3D Printed ODST Build

kahnah

Member
Hello 405th! It has been a long time, a lot has changed and i'm happy to be back. I don't know how many attempts I am on but I VOW to complete a full Reach ODST build. To start the build I would like to go over my "medium" just incase anyone wants to replicate my build or settings to make their own build on the same printer. Ill post as many links to Items i have purchased or files that can be printed.

First, the Hardware:
As part of my commitment I have purchased the Creality Ender 3Dx. This is an amazing 3D printer that has great quality given its relatively low price. This printer is open source which means I can always upgrade the hardware, add upgrade parts and update software. You will have to build this printer as it is shipped as a kit. I found a great YouTube Set Up Tutorial that added some extra steps to dial in the assembly. I happened to catch this printer on sale and payed $180 usd AND NO ADDITIONAL SHIPPING OR TAX! Now I have seen on Reddit that people have purchased this printer from spam sites and lost their money entirely or received a complete knock off version. Your best bet is to find the printer on Amazon and not have to worry or risk your $200 investment. However I took a risk and ordered it straight from the Chinese manufacturer (I think i'm rich gambling $200 when I have student loans to pay off lol). The reason I went with the manufacturer is they advertise a US warehouse and offer the most up to date printer and software as opposed to amazon resellers who may be selling an outdated unit.

With the purchase of the printer I had purchased a few "upgrades":
I upgraded the stock plastic extruder for a cool red aluminum extruder for $10.99 usd. This upgrade actually is an improvement and i would consider it a MUST HAVE. I get a clean feed of filament with no slippage and I see absolutely no wear on the part. The stock extruder can wear out after a number of prints due to plastic on plastic friction. I did find a better deal after receiving my order. This kit HERE includes the extruder, capricorn bowden tubing (usefull upgrade, just ask youtube) and stiffer bed leveling springs (seriously going to order these) for only $19.99 usd.
Link to part: Aluminum Extruder

I also purchased a set of TL Smoothers. These are plug and play and I installed them with the build of the printer so I honestly cannot say whether or not they where an upgrade. In theory they are supposed to reduce excessive movement from the stepper motors (the motors that move the x,y and z axis) and give you better quality prints. I am able to print very detailed pieces however that could be coming from the software and not so much the correction of accuracy on the stepper motors. Some users claim to have seen an improvement and others say it makes no difference. I got them just to be on the safe side.
Link to part: TL Smoothers

Next I printed A LOT of parts to clean up the printer and also upgrade the function. I started with the MUST Prints:
LCD Back Cover so you don't break the LCD or cut your fingers during set up
LCD Ribbon Covers so you don't break the LCD cord when setting up the print
Extruder Knob to adjust your filament LCD ribbon covers
Chain Links for proper cable management
Fan Cover to keep dirt and debris out of the main board
Power Supply Fan Cover keeps dirt out and quiets the unit
Cooling fan nozzle for better air flow and coverage.

The last upgrade is a direct drive extruder. This upgrade did require me to purchase an extended extruder cable. This is such a clean set up. After upgrading i assumed that i would limit stringing when the nozzle moves from one point to another. This upgrade didn't completely remove the stringing however it left it with stringing that is thinner than a hair. Either way I like this set up as it eliminated the long bowden tube, which can fail and cause filament clogging.
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Link to printed part: Direct Drive adapter
Link to purchased part: Extended Stepper Motor Cable

Second, The software:
First step is to download a software to chop up large models like a helmet for example. Im using Meshmixer, which allows me to scale and cut up the STL files. A lot of the quality comes from your slicer settings. At the moment I have been using CURA to tell the Ender how to print. Its a user friendly software that that has amazing presets like standard, dynamic, and super quality to print. I haven't really gotten my head around how to properly use the software so I just use the presets at the moment. Luckily these presets are INCREDIBLE! You will see below the quality the presets can deliver.

Lastly the Material:
I chose to use Overture PLA Filament, Its cheap and ships quickly through Amazon. The filament has a 1.75mm diameter which is perfect for the Ender 3. It comes in a 1kg (2.2 lbs for us Americans) spool and has a dimensional accuracy of 0.05mm, which means i can utilize the Cura Dynamic and Super Quality settings. Overture has 9 different colors and even bundle packs. I purchased 2 rolls to try out for $27.58 usd. Now that I have put the filament through its paces I am confident in purchasing more of this brand and will enjoy the benefit of cheap reliable material.
Link to the filament: Overature PLA Filament

Now let's take a look at this Magnificent Machine!
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Here is a look at the cable management due to the Chain links. As you can see the links only allow so much movement, which will keep the cables from snagging on the print bed.
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Next we have a look at the upgraded extruder assembly. Note the printed knob. From the factory the printer does not have a knob to adjust the filament.
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kahnah

Member
NOW AFTER I BORED YOU ALL TO SLEEP WE CAN MOVE ON TO THE BUILD!

