My Armour Creation Journey (Helmet)


Subnova

New Member
Dear Fellow Spartans and ODST,

I have a long way to go but I hope my experiences here help us all with our costume building.

This thread I will try to keep regularly updated, however I may go quiet for periods due to work and my carers duties.

I will start out with the specs of my equipment and why I chose these things, please note I do a lot of tinkering work on equipment and materials so some choices can come out of left field, if asked I will do my best to clarify in time, please note all of this works for me, some things you may need to take into consideration is your environment when 3D printing, this includes ambient temp, personal experience etc, what may work for me may not work as intended for you, I'm happy to do my best to assist.

A BIG NOTE HERE JUST BECAUSE I DO NOT MENTION DURING THE STEPS IF I USE RESPIRATORS, GLOVES AND GOGGLES, DOESN'T MEAN I AM NOT USING THEM I WILL ALWAYS RECOMMEND WHEN USING PRODUCTS TO MAKE YOUR ARMOUR YOU NEED TO READ MSDS SHEETS AND WEAR APPROPRIATE SAFETY GEAR WHEN WORKING ON GEAR EVEN IF IT IS NON-TOXIC.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT I USED:


  1. Half respirator quick release mask
    1. professional-multi-purpose-respirator-with-quick-latch.jpg
  2. Nitrile gloves (Heavy duty) black
  3. 3M 6000 Series Cartridge/P100 Particulate Filter Combinations Multi-gas/organic (because I dislike getting stuff in my lungs)
  4. 3M Organic Vapour Cartridge Filter 6051
  5. Chemical resistant goggles (only got one set of eyes)
PLEASE ENSURE YOU PICK SAFETY EQUIPMENT THAT FITS YOUR NEEDS AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS, THE STUFF I MENTIONED ABOVE IS STUFF I USE AND MAY NOT BE EFFECTIVE FOR YOUR USE, CONSULT WITH LOCAL PROFESSIONALS OF WHERE YOU BUY CHEMICALS/SUPPLIES AND BODY FILLER FOR BEST PRACTICES.

  1. 3D printer: Creatly Ender 3 V2
    1. This fantastic printer is a build between cost effectiveness and quality.
    2. I have modified it to last of a longer time using ferrules.
    3. I have modified the firmware to Jayers firmware.
    4. I have spent a bit of time optimizing my CURA software for the most efficient print layout (matching cost vs quality)
    5. I'm using PLA+, (while ABS or ASA is a fantastic material to use and has merits above PLA/PLA+ I am concerned with the quality of air and how toxic the fumes of ABS/ASA is I have a small bird).
    6. I've made adjustments (quality of life mods) to my printer to help with filament feeding and z axis support.
  2. Software used:
    1. Microsoft 3D builder (Fantastic for slicing better than Meshmixer as Meshmixer is no longer supported by Autodesk).
    2. Ultimaker Cura (Great Slicer when used right).
    3. Armoursmith designer (Fantastic for pre-sizing OBJ/STL files)
  3. SUNLU 3D Printing Pen:
    1. Great Cheap 3D Printing Pen for Welding pieces together.
    2. Supports a number of fillimants and also has adjustable temperature and speed (speed adjustment is a bit meh but for $80AUD I ain't mad)
    3. Problems with this pen, its printing flow is continous so you will have to practice with this pen.
  4. Paints and Paint stuff
    1. Tamiya spraypaints (for Plastic)
      1. Primer
      2. Colours (several)
      3. Shell semi-clear gloss
    2. Painters tape
    3. 240 grit sand paper
    4. 380 grit sanding block
  5. Additonal stuff
    1. Selleys Power grip step 1 step 2 pack for bonding pieces.

I will update this list as I go along.

I'm working on a few photos so expect an update tonight or tomorrow morning, would like to review my pictures and info as I go along

My method:

Because my 3D printer is an FDM unit, I want to adopt a similar style to building my armour because of the small build plate area,

(220x220x250)

This while small is still no joke to work with, I had to spend some time optimize my printer so it could efficiently print out parts for being welded together with SUNLU 3D pen, however I believe ahead of time this could become an issue, maybe I could opt to use sticky tabs to line up all the print jobs then weld them together internally then putty the outside before finishing and strengthening the build, so what am choosing to make a set of reach operator armour with the grenadier front (big ol tube for snacks or power).

So first things first I setup my CURA with the best settings for me for printing, I did several overhang tests and found i could tolerate prints without supports up to 65 Degrees, this saves on so much fillimant usage for supports.

