testing I still need to make some more pronounced so that they are still visible on a smaller scale. I didn't have any problem putting the two halves together, but I will add the pegs you suggested. I don't think that moving the split to a panel line would be a good idea, because some plastics warp and that could make the panel line look uneven. I really appreciate all the work you are putting into this and I would love to see the progress you are making. It shouldn't be long before I am able to finish the changes and post them here.

Thanks for the follow up! I'm excited to hear things are progressing--I'll hold off on further experiments then if a new version is imminent. I was able to complete the version cut down the middle. It actually worked better than I was anticipating though it means a greater amount of sanding is needed on the doors due to the curvature which I guess makes sense. All things considered I think the one printed upright with supports ended up giving the best results and requiring the least post-processing (though I'd do a lot more work on all 3 of them if I was going to make them the final version of course).

I've attached a picture of all 3 of my test prints thus far--the red one is printed upright with supports (ignore the crappy black paint job on the windows--I was trying out a new masking strategy which failed gloriously and it took my primer up with it as an added bonus), white was the one split down the middle and the blue one was the one split top and bottom.

Thanks for all your hard work, looking forward to future updates :).

Sounds great! I will be sure to keep checking back on this to see your progress. Looking forward to it!