STEP 1: THE ODST HELMET

Before I show you all the exciting and beautiful construction of a 3D printed helmet I want to show you this memento of mine.My attempt at pepakura and working with bondo.
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HOLY HECK that was difficult to make! So many hours of sanding and sculpting, not to forget pepping the whole thing and trying not to warp it. I tip my hat to you who where able to make accurate cosplay with pepakura. Thankfully I can get a more accurate 3D print and not have to worry about warping, which that bad boy right there^ had. I was capable of adding a lot of detail to a pep so i'm confident that i should be able detail up a 3d print.

Now for the lid i have chosen to use Rainyfire's Reach ODST Helmet. It's a completely smooth file that requires very little detailing. All it needs are the lines cut into the dome, the lines cut into the jaw, and the ear piece details. As for the ear piece, i'm thinking of taking a printed section of lin0004's Reach ODST Helmet, cutting and gluing it into place on the complete helmet. (kinda risky but im sure i can clean it up with some good ol bondo).

I did print out a section of the helmet, which you can see below. However I had forgotten to SCALE THE DAMN THING!!!! As it sits its about 10% smaller than my pepped helmet. so i took some measurements and scaled it up by 13%. I chose 13% because the original pep I felt was just a bit too snug. When I had pepped out the original I had pepped a total of three helmets,
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one at the original size (Yellow) and then the middle scaling up by 10% and then an additional 10% far left. The middle size was the closest to what I had wanted however looking back i would have liked something in between.

Lets take a look at my FAILED (learning experience) attempt.
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my goodness, the quality of this print. It isn't to scale, no, but man the sharp edges and smooth surfaces. Absolutely impressive. As can be expected with all 3d printers you will notice the lines of each layer and some surface artifacts. What I don't see on this print are gaps in the layers and over extrusion of the filament, Which means that this thing printed perfectly.

Here are the print details:

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i used the default settings for Dynamic quality. The only changes I made where to add supports. As you can see this^ is how i set it up. Dynamic Quality is extremely slow and prints at 0.16mm which is very thin. it took the printer the full 2 days 14 hours and 28 minutes to print all 822 layers. You can also see i wasted 275g of my 1 kg (1000 g) of filament. Moving forward I have chopped up the helmet into 18 pieces due to the increase of size (originally 8). Each piece takes about 2 and a half days, so poor printer is going to be working hard for the next few weeks.

Another change i'm looking to make is to have some pin built into the models so each of the 18 sections line up perfectly. I don't want any type of gaps between each section.

I want to end today with a few shoutouts and some thanks.
Shout out to Rainyfire and Lin0004 over there on Thingiverse. This build would not be possible with out the work that you two have put into these files. I don't know if yall are members of the 405th (i hope you are so you can see this). Once this is built out i'll be sure to put some pictures up on your file comments for everyone on thingiverse to see.

I highly recommend anyone watching this thread to hop over to their pages and show some support. They seriously do some incredible work and have many great models.


Anyways thats it for now. Im going to be adding the direct drive tonight and dialing in the settings to continue the printing of the helmet tomorrow.
 
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Purplehazey

Jr Member
Thanks! I recommend experimenting with attachment methods and get armor smith for scaling....Its so fustrating to spend 20 hours on a print only to realize it doesnt fit right...or failed...multiple times....
 

kahnah

Member
Thanks! I recommend experimenting with attachment methods and get armor smith for scaling....Its so fustrating to spend 20 hours on a print only to realize it doesnt fit right...or failed...multiple times....
Im definitely going to use armor smith once i move on to the body armor pieces. Thank you for the recommendation.
 

kahnah

Member
Holy smokes an UPDATE!
I hope everyone had a great Christmas and new years break. After nearly a month and a half of printing, 3 rolls of PLA, a few tubes of super glue and jbweld I finally have a 3D printed Reach ODST helmet. After this print Im rethinking my ender 3 3d printer, i'm going to need a bigger printer.

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As you can see there are A LOT of parts (20 total). Some parts where failed prints with layer shifts, filament run out or poor bed adhesion. What you see painted in orange are the 6 pieces that I have already begun to smooth using bondo spot putty. Now that I have completed the print process I definitely will want to modify my Ender 3 to have a larger print area. I haven't even spent much time sanding and smoothing and i'm already dreading cleaning up these seams. Luckily all 20 pieces went together perfectly without any gaps.

