May the 4th Be With You: Super User 3D Prints Star Destroyer

 In Customer Stories

Simplify3D super user Sander van der Velden has completed a 3D printing masterpiece worthy of a Jedi Master. This 5 foot long Venator Class Star Destroyer, which Saner has dubbed the “YAZI”, took over 3 years to complete and actually houses a custom PC inside! We were able to interview Sander just in time for May 4th, the unofficial Star Wars Day chosen by fans for the play on words “May the Fourth be with you”, to find out what it took to create this work of art.

Simplify3D - 3D printed Star Wars star destroyer with Darth Vader

This model has already won several international design competitions.  You don’t have to be a Star Wars superfan to appreciate the skill and attention to detail to complete this intricate project.

Sander’s 3 Year Journey

Sander currently works at a filament manufacturer in the Netherlands.  He has worked with “at least 50 different 3D printer manufacturer brands” and estimates he has over 60,000 hours of 3D printing experience between his work and home projects. With his extensive 3D printing experience and a passion for building custom PCs, he embarked on what turned into an epic 3 year project.

Sander’s goal was to build the entire YAZI – Venator Class Star Destroyer by hand with all the plastic work done with sheets of styrene. He quickly realized he was not going to achieve the level of detail that he wanted and decided to purchased his own CNC, laser, and 3D printer to improve quality.

Simplify3D - Star Wars star destroyer digital mockup

The YAZI is built upon an aluminum laser-cut frame that helps guarantee stability with all the hardware generating heat inside the 3D printed parts. The aluminum sheets were then bent and placed upon a stainless steel stand. After completing the frame and stand, it was time to start the 3D printing sections. Sander used his LulzBot TAZ 5 to 3D print his parts using 0.2mm layers of mostly PLA filament at 50mm/s. Sander estimates that the ship took over 300 print hours to complete!

After installing all of the 3D printed parts Sander then ran around 300 feet of fiber optic cable, painted the entire ship, and installed the high spec PC inside. Once the project was finally complete it was immediately shipped to Las Vegas to be featured at CES, one of the largest tech shows in the world. The video below is an interview with Sander at CES 2016, explaining the ins-and-outs of his YAZI – Venator Class Star Destroyer.

Become a 3D Printing Master with Simplify3D You Will

Like most makers, Sander started with free software and slicers but soon realized he needed more settings and control. He explains, “I discovered Simplify3D and after two days of using the software, I knew it was so worth the price. I never looked back as it streamlined my workflow tremendously.”

His favorite features include:

  • Support Structures: “My work is most recognized by the fact that the prints get better the closer you look at them. Nothing beats Simplify3D in its ability to provide and place supports where and how you need them.”
  • Multiple Process Feature Inside a Single Print: “This is the absolute money maker for me in Simplify3D. In fact, it’s so quick and easy, I do a speed and temp test at home before I start a big 30 hour print. It has saved me from expensive and annoying misprints.”

His advice for any “young padawan” maker out there is “Remember, a high-end printer can certainly help, but it is the guy or girl working the printer and understanding how the printed material behaves that makes the beautiful prints.” At Simplify3D, we couldn’t agree more and that is why we are committed to providing learning resources so our community can continue to get the most out of their 3D printers. We would like to wish everyone a happy Star Wars day and may the fourth be with you!

Be sure to check out Sander’s build log for even more details and keep an eye on his new website for future projects. If you’re ready to start 3D printing your own Star Wars models our recent blog posts, 3D Printing Community Celebrates Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and 3D Print Your Own BB-8 from “The Force Awakens” feature several of the top Star Wars models out there.

At Simplify3D we love highlighting these inspiring projects with the community! If you have 3D printed your own Star Wars Model, or have another project you want to share, send us your story at

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