How to 3D print an 18C bronze cannon

3D Print an 18th Century Bronze Cannon

A New Skin Design tutorial for building your own realistic model cannon

This tutorial concentrates on the 3D printing and assembly of the cannon. The 3D modelling phase, whilst briefly outlined, is beyond the scope of this tutorial.

The free downloadable 3D .stl files are for personal and non-commercial use only. If you use the files, a link back to this page or a mention would be appreciated!

Download the 3D printable cannon STL files here.

Cannon reference material

Stage 1 Research

The internet was used to research various designs of cannons and their construction. This 18th century bronze cannon design was chosen.

Reference images

Stage 2 Creating Reference Images

Using the research photos, orthographic views (front, back, side, top etc.) were sketched up in Illustrator. These views were imported as reference images in Blender to help with modelling the components, placing the front, top and side views on their respective planes.

3D model of Cannon

Stage 3 3D Modelling and .STL File Creation

Using the reference images, the components of the cannon were modelled using polygonal modelling and subdivision surfaces in Blender.

Each component was then individually exported as an .STL file directly from Blender, ready for use in the 3D printing software.
These files can be downloaded here.

3D printed cannon

Stage 4 Slicing and 3D Printing the Model

Import the .STL files into your 3D printing software of choice. In this case PrusaSlicer was used.

The components can be scaled to the desired size.

For the model shown, the cannon was printed using Bronze Metalfill filament and the carriage was printed using Woodfill filament at a layer height of 0.2mm and an infill of 20%.

Almost all the model components can be printed without supports. Depending on your 3D printer type (resin or filament) you may need to use supports for the cylindrical cannon barrel.

For best results, sand the pieces. If you are going to paint/varnish the components, now would be a good time to do it.

The Metalfill bronze cannon was sanded and then brushed and the Woodfill carriage components were sanded, stained and finally varnished.

Instructions part 1

Instructions part 2

Instructions part 3

Instructions part 4

Instructions part 5

Stage 5 Assembling the 3D Printed Parts

Although the 3D printed cannon model is fairly intuitive to construct, I have prepared some illustrated instructions to guide you through the assembly.
Superglue was used to attach the pieces together. (As the linch pins for the wheels would have been very small and fragile to print, I just cut and bent some paperclips and inserted them through the holes in the axel)

Cannon Parts List:

1 - Front Wheel x2

2 - Rear Wheel x2

3 - Axle x2

4 - Front Axle Tree

5 - Rear Axle Tree

6 - Front Truck Assembly

7 - Rear Truck Assembly

8 - Left Bracket

9 - Right Bracket

10 - Stool Bed

11 - Front Board

12 - Carriage Assembly

13 - Cannon Barrel

14 - Capsquare Joint x2

15 - Capsquare x2

16 - Capsquare Eyebolt x2

17 - Quoin (Wedge)

18 - Cannon Assembly

19 - 2-bolt Plate x2

20 - Breaching Ring x2

21 - Breaching Ring Plate x2

22 - 1-bolt Plate x2

23 - Bolt x6

3D printed Cannon

Stage 6 Sit back and enjoy your work!

Perspective View of 3D printed Bronze Cannon
Side View of 3D printed Bronze Cannon
Rear Perspective View of 3D printed Bronze Cannon
Rear View of 3D printed Bronze Cannon

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