This is a set of STL files for 3D printing very small Death Star surface module tiles, for small-scale dioramas.
I originally designed these tiles to be cut out of flat styrene sheets using a Cricut Maker electronic cutting machine, which is how I built the originals, in the same manner that I built my 1:144th scale T-16 Skyhopper. I made silicone molds of those in order to have enough to complete a Death Star trench run diorama, and got quite a lot of inquiries from people asking me to sell them a set of tiles. Since I have no desire to sell resin castings, instead I took my original 3D models, converted them to printable solids, and released those STL files.
Since then, as these things do, it's grown quite a bit. I added more and more tiles, then start re-modelling them to be more accurate, since the orginals were nowhere near accurate (and really weren't intenteded to be, initially).
From the original 12 tiles that I made, this set now has over 180 STLs in it!
If you want to follow updates on the tile set, follow my hobby Instagram account @monsterpartywars, or the build thread on The Replica Prop Forum: Death Star Micro Tiles + Trench Run (STL files available).
The v7 release expanded and completely re-organized the file set, so older updates to this page prior to the re-organization have been archived on a separate page.
The files below are original works licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. You are free to copy and redistribute the files with proper attribution, and you may modify and use them to build derivative works provided those works are distributed under the same terms. You MAY NOT use these files for commercial purposes. You MAY NOT sell them or any works derived from them.
By downloading these files you are agreeing to the terms of the license.
While I don't have a 3D printer myself, I've gotten a bunch of prints made of these from different services, with different experiences.
If you print the tiles flat on the bed of a resin printer they tend to compress vertically somewhat. I'd advise scaling them maybe 10% in the Z axis to compensate, or just print them at an angle on supports - you can get all the supports on the underside and clean it up nicely. With the thinner tiles they seem to come out a little pancake-y if they're printed directly on the bed.
What can you do with them? Use the 20x20 based tiles to build a small trench run. Opinions on scale differ, but this is probably around 1:700?
Use the 10x10 tiles to build an even smaller trench run!
Use them as greeble! I used several tiles as greeble on sci-fi panels for my set of Archive-X paint color swatches.
All the files have been renamed from previous releases. This originally started out as just a dozen or so files, and has grown to around 180, and the original naming scheme just didn't hold up anymore!
They now follow the same general naming pattern:
<Category> is one of the broad categories listed below. The
part is generally a letter designating a particular visual
<Variant> portion is
0 (zero) for the main
arrangement (usually a 2x2 arrangement of sub-tiles), and
4 are the sub-tiles. The
<Size> part is the size of the tile in
millimeters, e.g. 40x40, 20x20, 10x10, etc...
Tile-A.0.20x20.stl are the same tile,
visually, in two different sizes. Each size of the same tile has been
modelled for the specific size, generally to stay within the minimum
feature size bounds of a typical resin printer.
variants from 40mm x 40mm all the way down to 5mm x 5mm, for example.
The tiles are not sized according to a defined scale -- they're sized to a strict grid based on multiples of 5mm, with 5mm x 5mm being the smallest size of tile in the set. Each tile's dimensions are a multiple of the base 5mm grid. I like the math to work out evenly like that. The standard square tiles are 20mm x 20mm, which is the size my original hand-built set was.
The core tile set is organized into 9 categories. In general, each category is organized around a visually distinct tile and its variations. Mostly these are combinations of four tile designs that are most iconically seen together on screen (usually because they formed a single "low altitude" two by two foot original prop. Category A, the loop, is one such example. In general, if it appeared in the Bandai tile set, it's a category here. Each category contains the overal composite and its four sub-tiles, in multiples sizes.
"The Loop", maybe the most iconic surface module? This is featured from 40mm all the way down to 5mm. The 5mm version is low-detail, based on the 3x3 inch original "high altitude" prop. The rest of the variants here are based on the 2'x2' "low altitude" original. Interestingly, that is NOT the version that Bandai's version is based on! That's the medium altitude variant, which has some clear differences. I have yet to model that final variant.
This also includes variations that range from 40x40 down to 5x5, with the smallest ones again being based on the small size, low-detail original "high altitude" props.
Cosmos Models calls this the "Citadel" module, and I like that name. There are a lot of variations here, because it appears in several configurations in the original Death Star surface models, with the cut up variations appearing primarily in the pyro model. As with other categories, there are some major differences in some of the smaller 10x10 and 5x5 tiles, as they're based on the smaller original props -- amongst the copies that have survived to be photographed at auction there are at least three different renditions of this tile. The 40x40 and its derivatives are based on the most detailed version, the large 2'x2' original (which is also the basis for Bandai's version).
Stay on target! The thermal exhaust port, but considerably smaller than two meters! This version of the exhaust port is entirely new in the v7 release. Includes two scales, with the larger 40x40 mm version is intended to match the mainline 20x20 tiles, with a cropped version of it thrown in for good measure. The half sized 20x20 goes with the 10x10 tiles.
For now the panelling is simply mirrored around the center axis, because it's pretty tedious and I got lazy after completing half. Might update that in a future release, might not.
I call this the "Kit Kat" module, for obvious reasons, in four scales.
These are based on some of the tiles which appear only in the barely-seen-on-screen-except-as-a-blur "medium altitude" tiles, which were smaller tiles used for wide shots. There are eight distinct designs in this category, based off of photos of an 8 section panel featured in Prop Store auctions (see the reference links, below)
This category of tiles is specific to Return of the Jedi and the second Death Star. They appear in only 2 shots in the finished movie - a flyby of the Emperor's tower in the middle of the film, and when the Super Star Destroyer crashes into the DS2 surface during the final battle. These do NOT appear in the fighter chase through the under construction section to reach the interior - that's using tiles from ANH plus lots of photo etch for the under-construction parts.
The originals for this category were all small, 3"x3" tiles, made with lots of the fine photoetch brass used for the main DS2 model, giving them a very circuit-board like appearance.
There are currently 15 individual tiles and 5 composites in this category. These are all based on tiles which have appeared at auction, which we therefore have good reference photos for. There are additional tiles that so far have not surfaced as surviving props, which can only be seen in screencaps, which I have not yet modeled.
As the title implies, these are a set of original designs in the style of the core modules from A New Hope.
The Pyro model tiles fill in spaces in the upright parking lot pyro model, which was composed primarily of the low altitude tiles, but filled in a lot of spaces with numerous much smaller tiles, right on down to the 3" tiles.
Check out this epic build thread on the RPF for the model that inspired me to finish this category!
With the v5 release, I started re-modelling the core tiles from scratch, based on original prop reference photos rather than modelling them off my hand-built originals. All of the tiles from before I started that effort are now in this "Legacy" category. There are still some tiles in this set I reach for regularly, especially in the 10mm size, but for the most part these have all been superceded - the newer versions are more accurate and much more detailed.
If you want to try your hand and hand-building some original tiles yourself, these blanks will make a handy starting point (or, of course, you could just cut some flat styrene to the same dimensions).
If you want to print these files and don't have a printer of your own, there are lots of 3D printing services out there where you can get them printed.
I use these two online STL repair services to fix up the STL files exported from SketchUp, which frequently have numerous minor errors:
Usually running a file through Netfabb is sufficient. For some files that still have errors (like overlapping faces), running them through Formware first, then Netfabb has produced the best results for me.
Many thanks to Cal Bryant's 10 ways to get the best out of OpenSCAD blog post, for giving me some tips to improve my OpenSCAD rendering of the STL files.