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Space Tug
Cutaway Illustration

I worked with Australian space startup Space Machines to develop concepts for a robotic space tug — a satellite designed to ferry other spacecraft around to different orbits. 

At the time I was commissioned, the spacecraft existed only as a checklist of components and dimensional specifications, so I was able to approach the design as a nearly blank canvas. 

The concept design process culminated in a series of colour illustrations demonstrating the vehicle in action.


Concept Artist



But my favourite part of the project was the cutaway illustration I completed of the final spacecraft.

The cutaway began with a low-resolution 3d model of the space tug that I had built. The four solar panels and the hinged ‘hood cover’ presented a unique composition challenge: How to frame the cutaway on an angle that fully reveals the inner workings of the craft, while minimizing the need to ‘erase’ important components that might get in the way? A series of test renders helped to choose the best angle for the cutaway.

I started by blocking out the internal components in 3d, and doing a series of rough paintovers to figure out how everything fits together.

Because the spacecraft itself was in an ever-evolving conceptual stage, nailing down the internal components was a very long and iterative process. Slowly, though, the final illustration took shape:

The finished cutaway illustration:

Check out the other final illustrations here, or read more about the design process here.

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