ArckyKun

New Member
Hey all!

I'm new to the world of armorsmithing, and just about to begin what is probably going to be a set of Mark V(B) style armor, and looking for a little information as I like to have a full battleplan before starting something. I'm sure there are multiple threads buried in here containing this information, I'm just not seeing it right away.

So I'm going to be 3d printing my armor out of PLA, and I'm just wondering, what are the best post processing methods you have found, step by step, for bringing a suit from individual sliced up pieces to a finished state? Preferred way to combine and adhese pieces together, sanding process and what all to use, any ways you like to reinforce the seams and just the pieces in general to increase durability, what process do you use to prepare for painting. I really want to get a solid process together so I'm not discovering the proper way of doing things a few steps too late.

Thanks in advance! All of your suits of armor on this site look amazing!
 

Alcidine

Member
  1. Remove supports (Flush cutters, a sharp knife, and a steady hand are useful)
  2. Glue prints (I prefer cyanoacrylate adhesive, aka superglue but low temp hot glue also works)
  3. Sand (80 grit to knock down layer lines)
  4. Sand (120-220 grit)
  5. Filler Primer
  6. Sand (300 grit)
  7. Sand (until your arms fall off)
  8. Sand (or get a power sander)
  9. Paint
 

WZProps

Member
Hi there,
I've attached my personal workflow for finishing 3D printed pieces, hopefully that should help you out.
(Also, sorry for the weird pdf formatting, the site I used to redact it has some improvements to do with their pdf exports... but the info is all in there nonetheless ^^')
 

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PlanetAlexander

RMO
405th Regiment Officer
For increased strength, you can use a technique called print welding, where you melt the same material down into the seams to help bond two pieces together and fill the gap. On the inside of the armour you can also apply fiberglass (though that's out of my area of expertese).
When printing your armour though, print orientation and wall thickness are more important for durability than infill. 3-4 walls is a good amount. And keep in mind with print orientation, prints will always be weaker along the Z-axis, where individual layers are stacked on top of each other. Though, in the case of armour printing, sometimes it's better to orientate it in a way that gives the best surface quality and lowest material/print time.
 

GrmblBACHx

Jr Member
I seen some already recommend it. But I superguled my pieces together, then plastic welded the insides together with a soilder iron. The outsides are prepped by sanding using a tougher grit down to a smoother grit. I also apply bondo to the seams and other rough areas and sand them down to smooth out the print. After that use a few coats or filler primer and then sand again with a really fine sandpaper. Finally applying the colors, black, silver, my primary paint, and then 2 coats of matte coating.
 

G3IST

New Member
The tips already mentioned are really, really great.

Another thing I’d like to mention is an epoxy resin called XTC3D. It’s a two part epoxy that is super easy to mix and apply. It fills most print lines and gaps prior to sanding and can literally halve the sanding you would need to do without it. It also helps to strengthen parts, as well.
 

ArckyKun

New Member
Hi there,
I've attached my personal workflow for finishing 3D printed pieces, hopefully that should help you out.
(Also, sorry for the weird pdf formatting, the site I used to redact it has some improvements to do with their pdf exports... but the info is all in there nonetheless ^^')
Thank you for this! That's extremely helpful, gives me a good cut and dry process to work off of. Really appreciate it!
 

ArckyKun

New Member
For increased strength, you can use a technique called print welding, where you melt the same material down into the seams to help bond two pieces together and fill the gap. On the inside of the armour you can also apply fiberglass (though that's out of my area of expertese).
When printing your armour though, print orientation and wall thickness are more important for durability than infill. 3-4 walls is a good amount. And keep in mind with print orientation, prints will always be weaker along the Z-axis, where individual layers are stacked on top of each other. Though, in the case of armour printing, sometimes it's better to orientate it in a way that gives the best surface quality and lowest material/print time.
I've seen a few people mentioning about fiberglass reinforcement, definitely something to look into. Thanks for all the info!
 

ArckyKun

New Member
I seen some already recommend it. But I superguled my pieces together, then plastic welded the insides together with a soilder iron. The outsides are prepped by sanding using a tougher grit down to a smoother grit. I also apply bondo to the seams and other rough areas and sand them down to smooth out the print. After that use a few coats or filler primer and then sand again with a really fine sandpaper. Finally applying the colors, black, silver, my primary paint, and then 2 coats of matte coating.
Thanks for the info! I can definitely utilize plastic welding for combining pieces, and that paint tip is useful, i was wondering about that but hadnt looked too into it yet. Thanks!
 

tyler2127

New Member
I know quite a few have already responded, but I figured I chime in!

Seams: I like to adhere my seams with 3D welding, and if the part is simply too small for that super glue never fails!

Sanding: Start low grit (think something like 80 grit) and slowly work your way up, I usually sand up to the 300s. Oh, and get some sandable primer, because the regular stuff ain’t fun to sand!

Painting: Listen very carefully to this, automotive enamel is your best friend, even with just minimal sanding this stuff with erase print lines! Obviously sanding is important, but I find using a coat of enamel spray paint can be a quick little cheat to finish off the smoothing process. Past that it’s up to you! Get some painters tape and whatever else and your preferred paint and go wild!

Hope this helps!
 

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