Best 3D Printing plastic type for armor?

xXDashIVXx

Well-Known Member
Did you have an enclosed printer case for the ABS prints? I heard you want as much control of the temp and environment with ABS printing.
No, it is an open frame. I also just had a problem. Heard some weird noises and I looked at the printer... THE ABS SCREWED UP! It was going good but I checked under the fam and it looked like the filament seeped out and got messy in the fan area. It also looked like a plastic clear rap/... I dont know. The peices I were printing came out like this too. Is it supposed to print like this or is it supposed to be more like the pla where it is plasticky.
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Those gears are after I scraped em off the board, that's why they look crumbled, but it takes 3x longer to print, they are incredibly thin layers, and comes out looking like old film. Like film for camera and movies and stuff.
 
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xXDashIVXx

Well-Known Member
Ok, I'm going to make this thread mine :lol:

Yeah it's not so going gud with the abs. I think I'm going to switch back for now. Guess I just have to troubleshoot until I can print my props n stuf
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Edut: actually, maybe it is the type of abs I am using. You guys said some filaments have different stuff in them from different companies. Maybe this one spool is incompatible for whatever reason?
 
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HATE Recon

Member
I actually just had an issue where I left my PLA helmet outside in the sun, and being black, it warped a bit, luckily the paint retained most of the shape. I have printed everything else in PETG, which is a much easier print then ABS, especially without an enclosure, and it has much higher heat resistance than PLA. PETG is great if you don't have an enclosure, it is a bit difficult to sand though.
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Ok, I'm going to make this thread mine :lol:

Yeah it's not so going gud with the abs. I think I'm going to switch back for now. Guess I just have to troubleshoot until I can print my props n stufView attachment 273953

Edut: actually, maybe it is the type of abs I am using. You guys said some filaments have different stuff in them from different companies. Maybe this one spool is incompatible for whatever reason?
ABS generally likes higher and consistent temperatures. That means get it hot and have an enclosure to keep the ambient temperature nice and level throughout the print to prevent warping.

Sometimes specific brands are also finicky or there's something in your setup that's wonky. An example being this past weekend I ran an older spool of natural PLA through one machine and it'd just cry and give up, same temperature settings on the other one and it was fine. Ghosts will mess you up.
 

NobleTravis

Member
As someone who 3D Prints all my parts I will say this, PLA gets a bad wrap for warping in heat. This is only true under certain circumstances, if you’re planning on standing in direct sunlight for hours on end or leaving your prop in a car for days chances are it will warp.

Now you can combat this by backing your piece with fiberglass resin.

Recently I have been printing with PETG because it’s hard, more heat resistant and easier to sand than PLA. PLA is easier to print but has its drawbacks in post processing.
 

ZP180

Member
Has anyone here used any of the flexible filaments? Considering for an upgrade using one of the more flexible filaments from this guide to update a handful of parts that I'd prefer to have more "give" to them, thighs and back for instance.
 

GrandMoffJimbob

New Member
Glad I found this thread as I've been wondering the same thing for a helmet. I tried I think 40% infill for the slicer and the estimated weight of the helmet itself was 6 lbs...apparently you can anneal PLA, so that might be worth trying. I currently havent found a way to bond PETG.
 

GrandMoffJimbob

New Member
I use PLA and had a chest plate melt in the sun last month. Personally though I don't see it as a huge issue because I pour resin in everything and that helps keep its shape, even in the hot Alabama sun. Fully 3D printed armor is expensive. I've dropped $60 on my ODST build and its only about 2/3 of the way done, so material cost is something to consider with PLA being $15-$20/kilo and ABS being $20/$25. Overall I have to agree with Charizard, find a happy medium of material properties and cost and let us know how it goes :) Also, I use triangle infill at 10% with 3 perimeters. stuff is pretty strong
By resin, would fiberglass resin work fine?
 

xXDashIVXx

Well-Known Member
Awesome! I dont have to buy extra stuff! Would that also work for the top to fill the layer lines?
I am more familiar with pepakura, and just purchased my first 3d printer. I wouldn't even consider myself to know the basics, but i wouldnt see how this wont work. I beleive you would definatly have to do some sanding, and apply multiple very thin coats, and sand that smooth, but I think bondo would do better for the exterior then the resin. I am not sure about this though...
 

GrandMoffJimbob

New Member
I am more familiar with pepakura, and just purchased my first 3d printer. I wouldn't even consider myself to know the basics, but i wouldnt see how this wont work. I beleive you would definatly have to do some sanding, and apply multiple very thin coats, and sand that smooth, but I think bondo would do better for the exterior then the resin. I am not sure about this though...
Likewise here for the pepakura to some extent. I agree with bondo though, because I've found that apparently keeps pla from warping when sitting in the sun. It may be better for a helmet though because of the multiple bond lines. Thanks for your input though
 

GrandMoffJimbob

New Member
Yes! That is what I used, the brand I use is Bondo because it’s widely available in the United States and gives me consistent results. Just let it cure somewhere cool so your part doesn’t melt like mine did.
Awesome, and thanks for the advice. Did you put the resin on the inside, outside, or both?
 

Crumpus

New Member
Awesome, and thanks for the advice. Did you put the resin on the inside, outside, or both?
I only put it on the inside, and I made the layers kinda thick, thicker than you would for pepakura. For pieces like the forearms I taped off one end and sloshed it around till it coated every surface, and then cut off the rest when it pooled and cured at the bottom. I suppose you could use it on the outside, but it would make sanding much more difficult and would be more prone to cracking and separation than the 3DP shell.
 

GrandMoffJimbob

New Member
I only put it on the inside, and I made the layers kinda thick, thicker than you would for pepakura. For pieces like the forearms I taped off one end and sloshed it around till it coated every surface, and then cut off the rest when it pooled and cured at the bottom. I suppose you could use it on the outside, but it would make sanding much more difficult and would be more prone to cracking and separation than the 3DP shell.
So far as the outer shell goes, I've seen XTC3D, do you have an opinion on that? The way I see it, I can add that as well to avoid a bunch of sanding, or use bondo if I need to.
 

Crumpus

New Member
So far as the outer shell goes, I've seen XTC3D, do you have an opinion on that? The way I see it, I can add that as well to avoid a bunch of sanding, or use bondo if I need to.
I’ve heard of it but have never used it personally, so I can’t speak as to how well it does. If you do use it I hope it works well, but what I’ve learned from other tutorials and making my own armor, you can’t get away from sanding. The more you sand it the better it looks, science can’t explain it. I hate sanding with a burning passion but if I want a part to turn out nice, I gotta put in a few hours on the back porch. Again though, I’ve never used XTC3D. If it does cut the sanding time down let me know because I’ve tried a lot of methods to avoid sanding.
 

crackhead09

RXO
405th Regiment Officer
XTC cuts down sanding marginally. Like some areas will be filled in well enough but yeah you still gotta sand. Miust be applied thinly like a coat of paint. Sand that and repeat as desired to get the proper result. Stuff has a working time of 5 minutes then needs two hours before you can start sanding. I like it personally.
 

GrandMoffJimbob

New Member
I’ve heard of it but have never used it personally, so I can’t speak as to how well it does. If you do use it I hope it works well, but what I’ve learned from other tutorials and making my own armor, you can’t get away from sanding. The more you sand it the better it looks, science can’t explain it. I hate sanding with a burning passion but if I want a part to turn out nice, I gotta put in a few hours on the back porch. Again though, I’ve never used XTC3D. If it does cut the sanding time down let me know because I’ve tried a lot of methods to avoid sanding.
If I go with it I'll let you know how it goes.
 
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