Question for the 3D Printed Armor Wearers


Kazick

New Member
So I've been on and off working on my H3 ODST build that is/was a mix of 3d prints and foam. Things like the helmet and detail parts 3d printed, with larger parts made of foam. But upon reflection, and seeing other peoples builds that are almost all 3d printed I'm starting to put some thought into going down that route. I'm not happy with my level of skill at foam crafting, and I think I'm better with the printed and bondo and paints than I am the hot glue and knife. And to top it off, when I started I didn't have full access to a 3d printer, but now I do.

My only concerns and questions are, how durable is it?

My thinking on durability is this. I want to be able to go home after work, put the suit on, then get in a car and go to a meet up fully suited up. Local bar has cosplay nights every night and I figured I could suit up there once in a while, and I'd rather not have to lug a suit in a car, then put it on in the parking lot, then take it off to go home. I also have no issues with weight as I have said in the past, I have warn 40+ lbs of steel for multiple days for LARP. I'm just worried that a print might get damaged by sitting on/in it in a car or even in a chair. The last thing I want to do is sit down, lean back, and here plastic cracking.

This could probably be mitigated by thicker infill I assume. But what other things could I do to make it stronger/more durable?

I ask this knowing that a few weeks ago I sent my helmet flying across the room in a VR related accident and it didn't take any damage from the tile floor.
 

S225

Member
Still learning from my own prints but so far I'm really impressed with how sturdy PLA is. For example, the thighs I've printed are three .5mm thick wall layers. Now depending on the model you print, you could end up with up to 6 walls in some areas depending on the geometry and how the slicer software works. I pull the thighs on over some thick knee braces to keep them on and when bending my legs, walking and even sitting down on the edge of a seat, I'm pretty confident they won't crack! Other parts likely don't need to be as thick like the helmet or other less stressed areas. My chest piece is 2 walls thick, again at .5mm thickness per wall and parts have taken a few falls while playing dress up and taken no damage.

I'm sure you could reinforce parts with resin, fiberglass, and maybe even scrap PLA melted with a hot knife or soldering iron.
 

Emp Frosty

Member
So I've been on and off working on my H3 ODST build that is/was a mix of 3d prints and foam. Things like the helmet and detail parts 3d printed, with larger parts made of foam. But upon reflection, and seeing other peoples builds that are almost all 3d printed I'm starting to put some thought into going down that route. I'm not happy with my level of skill at foam crafting, and I think I'm better with the printed and bondo and paints than I am the hot glue and knife. And to top it off, when I started I didn't have full access to a 3d printer, but now I do.

My only concerns and questions are, how durable is it?

My thinking on durability is this. I want to be able to go home after work, put the suit on, then get in a car and go to a meet up fully suited up. Local bar has cosplay nights every night and I figured I could suit up there once in a while, and I'd rather not have to lug a suit in a car, then put it on in the parking lot, then take it off to go home. I also have no issues with weight as I have said in the past, I have warn 40+ lbs of steel for multiple days for LARP. I'm just worried that a print might get damaged by sitting on/in it in a car or even in a chair. The last thing I want to do is sit down, lean back, and here plastic cracking.

This could probably be mitigated by thicker infill I assume. But what other things could I do to make it stronger/more durable?

I ask this knowing that a few weeks ago I sent my helmet flying across the room in a VR related accident and it didn't take any damage from the tile floor.
"F" for the helmet/VR incident to start as said above you can reinforce your prints by adding more walls and infill or resin and fiberglass. How you glue, weld, or otherwise connect the parts is also going to greatly affect how well they will hold when putting pressure on them.

So far the chest for my current spartan build had a super weak point where the front and back connected so I welded them together using some extra pla+ and a solder. Now its almost like it was printed as one piece in that area making it so I can rest more of my weight on it when I sit.

If you've spent some time lurking around the forums or are already experienced with cosplay you'll probably have seen already (or know) that practicing sitting, resting, or moving in your costume is important so you know what you can and cant do without breaking a piece.

In summary so far I haven't had an issue with stability or toughness of a piece that was 3D printed that I've tested wearing other than a weakly connected stress point that I've already fixed.
 

Kazick

New Member
"F" for the helmet/VR incident to start as said above you can reinforce your prints by adding more walls and infill or resin and fiberglass. How you glue, weld, or otherwise connect the parts is also going to greatly affect how well they will hold when putting pressure on them.

So far the chest for my current spartan build had a super weak point where the front and back connected so I welded them together using some extra pla+ and a solder. Now its almost like it was printed as one piece in that area making it so I can rest more of my weight on it when I sit.

If you've spent some time lurking around the forums or are already experienced with cosplay you'll probably have seen already (or know) that practicing sitting, resting, or moving in your costume is important so you know what you can and cant do without breaking a piece.

In summary so far I haven't had an issue with stability or toughness of a piece that was 3D printed that I've tested wearing other than a weakly connected stress point that I've already fixed.

Thats one of the things I was worried about. I'm sure I could build it up and getting that feedback reassures me. I posted this, then sat and thought about it the rest of the day at work. At this point I'm pretty sure I'm going to pull that trigger and do a print. I feel like that's a better route for just how I work.

As for wearing armor, I do fantasy/medieval larp and Renfair where I wear 20-40 lbs of armor for anywhere from 4-30 hours. I've slept in my armor in the grass. So I am no stranger to wearing kits to get used to them. (I've walked a mile to Taco Bell in full kit just to get used to the weight and moving in it.)
 

TurboCharizard

Division PR, RXO and BCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
Member DIN
S068
This could probably be mitigated by thicker infill I assume. But what other things could I do to make it stronger/more durable?
Infill surprisingly isn't going to help you as much as you'd expect. Stronger prints generally come from more perimeters. Keeping a bit of flexibility in the structure will be more beneficial in the long run since a lot of the damage done to armour pieces is over extending and bending in one direction or another as opposed to knocks and punctures.

I like to add an internal fiberglass coating for a strong inner shell as well as a thin resin coat on the outside surface to help add a bit of strength to the overall structure.
 

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