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here is a side by side comparison with the original pep helmet. The printed version is definitely the correct size. I have yet to remove all the supports on the inside of the print so I can't try it on for size just yet. I'm going to wait till i'm done sanding and detailing to get all the supports out as i want them there to give strength to the model as i'm applying pressure while sanding. I will be printing the detailed ear sections here soon and chopping up the helmet to get those parts installed, which has me wondering if I can also swap out the jaw section in order to remove the snorkel looking attachment. I'm not sure how i am going to go about doing that part yet but ill play around with the spare parts that where the failed prints. I do plan on removing the the forehead attachment that way I can add all the top details as well.

Anyways that is it for now.
 

kahnah

Member
A bit of a big update. The helmets shape has changed quite a bit. I removed the top helmet attachment (ua/cnm) so that i can begin detailing. First i have started hitting the entire helmet with 50grit sandpaper. After shaving off all the layer lines I began to address the seams. At first I thought it would be a good idea to use bondo spot filler. However as i sanded away the gaps in the seams reappeared. I found that the best solution was to apply JB weld to all the seams and sand away. This added much needed reinforcement and made all the seams flush. There are still a few more seams to rework but that will come soon. Other than the seams there was a bit of bondo work on the top of the helmet due to layer shifting on the initial print as well as removal from the top attachment.
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My next step it to start sanding with finer sand paper and get this bad boy SUPER SMOOTH.

While i'm working on sanding i'm going to start some more prints to complete this helmet. For starters i need to print out the detailed ear pieces.
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i'm thinking i'll cut around the blue line and basically paste the new detailed pieces in.

secondly i want to remove the cheek and jaw of this helmet and replace it with the lower res version. I want to have the snorkel (CBRN) as an actual attachment over a detailed jaw. So i will take a step backwards and get this bad boy smoothed up and installed. Also the stock vent piece on the version i printed lost some detail which i plan on correcting.
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Lastly the cheek lost a lot of detail in the printed model as well (see below)
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so Im going to print and replace it with this
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Hopefully all of these changes will fit correctly. I have already scaled up all the models and wont find out if they are perfect untill everything is printed.
Till then wish me luck!
 

kahnah

Member
By chance would anyone be capable of sharing reference photos of the Reach ODST helmet. I thought I could fire up the old console and grab them however the classic case of red rings finally hit my 13 year old console. Im also trying to get reference photos of the attachments.
 
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kahnah

Member
A bit of an update:
I took to the helmet with a pencil and a few harbor freight needle files. Here is what i got.
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There is still a bit of clean up left and the two lines that run front to back on the top of the helmet that i need to carve. I used the reference image below to help guide my detailing.
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one thing I did notice from the reference image is the bottom of the chin is missing from all of the 3d files. Although if i was to add the detail it may make it hard to get the helmet on. I dont know at this point if i will add it.

I did begin printing the ear details. Im not sure how i feel with the outcome. Yes they are the proper detail however I feel that all the details are too shallow. Ill clean up the prints first and then decide if I want to add them to the model or find another way to detail the ears (which will mean even more cutting).
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This image shows some of the details im going to have to add. like the upside down nike swoosh at the corner of the visor and the lip that borders the visor on the bottom portion. Also added with pencil is how i plan on cutting out the ear detail.

I will require a bot of help. If there is anyone viewing this that can quickly whip up a 3D model of the triangular detail that goes on the brim of the helmet, it would be greatly appreciated.
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Not pictured is the jaw/cheek portion that is currently being printed so that i can remove the attachment and have a base helmet to add attachments to.

Anyways thats pretty much it for now.
 

kahnah

Member
mini update/ help requested:
so I printed out the jaw of the helmet however for some reason once the print gets to a certain height the ender 3 shifts the layer. Has anyone had this issue and know how to correct it?

In the meantime ill just cut of the layers that shifted and reprint only those layers and cut and paste as to not waste more PLA. By the end of this build i'm going to be a cut and paste master of 3D prints.
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On a good note I did figure out how to use sketchup and transfer the file to STL format. So i did a test print of the brim detail pieces and they came out PERFECTLY!!!!! I'm going to clean them up a bit and glue them on so stay tuned to see how well they turn out.

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Now that I have acquired a small amount of 3d modeling confidence i decided to play around with the game rip and see if I could add the details. As you can see the back of the helmet is 100% detailed and the cheek has some detail lines added as well. I also added the details to the black part of the visor surround as well however you cant really tell given the low polly mesh.

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I did run into a issue here. For some reason when I go to save i get an error message telling me that sketup can automatically fix some broken faces. I think to myself "sure why not" and then the program just flat out deletes the faces (scumbag program). If anyone has experienced this and know how to correct it shoot me a DM please.

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I would like to be able to hand this file off to a more skilled modeler and have them smooth it out while retaining the detail and hard angles the helmet has. It would be a dream to see people 3d printing a model i worked on. Anyways catch you all on the next update!
 
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