Skill Level: Beginner
- FloraCraft® Foam:
- Three - Sheets, ½”x12”x24”
- Acrylic Paints: black and white
- 3/16” Wood Dowels
- 40 Small Plastic Washers: (washers should fit dowel snug)
- Design It:® Foam Cutter or Serrated Knife
- Low-Temp Glue Gun
- Paint Brushes
- Black Marker
To create strength for this model, it is designed with a larger center truss for all the components to attach to securely. You will start by creating larger/thicker pieces (building blocks) of foam to build with.
- To build the center truss; cut four pieces of foam 2”x12” long and glue together stacked one on top of the other. Be sure to use a very thin layer of glue between the pieces. This will make it easier when attaching the rest of the components to the truss. Stand the truss up on end and use the cutter to evenly cut the four corners off creating a long octagon shape. Use pieces of foam as “sanding blocks” to sand the corners smooth and taper the ends. Paint white and let dry.
- To build the end truss pieces; cut 6 – 1½”x6” pieces and glue them in two stacks of three. Use foam pieces to sand the corners smooth. Do not attach the end truss pieces to the center truss at this time. Paint white and let dry. The two end truss pieces will hold the large “solar array” panels.
- To build the “Solar Array” panels; cut 16- 6”x 1¼” pieces (paint black and let dry) and 16 pieces 2 ¾” x ½” end brackets (paint white and let dry). Cut 4-16” pieces of wood dowel (paint white and let dry). Insert two wood dowels thru each end truss piece, insert one about ¾” in from one end and the other about 3 ¼” in from the first dowel. Push the dowels straight thru the center of the truss. The dowels will hold the black panels. Repeat to insert dowels in second truss piece. Thread a washer onto each end of all four dowels. Glue the washers in place against the truss. Be sure not to glue the dowel to the washer, you want the dowels to spin freely inside the washers. To attach the panels, slide a washer on the dowel about ½” out from the truss, carefully thread on an end bracket (pilot out a hole with a toothpick first) and then add another washer. Glue the washers in place where they meet on either side of the bracket but don’t glue the dowel in place. Repeat this step attaching an end bracket to both ends of each dowel. Glue the ends of two 6” panels to each end bracket as shown. Attach another end bracket assembly to the ends of each dowel securing the opposite ends of the panels in place to the end bracket. Attach the two end truss pieces last to make it easier to handle the space station while finishing the model.
- Go to NASA website to find drawings of the space station with all the components broken out into individual labeled parts. Print out images taken from all different angles of the space station, this will help when creating the components and assembly. Use the 6” panels and truss as a scale to figure out the approximate size for creating the modules, labs and all the other components that make up the space station. Most of the components are rounded so start by cutting 1 ¾” x 12” strips from the foam. Glue them in stacks of three and roll them on the table to create long cylinders. Figure out how many individual components you can cut from one 12” strip and slice the cylinder into lengths for creating each component. Some of the smaller components on the space station can be created by cutting smaller strips of foam glued in stacks of two. Use foam pieces to sand and sculpt each of the sections into the individual components of the space station, creating all of the modules, nodes, labs, etc. Paint white and let dry. Follow the NASA drawing for assembling the components. Glue a toothpick in between each of the sections for a more secure hold. Attach the assembled components to the center truss. Attach the two end truss/panels to each end of the center truss.
- To build the small panels, cut smaller strips of foam (paint black and let dry) and attach them to the corresponding modules.