Custom Spartan IV Build Thread - Reach turned GEN2

S2i

New Member
Howdy y'all

Long time lurker here--I've worked on and off on this project for several years now, but was never truly satisfied with the quality of my foam work. Now that there are quite a few resources for 3D printing armor, I'm putting my Creality Ender 3 to good use. Starting this thread so that I can hit you all with "pls help" on all the random little things that go wrong.

I'm doing my own spin on Reach armor, turning it into GEN2 to make it look more up to date. Actually, I'm more just cutting together all my favorite pieces from all the games; hopefully the purists won't be too mad.

Parts and print progress:

PartPermutationStatusCredits
Helmet[not yet decided, potentially H3 RECON]Not startedCollinMcCaf (if RECON)
ChestReach MK V(B)Print completeMoeSizzlac
WaistH5 GEN2 NOBLEIn progressN/A
BicepH5 GEN2 NOBLEIn progressN/A, converted from .pdo file
ShoulderH3 GEN1 RECONGCODE ready, print not startedCollinMcCaf
ForearmReach MK V(B)Print completeMoeSizzlac
ThighH5 GEN2 NOBLENot startedMoeSizzlac
ShinH5 GEN2 NOBLENot startedMoeSizzlac
BootH5 GEN2 NOBLENot startedMoeSizzlac

Armorsmith Screenshot.PNG


"You know how expensive this armor is, son?"
 
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S2i

New Member
Right half of the back of the chest completed printing:
IMG_8918.jpg

One of the forearms:
IMG_8920.jpg

Fairly impressed with the print quality overall, but there's a few issues. First, small artifacts show up from the micro-vibrations during printing, so i'll have to tighten the belts a bit. Second, I find that some of the supports are impossible to remove, and that I have to slowly cut away at them. Anyone have suggestions for what types of supports to use? I slice in Cura and stick to the default zig zag pattern, as that's supposedly the easiest to remove, but apparently not the case here.
 
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SI3RRA 117

Well-Known Member
Looks like a good start. I think Cura has an advance setting that allows you to increase the z-step between the top of the support and bottom of the model. Could try playing with that a bit? You could also try the support roof setting? That puts a blob of plastic ontop the supports for the model to build on. That usually comes off pretty clean for me. I’m sure there are more options as well. Sounds like some good ole trial and error ahead
 

James

Active Member
This is awesome. I've been thinking about doing something similar in terms of mixing armor variants across games. I think it's cool. It's like a Reach Spartan survived and just continually upgraded when things get damaged.
 
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Phauxelate

Active Member
Hey, it's awesome to see another person making a 3D printed suit! I have my own 3D printing suit build here if you're interested. The thread started with foam, but switched to 3D printing. I'm currently in the process of building a Prusa Mk. 2.5s clone by purchasing all the parts separately.

Also, might I ask what filament you're using, what infill percent, and what infill pattern? Just curious! :)
 

S2i

New Member
Hey, it's awesome to see another person making a 3D printed suit! I have my own 3D printing suit build here if you're interested. The thread started with foam, but switched to 3D printing. I'm currently in the process of building a Prusa Mk. 2.5s clone by purchasing all the parts separately.

Also, might I ask what filament you're using, what infill percent, and what infill pattern? Just curious! :)
I use zyltech PLA; I’ve tried hatchbox as well and can’t tell any difference, and zyltech is cheaper so I go with that lol

Infill is actually only 10% for most parts, for two reasons. First, the shells are the most important for structural integrity, not the infill. Second, most of the files off the free 3D index thread are pretty thin, so using a low infill (theoretically) shouldn’t affect the strength much anyways
 

S2i

New Member
Update: completed printing out all 22 parts of the torso/chest, assembled them, and begun filling in seams and print lines.

First, I aligned parts by hand and glued together using super glue. Then, I used plastic epoxy resin on the insides of the seams to ensure that they wouldn't come apart. From there, it's a matter of sand, fill, repeat--heavy sanding with a mouse sander, filling with filler primer and wood filler, and then finer wet sanding.

I had to do quite a bit of sanding on the back, since there were quite a few print artifacts on it for some reason.
IMG_9282.jpg IMG_9291.jpg

I happened to take this while priming the back, and it's missing the last two pieces which connect the bottom of the front to the back (still printing at the time). There was a fairly noticeable seam, right front and center, due to a warped print (probably hadn't leveled the bed in the last 6 prints, whoops), so that took a bit more effort to fill in.
IMG_9290.jpg IMG_4262.JPG

After filling seams on the back as well, and adding 3 more layers of filler primer, here's the result: I've still got a bit of work to do, but I've managed to make the print lines practically disappear, and the finish is nice and smooth to the touch. I tried wet and dry sanding, and have noticed that wet sanding especially produces the best result after applying filler primer. This is because you can wet sand as early as 10 minutes after a coat dries (I gave it 10 minutes in between coats, and then sanding half an hour later) to the touch; at that point it's a little more malleable and workable. Note that the last few seams at the bottom of the front piece haven't been filled in yet.
IMG_3646_2.jpg


Finally, in case anyone is curious about print times, I drew up this little tool in Excel to keep track of filament usage and print times:
Print Progress Screenshot 01022020.png
 

ButterBacon3000

Member
This is going to look awesome! :D I'm 3d printing my armor as well... I've barely started and already have had a few problems, but I feel like it will be worth it in the end. Yours looks amazing! I can't wait to see the rest of it.
 

S2i

New Member
This is going to look awesome! :D I'm 3d printing my armor as well... I've barely started and already have had a few problems, but I feel like it will be worth it in the end. Yours looks amazing! I can't wait to see the rest of it.
What problems have you run into? I've had my fair share of trial and error, so I'm happy to share some advice workflow and print-wise!
 

ButterBacon3000

Member
mostly just user error... like printing my helmet a little too small.
I did notice though, that sometimes the Z axis wont move up. It just cuts back through the same layer as its printing. I have no idea what causes it and after I turn the printer off and on it usually fixes itself, but I would like to prevent it from happening in the future. if you have any idea what causes that I would appreciate the help.:)
 

S2i

New Member
mostly just user error... like printing my helmet a little too small.
I did notice though, that sometimes the Z axis wont move up. It just cuts back through the same layer as its printing. I have no idea what causes it and after I turn the printer off and on it usually fixes itself, but I would like to prevent it from happening in the future. if you have any idea what causes that I would appreciate the help.:)
I haven't had this problem myself, but if I had to guess, it's a gcode issue. Since it only does this sometimes, the z-axis (and stepper motor) should be working fine, so there's probably some line of code preventing it from moving up. However, that being said, if you turn the printer on and off, and it fixes itself, you're still running the same gcode, so perhaps it is a hardware issue? Since it's harder to deal with the hardware, I'd suggest trying a different slicer software and seeing if a different gcode prevents the issue; if it keeps happening, I'd guess it's a hardware issue.
 

Coreforge

Member
It might also be the acceleration/speed on the Z axis that could be causing the motor to loose steps if it's on the edge of what the motor can do. You could try to decrease acceleration or increase the motor current to see if that helps. I doubt it, but it could also be a heat issue that causes the motor driver to shut down for a short period of time. You could try to use another fan blowing directly onto tge drivers to rule that out.
 

James

Active Member
I would also check to make sure your Z rod isn't binding. I had that issue for a while too. If it's happening in the same place/places each time it's likely its a physical thing as opposed to a gcode or a setting. Adjust the screws on either side of the rod (they should never be completely tight, more of a balancing act between them) and get some white lithium grease for the rod.
 

S2i

New Member
Long overdue update:

This entire process has been a lot of trial and error, and I think I've finally figured out the most efficient way to post-process my prints. However, I've had the most trouble figuring out the proper scaling for the thighs and shins: I'm a fairly thin guy, so width-wise, the scaling is around 0.80x or 0.75x, but the length is 1.10x (odd spartan proportions, I guess). Here's my current progress:

-Printed two thighs too short, and stubbornly didn't reprint them until the left thigh was shattered in an accident
-Successfully printed the right thigh, properly scaled
-Printed one shin, which turned out to be too wide
-Re-scaled that shin, making sure that it looked proportional to the thigh

I am now currently printing out the left thigh, and will print the left shin after. I wish I had thought to do an entire leg first to see if they would proportionately line up, but I guess I won't be making that mistake again.

Here's some photos:

This is the right thigh. Due to warping, but otherwise accurate prints, there are gaps between where I've sliced them. I could have printed them larger, but I think it is absolutely infuriating to lose a 12+ hour print at the eleventh hour, (i.e. due to knocked over supports) so I prefer to print them shorter and glue/fix seams later. This also saves filament by requiring shorter supports. In the second photo, it warped inwards pretty badly, but I figured that, since the rest of the details lined up, I could fill this in, like so:
IMG_9829.jpeg IMG_9830.jpeg IMG_9877.jpeg

To deal with the gaps between parts, I masked them off, and then filled them with 5 minute resin on the inside. After peeling off the masking tape, it yielded a pretty flush surface, which was then easily filled with wood filler. Although I prefer spot putty in general, it isn't great for larger gaps.
IMG_9831.jpeg IMG_9832.jpeg IMG_9878.jpeg

For the shin, I cut out a small section which will hold in place with elastic straps, so that I can not only have a more form-fitting part, but fit my foot through it. I'll need to hit it with another few layers of filler primer, but this part turned out to need the least amount of filling with spot putty.
IMG_9833.jpeg IMG_9834.jpeg IMG_9835.jpeg

Finally, I painted the torso and forearms a flat gray color to see any imperfections that need to be corrected before the final paint job. They're marked up with those black tick marks, and once those have been fixed, it'll be time to paint. I've also come up with a strapping system for the torso that I'm excited to work on, but won't put together fully until the parts have been painted.
IMG_9928.jpeg

IMG_9930.jpeg
 
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