Modeling the International Space Station

Modeling the International Space Station (ISS), live in SketchUp! Join us!!


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@TDahl ?

An ambitious subject! Basic layout of the modules, back-bone truss, and solar arrays would be a good start.I don’t have any plans or dimensioned drawings of the modules, but some of that can probably be found on-line.

Scale 1:100 drawings available on nasa website

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Via that site I found, and upscaled, this image.

Wow! Have you a spare 23 hours? You could start with this …

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Coincidentally, I have been modelling the ISS this week. Here are a few views of my model.


Also some useful dimensions.
Length of main truss: 93m
Truss cross section: WxH 2.3 x 2.8m
Main Solar Panel (single): 33.2 x 4.7m not including truss (8 pairs)
Smaller Solar Panels: 23x10.6 (each set of three x2)
Smallest solar panels: 13.3x3.3m (four in total)
Diameter main modules: 4.5m (limited by shuttle bay size)
Length of modules: JEM=9.8m (not. Incl. external platform). US=8.3m PMM=6.0m Columbus=6.0m PMM=6.0m Node1=6.0m Node2=6.6m FGB=9.8m


don’t forget to model the C.O.L.B.E.R.T module…

So, I think the hope is… that is just a lot of the same parts so components will speed the process along.

Lets start a running poll, how many times will “greeblies” be said during the chat.

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That will be Node 3, I suppose I could model the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill inside it …:grin:

Greeblies will be said about 10^6 times :grin: In a 2 hour stream I would start with the main truss, add the US modeule and go from there. Simple! I have uploaded my ISS model to the warehouse under the name Lawrence C. Just for fun, here is the ISS compared to the Titanic.!


Seems that the ISS lounge has no room for a grand piano.


Or a bar, restaurant, promenade deck. But I suppose standing on the edge of the solar panel truss while orbiting at 26,000 km/h shouting “I’m the king of the world” would be much more epic. Just for S&G here is a modern cruise liner added.


One of the better (larger) diagrams that I found that doesn’t already feature on this thread.

There’s some incredible detail in these NASA photos. Just in case you, you know, run out of things to model tonight!


I’m going to say this one is pretty ambitious, but if the overall model is simplified some I’m sure it is within reach for a couple hours or modeling.

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OMG! I recommended this on Facebook last week. So excited!!!

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Maybe this one will help.