3D Design Award Winner – Top Educational Model

Woot! My Hidden Figures – Friendship 7 model won FormLabs 3D Design Awards in the Top Educational Model category. Thank you to all my friends and supporters for voting for the design! A big thanks to the prize sponsors Wacom, Adafruit and 3D Hubs.

Formlabs cites the educational concepts of my model as 3D modeling and the physical properties of lithophanes. (Lithophane lesson plan.) For me the importance of the model is celebrating the impact of women of color on the space program. The model highlights the mathematical contributions of hidden figures Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorthy Vaughan to the Friendship 7 mission. There are tremendous opportunities for students to contribute designs related to identity, heritage, culture and history to the world of 3D printing.

(I would love to be sponsored by Formlabs with a Form 2 resin 3D printer so I could print educational models like these in high definition. I also welcome the sponsorship of 3D printing vendors and suppliers that would like to support my work.)


I relied heavily on the 3D printing community to turn my idea into a final model. Invaluable technical assistance was provided by @HoneyPoint3D https://www.honeypoint3d.com/ and @CentralScience http://www.thingiverse.com/contentbydesign/about

This model would not have been possible without the conversion of the NASA Friendship 7 3D model to STL by my good friend @Zheng3_Jim http://zheng3.com/

Download the model here https://designmaketeach.com/2017/01/23/3d-model-hidden-figures-friendship-7/

A quick tutorial for creating the model using MeshMixer is available here. https://ultimaker.com/en/blog/37220-3d-model-hidden-figures-on-friendship-7