“Every block of stone…”


Michelangelo, who lived during the 16th Century, is credited with saying,

“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”

Here in the 21st Century, I think it would still hold true with a few substitutions…

Here’s my version, pertinent to today’s post:  “This block of PolyLactic Acid filament has a Nostromo inside it and it is the task of this Alien fan to discover it, but I’ll be damned if I know how!”

Behold! my recent 3D-printed Nostromo:

I am becoming intimately familiar with terms like “rafts” and “skirts” and “brims”.

The material is translucent and reminiscent of the Translucent Alien costume, tested but unused in the final film.

I’ve been carefully breaking brims loose as I try to determine where the stress lines might be.   It is an incredibly detailed reproduction.

The bristling antennae on her bow and belly may need to be added back later, since they were replicated but are so delicate I don’t think they’ll break free very easily.  Then it’ll be “drydock time”, as Kane might say.

Until someone comes up with an affordable Nostromo model, this is what I’ll have to be satisfied with.

Not too shabby.

I’m sure very soon now I will be flying my toy spaceship around, quoting lines like, “Initial damping’s going off. Hold on, people, there’s going to be a little bump.”



P.S. Another riff on Alien‘s themes:  I learned that PLA (PolyLactic Acid), the material from which my Nostromo was printed, is a biopolymer, or biodegradable plastic. It is made from renewable raw materials such as cornstarch or sugarcane.  Aside from 3D printing, it is typically used for packaging material, plastic wrap, plastic cups and plastic water bottles.  It is considered to be more ecologically friendly than ABS – after all, it’s made from plants.  So in a way [wait for it, wait for it],  this Nostromo is bio-mechanical, too.  😉


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