Astronaut Lapboard

Prints (0)


This is a lapboard and it is used by pilots, astronaut and technical trades. The purpose of the lapboard is to create a writing surface/clipboard that is attached to the upper thigh. This allows the user (pilot/astronaut) to write or reference notes in the seated position in the cockpit or in zero G's of space.

This design is not very glamorous, but is very practical in its function. I experimented with living hinges in this design and referenced this article for help . Once printed I ran the living hinges under hot water till they became flexible and then bent it into the desired shape. Once cooled the PLA part held its shape. While I used PLA, it may be worth while to explore other materials for living hinges to explore the durability characteristics.

This lapboard differs from the typical pilot lapboard in that it has paper hold-down clips on the top and bottom to overcome weightlessness of space.

This lapboard is designed to use eight 12x3 mm Neodymium disc magnets that I glue in place for the paper holders (there are slots for the magnets designed into the part). The leg strap is 1 1/4" nylon webbing and can be used with a 3d printed buckle A second means of holding it to your leg would be a Velcro patch applied to the back of the board. As you can see from the reference pictures the astronaut flight suits have Velcro patches on their thighs for this purpose.

Print settings

Material: PLA. ( You can use other material though and related settings)

Nozzels temp:layers 1-2: 215, 3+: 205C

Bed: 55C ( I kept it hotter to prevent warping)

Layer height:. .2mm.  The living hinges are designed for a layer hieght or <=.2mm layer hieght.  This is so there is at least a few layers printed on the hinge for strength

Cooling: was set up by the slicer (prusa's version of slic3r). But since it's a flat part and no bridging it doesn't really matter. My first layer had not cooling then 60% for the rest. 

Design Files

File Size

Astronaut Lapboard.stl
264 KB


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