Furthermore I elected to slice up the helmet to allow for efficient printing, however slicing can create line up issues and may either require re-printing or body work to fit together.

So after scaling the Helmet first in CURA (I constructed a sample size of my head in a 3D application and then checked how well the mask will fit to me).

I sliced it in the Microsoft 3D builder and oh boy was that a lot faster and better than Meshmixer.

1634993023214.png


I then Saved each file as an OBJ and inserted them into CURA.

To cite and give credit where credit is due, the creator of the helmet is Nerd Forge Designs, an undeniably friendly person to work with and has a lot of high quality reach gear and suits to sell.

The shops twitter: https://twitter.com/NerdForgeDesign

Their ETSY: NerdForgeDesigns on Etsy
 
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Subnova

New Member
Some Minor printing issues with the first print (back side looks like some fillimant didn't grip properly), will look into this is the morning.

20211024_003613.jpg


So I had a look at the final print, and looks like the exterior of the supports failed but hopefully didn't compromise the structure.

Cleaned up nicely.

I'll post when I have a few more parts printed.

20211024_011210.jpg
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Subnova

New Member
As promised an update, I'm super excited to see the end result, (not sure how to go about painting this but I'll be looking up some tutorials on how to paint PLA+), however as I make this i'm getting very nostalgic, very excited, and my inner child is coming out a bit as I try to put it on however you'll see why it is folly.
20211030_103120.jpg
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(I understand that I'll need to do some body work to this, if any of you awesome souls could direct me to a body filler you use, recommendations for a fellow Auzzie would be appreciated)
 
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S225

Member
Those are some clean prints so far! I'm personally using bondo spot putty to fill larger seams followed by rustolium sandable filler primer to fill the print lines. Both should be used with a respirator and eye protection ESPECIALLY when sanding. I'm sure there are less hazardous methods someone else will bring up.
 

NEMES1S

Member
Member DIN
S106
As promised an update, I'm super excited to see the end result, (not sure how to go about painting this but I'll be looking up some tutorials on how to paint PLA+, however as I make this i'm getting very nostalgic, very excited, and my inner child is coming out a bit as I try to put it on however you'll see why it is folly. View attachment 311154 View attachment 311155

(I understand that I'll need to do some body work to this, if any of you awesome souls could direct me to a body filler you use, recommendations for a fellow Auzzie would be appreciated)
i use a combination of 3d pen, then go to bunnings and get some selleys builders bog or plastibond. but lately for the small join lines i've been using timber mate wood filler it's non toxic so no respirator and you can apply it with your finger, initially i was concerned about its rigidity as it's not as durable as builders bog but after the primer goes on it goes well in small areas.

that is looking really clean through. I didnt realise 3d builder was able to slice, i still been using meshmixer to plane cut and then 3d builder to repair defects in the mesh
 

Subnova

New Member
Those are some clean prints so far! I'm personally using bondo spot putty to fill larger seams followed by rustolium sandable filler primer to fill the print lines. Both should be used with a respirator and eye protection ESPECIALLY when sanding. I'm sure there are less hazardous methods someone else will bring up.
Thank-you! I've spent a good couple of weeks testing, leveling and optimizing, I'll def look into those products!

The ender 3 v2 i've been using has been wonderful, looking foward to some more upgrades I have coming for it.

I've also done some resin work in the past so ill be using my good respirator :D
 
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Subnova

New Member
i use a combination of 3d pen, then go to bunnings and get some selleys builders bog or plastibond. but lately for the small join lines i've been using timber mate wood filler it's non toxic so no respirator and you can apply it with your finger, initially i was concerned about its rigidity as it's not as durable as builders bog but after the primer goes on it goes well in small areas.

that is looking really clean through. I didnt realise 3d builder was able to slice, i still been using meshmixer to plane cut and then 3d builder to repair defects in the mesh
Thank-you for the info, guess I have a shopping list for bunnings! 3d builder also does slicing, i found 3d builder a lot more friendlier than meshmixer (meshmixer has some nice ways of adding pinning to the object but I'm not that fancy) because 3d builder auto fills all generated holes as you finish cutting, you can also easily copy and paste out cuts into other instances of 3d builder for further modfication and copy them back into the main project. (its a microsoft store app)
 
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Subnova

New Member
If anyone doesn't mind me asking.

What paint do you use? I saw that rustolium was an option but i want to try and keep paints in the same family, any you could recommend?
 
