Better armor through over engineering (or how I'm making rapid prototype models)


New Member
As many of you know, people here are here to make armors, I'm no exception, allow me to show you my current progress in the form of pictures of my work.

This was created in Solidworks, and represents the chest piece's back armor, at the lower half. They're cooling fins for the MJOLNIR's reactor and will look better when I have the rest of the back armor finished.


I plan on making this piece out of Alumide and the rest of my design out of the WSF nylon material that Shapeways provides. The bolts visible in this image are M4 sockethead bolts, available from hardware stores.

My goal will be to sell parts and whole armors both through 405th and through Shapeways and other similar sites for those of us in the community... This part will be available as soon as I've verified it's structural integrity through first hand account. Final shape may vary as the image posted here is just a prototype. When done, there'll be pictures and links to where you can get yours in this thread or a similar thread in a more appropriate forum which'll get linked to from this thread.

Agent Arizona

Well-Known Member
Solidworks is an amazing program, i cant believe people dont use it more. This looks nice.

My goal will be to sell parts and whole armors both through 405th and through Shapeways

However, a general rule of thumb around here is that you cant sell things for profit. You can still sell them, but you have to follow special guild lines in doing so.

Boba Fett

Well-Known Member
I think the reason it's not used much is because it's so expensive... but yeah, look at bevbor's models. pure win. Can't wait to see what you do with this! While it seems a bit impractical, it will turn out amazing if done right.

Hugh Holder

Well-Known Member
I developed my first ODST model to be made like this. I looked into Shapeways too, but even at minimal wall thickness the parts would cost a disgusting amount of money to have built. The sad thing is that Shapeways is probably the cheapest service of this type.


Well-Known Member
It seems like Ponoko is cheaper, they charge 80 cents (US) for one cm³ of plastic (I doubt anybody would like a steel costume...?). Haven't tried them though, not sure if additional fees apply or if this plastic is suitable for further detailing/bondoing/etc. by hand.


New Member
I can live with at cost, though that'd kill my plan to pay for my own armor. I can understand it with the nature of what we're working with (I seem to recall Microsoft's fan use policies covering this, so it's not unreasonable).

The piece above came out to be about $25 USD in Aluminide. WSF came out to be about $19. Stainless was $114 for the back armor fin. I have one Rapid Prototyping service on my list that can do titanium (I don't want to know how much it'd cost for that.) I'm working on more armor, I figure it'll cost about as much as doing some other services. My designs are assembled as parts, like a real armor would be. Sockethead Bolts are at my local hardware store, and look great for the design. This design may change if it needs reinforcing, plus I need to work out more paint methods for WSF still.

Road Kill

Sr Member
it looks pretty good man, can't wait to see more :D
i tried to download solidworks and i didn't know that you had to pay to get it and when i tried to download it, it gave me something else on my desktop, it was some measuring tool :p


Jr Member
Truly awesome dude ;D I'd like to see the finished product live because it'd look SOOOOOOOOOO cool xD Like the real thing!! I just have to wish you good luck :D
(Hopefully there'll be a MUCH cheaper alternative for material, that's still durable, in the future)

Hugh Holder

Well-Known Member
Keep in mind that shapeways and ponoko keep their prices low because they use machines that print at lower resolutions. So some of the finer details you may put into your models could not show up. Higher prices can be justified as long as there is minimal clean-up work required afterward.