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3d printing for a noob-go ahead or forget it?

Discussion in 'Halo Costumes and Armor' started by mumgoot, Jul 12, 2018 at 5:04 PM.

  1. mumgoot

    mumgoot Jr Member

    Hello all,

    So here's my question. I am a noob and I have been reading this forum for several weeks. I'm low-budget, and my main concern is making stuff that looks cool, but I'm not picky about accuracy.

    I don't want to mess around with pepakura (too complicated, expensive, and nasty chemicals) I'm doubtful about foam (getting the shape right and all that) and so what I'm looking at is mostly cardboard and repurposing existing items like airsoft helmets and motox armor and whatever random junk I run across for cheap or free.

    I'm really impressed by the detail and apparent "ease" of printing 3d models (download a model and go about your life while it takes forever and a day to print) but I'm not sure if it is cheap ($30-$60 to print a full-size helmet?) or super expensive ($100+).

    Basically, I just want to know what I'm up against. Is 3d printing only for the serious ones, or is it noob and budget friendly? I'm totally open to cold hard reality, as I realize that this is a expensive hobby.

    At the end of the day, I'll be okay admiring other people's work, and I can still throw together some neat stuff.
    (Or get rich when I'm older and let other people do the work for me:D)

    Any thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated!
    mblackwell1002 likes this.
  2. mblackwell1002


    So I do a decent amount of 3D printing. FDM 3D printing is somewhat budget friendly. A helmet would cost you something like 60, so it's not too bad. However, 3D printing isn't really a print-and-paint kind of process. You need to do a lot of sanding and post processing to get a nice result. The machine does a lot of the work for you, but everything isn't done.

    Overall, it's fairly noob friendly. You'll still need a few materials like Bondo and spot putty to fill in imperfections, but it's much better than fiberglassing in terms of toxicity.

    Hope this helps!
    mumgoot likes this.
  3. CollinMcCaf


    I printed my EVA helmet (absolutely massive) using less than one roll of filament which costs $20 on amazon. (https://www.amazon.com/3D-MARS-Printing-Filament-Dimensional/dp/B01MUBEAD9)
    There's probably enough left over I could probably print the magazine for my MA5C, so to answer your question, yes its inexpensive, if you do it yourself.

    It's usually not as simple as just downloading a file and hitting print. All too often I've run into the problem of models not being made correctly which either requires the acquisition of new model, or repairing the model yourself. With the cheap printers, upon initial setup there is a ton of tinkering to be done. Additionally, an unattended printer will likely leave you homeless at some point. You might not have to stare at the thing for the duration of the print, but checking it periodically is a must. Think of it as cooking a turkey, or having a crazy ex-wife, forget about it and it'll burn down your house.

    Buying/building a printer:
    You can buy printers online for $300 but its hit and miss on the quality (we're talking about quality of the printer itself, not the quality of the prints, that's a whole other story. Personally, I have had a good experience with the "Flyingbear P905" It's kit so you'll have to assemble it yourself. If you do your research you can always just build your own printer in the $100 range. Figuring out the hardware is pretty straightforward, its the software that'll be a pain.

    Commissioning/ buying "shoptime":
    Several members on the 405th do commissions, if you want something made/printed you can probably find someone willing to send you whatever degree "completeness" your willing to pay for. Personally, I would feel inclined to charge somewhere in the realm of $200 to send a "raw" print (raw meaning, I take it off the printer and assuming it printed correctly, I ship it) other's prices will inevitably be different. Another option is of course buying "shoptime", check with your local library, homedepot etc. a lot of them have printers you can print stuff out on, I don't know what kind of prices they charge though.
    mblackwell1002, mkshane81 and mumgoot like this.
  4. mumgoot

    mumgoot Jr Member

    Right, I heard that too (about the sanding and stuff). Trick is, I like building stuff, but I've always been a chemical paranoid (among other irrational fears) and the bondo and all that jazz is less than enthralling. But that gives me an idea of what I'm up against. I'm still in high school, so a lot of this stuff will be a lot less daunting in the future when I have more income. In the meantime, I have a ton of cardboard lying around;) Thanks for the help my dude!
  5. mumgoot

    mumgoot Jr Member

    Good stuff. This gives me a pretty good picture. As I said to mblackwell1002, these are things I might be able to look into in the future. Thanks for the advice, this basically solidifies what I was already thinking. (y)
  6. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO 405th Regiment Officer

    mblackwell1002 is right. I have spent four hours today doing the first pass of sanding on my shotgun. I'll be doing a resin coat, more sanding, priming, sanding and then a buttload of paint with possible sanding.

    Printing stuff is fun and all but making it look like it's not printed is a process. A very time consuming and arm tiring process.
    Lieutenant Jaku and mumgoot like this.
  7. mumgoot

    mumgoot Jr Member

    Right. I love how paint brings stuff to life, but it's not exactly fun to do. Except for dry brushing :D. "Making it look like it's not printed". Yeah, I can always see those weird lines and ridges with pics of raw models. Do you have a thread for your shotgun though? It seems to be the rare-r of Halo weapons that people build, but it's such a cool weapon.

    Thanks for the insight:)
  8. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO 405th Regiment Officer

    Only in Reach Spartan build log. I may do a thread later on for it that's broken down into a step by step approach but I much prefer long posts about things within a thread about the whole costume and load out.
    mumgoot likes this.
  9. mumgoot

    mumgoot Jr Member

    Cool thanks, I checked out the thread, your build is amazing! Reach is one of my favorites games, the S-III armor is sick IMO, just the right mix of tactical and sci-fi. I'll keep an eye on the thread, keep up the awesome work!
  10. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO 405th Regiment Officer

    Thanks, if all goes well this weekend there should be a new post on the combat knife and the shotgun, possibly one for the armour ability and the undersuit as well.
    mumgoot likes this.
  11. mumgoot

    mumgoot Jr Member

    Nice! and yeah, that armor ability idea sounded really cool!

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