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3D Printing Galactic Civ III ( and probably IV) designs tutorial

3D Printing Gal Civ Ships

Posted on Saturday, June 19, 2021

I don't think anyone has created a tutorial on how to 3D print your Galactic Civ design, so I'll go over the basics of how it's done.

Step One: Design Your Ship

Galactic Civilizations ship designer is one of the fastest ways I know to output a good looking 3D design in a matter of minutes. If you're decent at Blender (free modeling software), you can import your model to clean up some of the rough edges, but this tutorial won't include that.  Okay, you now have a ship design you want to print, or you've borrowed someone's design from the Steam Workshop.  (Please don't post someone else's work without acknowledging the original designer)  I really like the look of the INCOM T-42 by Paul Massey so I designed a ship that is similar.

Paul Massey - Incom T-42 - ILM Challenge ' The Ride'

End result:

Now we just hit export and select export locally to create an object file.

Step Two:  Repairing and Preparing the Model for Printing

Okay, for this step I use two different 3D printing programs that should be free for download.   PrusaSlicer will be used to repair the model and ChiTuBox to prepare the print.

Your model has been exported to the game files.  It can now be found in

Right now in this format the ship can't be printed.  The parts in the ship designer are mesh's and are like digitally folded paper, so the object is hollow and a mess.  

To solidify the object we're going to import it into PrusaSlicer.  Select File>Import>STL/OBJ/ect. then go to the game files and select your 3D object file.  You should then see:

Left click on the model and select Fix through the Netfabb.  This solidifies the model and it will be ready for 3D printing.  Left click again and select export as STL.  I like to save as Model_Name_Repaired.

Quick side note there are 2 main types of 3D printing Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and Stereolithography (SLA).  FDM printing melts a filament and layers it onto a bed.  These parts can be large about 30x30x30 cm, but generally are not very detailed and precise.  They can be sturdier however than SLA printed parts.  SLA printing uses a photopolymer resin that hardens in UV light.  These parts are incredibly detailed and precise.  They generally are pretty small however 10x10X20 cm.  They are more brittle however there is a sturdier resin called ABS like resin which I have yet to try.

Final note:  PrusaSlicer is usually used for FDM and ChiTuBox for SLA.  I personally use SLA so this tutorial will focus on that.

Step Three:  We're Ready to Print

Import the repaired STL into ChiTuBox:

Select supports in the top right and hit All:

Go back to the previous screen and select Slice.  The black screen that pops up shows each layer that will be laid down in the printer.  Make sure there are no obvious weaknesses or holes then select save.

Upload the file to a USB and then plug it into your printer.  You should now be able to 3D print the object.  My 3D printer is the Elegoo Mars which costs around $190 but you can often get it on sale for cheaper.  Resin costs around $30 per kilogram, and it should last you a long time.  End result: