Im new, help appreciated :)

Opherox

New Member
Hi, every1.

So, the only experience with armor making ive had is printing the pepakura models in paper and assembling it. The problem is that paper is nimble and, as some pieces are very small, ive had to celo tape them, so I cant paint it too. Despite this, it looks very cool, but id prefer to make it out a harder material, so that it feels like a real armor and It doesnt break easily.

Ive been recommended to build it with a 3d printer, more specifically, the Elegoo Saturn, as, apparently it has better finish quality than filament printers. The thing is that I dont know if there are 3d printable models, or how to scale the model to fit my measures.

Any tips would be very appreciated :D, painting, printing, crafting or whatever.
 

TurboCharizard

Division PR, RXO and BCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
Member DIN
S068
Hi, every1.

So, the only experience with armor making ive had is printing the pepakura models in paper and assembling it. The problem is that paper is nimble and, as some pieces are very small, ive had to celo tape them, so I cant paint it too. Despite this, it looks very cool, but id prefer to make it out a harder material, so that it feels like a real armor and It doesnt break easily.

Ive been recommended to build it with a 3d printer, more specifically, the Elegoo Saturn, as, apparently it has better finish quality than filament printers. The thing is that I dont know if there are 3d printable models, or how to scale the model to fit my measures.

Any tips would be very appreciated :D, painting, printing, crafting or whatever.
Hey Opherox it sounds like you've already received some fairly good advice.

If you have familiarity with Pepakura models you can actually keep them and harden them with resin and fiberglass to produce a very long lasting suit of armour. The celo tape might be an issue since it's non-porous and won't absorb resin but if you build your pieces using glue instead it's a fairly easy switch to make from creating display models now to wearable armour in the future.

3D printing is a fairly common practice now for armour building but using a resin based SLA printer may be a bit of a headache due to smaller pieces and then the slightly lower durability compared to FDM methods. There are plenty of free armour and props models available here on the forums and even more paid options out in the wilds but the Free Model Index is a good place to start looking if you're planning on printing a suit.

As for general tips, start small, practice and then tackle that dream build!
 

FANGS

Commanding Officer
Community Staff
Division Staff
Welcome, Opherox! It's a great idea to first decide what gear you want to build and then you can have a look here for build threads and find what others have done which may be very helpful for you. As well, if you already have done some Pepakura you have some experience in the Art of Patience which will definitely help you out. TurboCharizard has given you some wise words about starting small. Whatever medium you end up choosing will require practice and patience to learn and get good at. Enjoy the process!
 

Opherox

New Member
Hey Opherox it sounds like you've already received some fairly good advice.

If you have familiarity with Pepakura models you can actually keep them and harden them with resin and fiberglass to produce a very long lasting suit of armour. The celo tape might be an issue since it's non-porous and won't absorb resin but if you build your pieces using glue instead it's a fairly easy switch to make from creating display models now to wearable armour in the future.

3D printing is a fairly common practice now for armour building but using a resin based SLA printer may be a bit of a headache due to smaller pieces and then the slightly lower durability compared to FDM methods. There are plenty of free armour and props models available here on the forums and even more paid options out in the wilds but the Free Model Index is a good place to start looking if you're planning on printing a suit.

As for general tips, start small, practice and then tackle that dream build!
Thank you very much for the tips :D, will take a look at the models you have said. Also, I forgot to ask this, how would you make the visor? As it is transparent it might be quite hard to make...
 

Opherox

New Member
Welcome, Opherox! It's a great idea to first decide what gear you want to build and then you can have a look here for build threads and find what others have done which may be very helpful for you. As well, if you already have done some Pepakura you have some experience in the Art of Patience which will definitely help you out. TurboCharizard has given you some wise words about starting small. Whatever medium you end up choosing will require practice and patience to learn and get good at. Enjoy the process!
Thanks, I´ll make sure to check other community posts. I´ve only assembled the helmet, its taken me like half a month, but it looks soooo cool, worth it :).
 

reallemonboi

New Member
Hi, every1.

So, the only experience with armor making ive had is printing the pepakura models in paper and assembling it. The problem is that paper is nimble and, as some pieces are very small, ive had to celo tape them, so I cant paint it too. Despite this, it looks very cool, but id prefer to make it out a harder material, so that it feels like a real armor and It doesnt break easily.

Ive been recommended to build it with a 3d printer, more specifically, the Elegoo Saturn, as, apparently it has better finish quality than filament printers. The thing is that I dont know if there are 3d printable models, or how to scale the model to fit my measures.

Any tips would be very appreciated :D, painting, printing, crafting or whatever.
I get nearly all my files from Thingiverse. Everything there is free (I think) and there's just so many creators with just so many different models, it's almost a guarantee to find what you need there. The search function is pretty strict so if you don't find something right away try rewording your search and you'll probably find it. Good luck and have fun!
 

MrBlueDot

Jr Member
I forgot to ask this, how would you make the visor? As it is transparent it might be quite hard to make...
Welcome! I'm pretty new here too!

This is a question I've been exploring myself. I made the visor for my helmet by thermoforming 1/8" polycarbonate by hand over a buck I 3d printed that was the shape of my visor. Pretty much set my buck down on a block of wood, held my sheet of PC over my heatgun till it was soft, then press it down over the buck. I wouldn't recommend using polycarbonate like I did though, PETG would be a much easier material to use. Using a sheet of PETG you would even be able to build a DIY vacuum box and vacuum form your visor. You can vacuum form polycarbonate, but it is not easy, and if you don't have access to a drying oven to dry your PC in you will end up with bubbles thru the whole form.

For something much easier than thermo forming a plastic sheet, you could use a visor film kinda like this: NEW...HEX Pattern.......flexible Visors. | Etsy

Your question about Resin vs FDM printers: I'm using a resin printer, and 2 FDM printers for my build. The resin printer is great for small parts, I've printed all the pieces of my gloves in resin and they look great. I could not imagine how much my helmet, and forearms would have cost had I printed them in resin. Resin is not cheap! ABS and PLA filaments on the other hand are insanely cheap. If you plan on printing a whole suit you will be going thru quite a few kilograms of printing material.

Resin is brittle, even the "tough" "ABS-Like" resins. It would really suck to get a full forearm printed, and have it chip or shatter after accidently hitting a table corner or door frame.

Also weight of printed parts. With resin printing, you can't really do infills, your options are hollow or solid. If you print hollow the print isn't going to be durable enough to wear, if you print solid, well, it's going to be a solid chunk of resin. With FDM printing you can adjust infill percentage and number of perimeters to get a strong piece that is much lighter weight.

If you can only get 1 printer, get an FDM printer over a resin printer. But resin printers are nice to have for small pieces and detail/decorative pieces. Let's see, an Elegoo Saturn is about 500$. For that money you could get an Creality Ender 3 and a Elegoo Mars 2. Alternatively, you are right at the price point for entry level large format printers. You could get an something like the Ender 5 plus for around 600$, and you could print much bigger pieces, like whole helmets, or half a chest piece. There are a few different options for large format that start at 500$, my one recommendation would be to stay away from TronXY kits unless you like tinkering and fixing more than you like printing.

Edit: Just to clarify since you are new to 3D printing, TronXY is a company, CoreXY is a style of printer. A CoreXY printer is an awesome thing and a lot of large format printers use a CoreXY motion system. A TronXY printer is mostly a waste of money and a box of cheap parts.
 
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Opherox

New Member
Welcome! I'm pretty new here too!

This is a question I've been exploring myself. I made the visor for my helmet by thermoforming 1/8" polycarbonate by hand over a buck I 3d printed that was the shape of my visor. Pretty much set my buck down on a block of wood, held my sheet of PC over my heatgun till it was soft, then press it down over the buck. I wouldn't recommend using polycarbonate like I did though, PETG would be a much easier material to use. Using a sheet of PETG you would even be able to build a DIY vacuum box and vacuum form your visor. You can vacuum form polycarbonate, but it is not easy, and if you don't have access to a drying oven to dry your PC in you will end up with bubbles thru the whole form.

For something much easier than thermo forming a plastic sheet, you could use a visor film kinda like this: NEW...HEX Pattern.......flexible Visors. | Etsy

Your question about Resin vs FDM printers: I'm using a resin printer, and 2 FDM printers for my build. The resin printer is great for small parts, I've printed all the pieces of my gloves in resin and they look great. I could not imagine how much my helmet, and forearms would have cost had I printed them in resin. Resin is not cheap! ABS and PLA filaments on the other hand are insanely cheap. If you plan on printing a whole suit you will be going thru quite a few kilograms of printing material.

Resin is brittle, even the "tough" "ABS-Like" resins. It would really suck to get a full forearm printed, and have it chip or shatter after accidently hitting a table corner or door frame.

Also weight of printed parts. With resin printing, you can't really do infills, your options are hollow or solid. If you print hollow the print isn't going to be durable enough to wear, if you print solid, well, it's going to be a solid chunk of resin. With FDM printing you can adjust infill percentage and number of perimeters to get a strong piece that is much lighter weight.

If you can only get 1 printer, get an FDM printer over a resin printer. But resin printers are nice to have for small pieces and detail/decorative pieces. Let's see, an Elegoo Saturn is about 500$. For that money you could get an Creality Ender 3 and a Elegoo Mars 2. Alternatively, you are right at the price point for entry level large format printers. You could get an something like the Ender 5 plus for around 600$, and you could print much bigger pieces, like whole helmets, or half a chest piece. There are a few different options for large format that start at 500$, my one recommendation would be to stay away from TronXY kits unless you like tinkering and fixing more than you like printing.

Edit: Just to clarify since you are new to 3D printing, TronXY is a company, CoreXY is a style of printer. A CoreXY printer is an awesome thing and a lot of large format printers use a CoreXY motion system. A TronXY printer is mostly a waste of money and a box of cheap parts.
Wow, I think i´ll use what you linked for the visor, it sounds so difficult and I might not have the tools for what you said...

Regarding the printer, how different is the finish if we compare resin and filament? Quinda worried about the brittleness of resin, because I was thinking about building the entire armor with it... Filament printers seem to be cheaper looking at how big the pieces you can print are, I´ll stay away from TronXY for sure, and Ender seems to have the best options, at least regarding ratings.
Might be a dumb question, but filament is also paintable right?
My budget is around 600$ but if needed I could spend a bit more for the sake of quality or commodity.
How is your build going along?
Thank you very much for the help :) and sorry if I ask too much.
 

PlanetAlexander

RMO
405th Regiment Officer
The finish from an FDM printer depends on the layer height and nozzle diameter. I set my layer heights to be from 0.8mm (small, detailed prints), and up to 0.28mm for big pieces. The standard nozzle size is 0.4mm, but you can get bigger and smaller - with their own pros and cons. But every piece you print is gonna have layer lines, which will need to be sanded back if you want a smooth finish. This can be achieved with sandpaper, but a palm sander is a good investment to save a lot of time and effort if you have big pieces to clean up.

As for painting, most filaments (including your standards like PLA, PLA+, ABS, PETG, etc.) can absolutely be painted. You'll want to sand it first, even just a bit to give some grip for the paint to grab onto.

Sorry if I missed it, but do you know what armour you want to make?
 

PlanetAlexander

RMO
405th Regiment Officer
There's a few out there, but I use Cura. It's free and has a good number of features, plus it's probably the most common one used. Some others I have heard of but never used are PrusaSlicer and Slic3r. Looking forward to your build!
 

Opherox

New Member
IMG_20220208_163704.jpg
This is the helmet on paper. It has the right shape tho. Wondering if there is a way to make it stay still when you wear it (maybe my head is a bit small for it.) when I get to build it with the 3d printer (in the process of adquiring one still).
 

MrBlueDot

Jr Member
The plan for my helmet is to cut up some EVA foam and make padding to fit my melon. I've seen a couple helmets that used the inserts from a bicycle helmet too. Pretty much anything that seems like it would be good padding, and you wouldn't mind having pressed against your head and hair you could use to get the helmet to fit. Helmet too big is an easier problem to solve than helmet too small for sure.

Unless you're talking about the rigidity of the cardstock. If that's what you mean, then your next step (after you triple checked you are happy with the size) is to paint the thing with a couple coats of fiberglass resin, then do a couple layers of fiber glass mat after the resin coat cures.

Your helmet is looking great!

Edit: About the surface quality of 3d prints, I heavily post process my pieces. It takes some work, and a lot of bondo spot putty, but you won't see layer lines on my finished pieces at all. I have a build thread that has a bunch of pictures that show my process: MBD's Praetor Suit (Doom 2016) Build Log

I have pictures of my helmet in raw pieces fresh off the printer, and the surface quality is just awful on all of them because I was trying to be quick. Lots of ringing, lots of ghosting, layer lines, ect. Then later in the thread you can see the helmet all smooth and clean after being post processed.
 
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Opherox

New Member
The plan for my helmet is to cut up some EVA foam and make padding to fit my melon. I've seen a couple helmets that used the inserts from a bicycle helmet too. Pretty much anything that seems like it would be good padding, and you wouldn't mind having pressed against your head and hair you could use to get the helmet to fit. Helmet too big is an easier problem to solve than helmet too small for sure.

Unless you're talking about the rigidity of the cardstock. If that's what you mean, then your next step (after you triple checked you are happy with the size) is to paint the thing with a couple coats of fiberglass resin, then do a couple layers of fiber glass mat after the resin coat cures.

Your helmet is looking great!

Edit: About the surface quality of 3d prints, I heavily post process my pieces. It takes some work, and a lot of bondo spot putty, but you won't see layer lines on my finished pieces at all. I have a build thread that has a bunch of pictures that show my process: MBD's Praetor Suit (Doom 2016) Build Log

I have pictures of my helmet in raw pieces fresh off the printer, and the surface quality is just awful on all of them because I was trying to be quick. Lots of ringing, lots of ghosting, layer lines, ect. Then later in the thread you can see the helmet all smooth and clean after being post processed.
I'll make sure to take a detailed look at your thread so I dont mess up big time. Im literally making a big collage with all the responses and feedback, hope I can honor you all with a great build.
Thank you!
 

Opherox

New Member
So, ive been running a few tests with the printer, and its almost working perfectly, still needs some tunning and calibration.
Im finding it a bit dificould to find in the armory what files are 3d printable, it seems all of them are for foam...
 

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