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Subnova

New Member
Another cheeky update while the main helmet prints:

Meme unrelated:

FB_IMG_1635838314437.jpg


So with a few failed prints due to power failure (long story short I was thinking about how to test prints and thought, whatever I can use these pieces).

I got two of my failed prints and picked up some Tamiya paints and decided to get cracking.

I started off with some 240 sand paper and sanded away after sanding I applied the first layer of primer and sanded again, after this I applied another layer of primer:

20211102_153303.jpg
20211102_163931.jpg


After the coats dried I applied dark gunmetal:

20211102_170309.jpg


I then applied some colour and taped up some of the spots I didn't want painted (I wanted to achieve an effect that the paint was on the metal and not the other way around).

20211102_173002.jpg
20211102_173336.jpg


After this I wanted to get spicy and add in some stripes to see how it will look on the navyblue (intermediate):

20211102_174158.jpg


I wanted to sample three different colours because this is what I wanted to test against the primary and secondary colour of the armour and oh boy do I love all three colours:


20211102_182404.jpg


After this I applied two layers one after another dried of the shell of the paint this will protect the armour colour and apparently provide water proofing and something really interesting happened, not sure if I love it as it looks like someone sprayed colour on the metal and now its wearing or if i lothe it because it has kinda effected the primary colour:

20211102_183010.jpg
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20211102_183019.jpg


Otherwise I think based on this I now have a decent colour scheme for my suit!
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Subnova

New Member
Update:

While I Prepare for 2 13hr print jobs, I decided to weld and fill in big gaps with the 3d pen.


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My next Question is and a weird one at that, does anyone add a structural layer inside the helmet, I've read and watched tutorials on fibreglass, but to be honest, I am very against it's use and I understand it maybe a tough luck situation, for me but is there any non-toxic lining that people put in or coat the helmet with that can help make a sturdy shell?

Or is it ok to sand, prime, sand, fill small holes, prime, paint, and weather coat.

I'm A little worried that because I've gone for a 20% infil that my helm could potentially warp in heat. Was thinking of adding in ventilation fans in the back and front.
 

PlanetAlexander

Well-Known Member
I'm A little worried that because I've gone for a 20% infil that my helm could potentially warp in heat. Was thinking of adding in ventilation fans in the back and front.
20% infill is a good amount, though it's the wall thickness that'll really make a print stronger. In terms of the heat, there isn't much you can do there besides try to keep the helmet out of it. Filaments that require higher temps to print will be more heat resistant, but alas reinforcing a 3D print won't stop it from warping.

Fans are a good idea though, to help keep the inside cool and fresh.
 

Subnova

New Member
Oh boy this update I love to present my base operator helmet:

20211106_223026.jpg

20211106_223020.jpg

My next steps are:

Print out accessories
Put in holes for wires
Create circuit control boards for fans and lights
Sand and fill holes
Put in magnets into back neck plate
Install Eva foam and netted foam for comfort (take out for painting stage)
Install piping for air flow
Paint
Finalise electronics and shell
 

Subnova

New Member
Very nice, hows the sanding and painting process going?
Thank-you!

I was going to do the sanding and painting roughly last, as I need to setup the other components on the helm, however earlier in my post I did do a sample sand and paint to ensure my colour scheme worked and worked well with the PLA+, I just finished gluing the helm together
 
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Subnova

New Member
Another update with some fresh shame for me :p

So I have spent some time printing some accessories:

20211108_223313.jpg
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I'm working out sizing for batteries and circuit boards, the side attachment will work perfectly as it has depth and size to accommodate two 9V batteries.

So for the shame part:

I decided to do some sanding, filling and priming, because my wall thickness is .8mmx2 I'm a bit worried the overall strength is going to be well, limited.

So thank god for NEMES1S for recommending wood filler because after my first pass of sanding, filling and priming, I can say with certainty patience pays off.

Exhibit one:

20211109_190143.jpg
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Exhibit two:

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And finally Exhibit three:

20211109_192807.jpg
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If anything when I get back from work tomorrow, I'll hit it again with some sandpaper, fill it and then touch up the primer and see how I go from there.

After am a bit happier with the general finish, I'll drill some holes for ventilation, and prepare some slots for fans, I'll drill some holes for pass through wiring (between the accessory and my helm).

I will then install some connecting magnets for the back plate and then go for the final finish and paint job, I was thinking, gunmetal jaw and navy intermediate blue with the stripes from earlier in my post.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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