Why 3d printing IS a good tool when making props… if done correctly.

I must say that after a long hiatus, it feels good to be back to doing some actual building again.

The break was, of course, due to my daughters health, and even though the path to get her well again is long and uncertain, We still need to find these things in our lives that gives us strength, that gives us peace of mind and the energy to move on through these dark times.

For me, that meant taking on another project. I’m going to be a Ghostbuster!


(Costume still in progress)

Ever since I was 11 years old and went with my father to see this movie back in 1984, there’s been something about it that I’ve always cherished and held dear to me. A few years back I was happy to borrow a uniform and proton pack for the annual Sci-Fi convention in Stockholm and it was nothing short of awesome. Time to make my own!

The picture above is a work in progress of the costume. I am still awaiting arrival of my belt, but the rest of the gadgets that go on the suit have arrived… I just haven’t pictured them yet!

But, I digress. Apart from drawing and printing the hose connector (grey thing that holds the yellow hose) on the uniform, I’ve started to draw and print some of the things that go on the proton pack and gun… not to mention the fully 3d printed trap …

On the proton pack, I need to have what’s known as a Clippard Valve. I decided to make one on my printer. First off: time for some cad:


First print off the bed was not as smooth as I wanted, due to some of my export settings not being fine tuned enough for the circular top. I exported and printed a second one that was slightly smoother, but kept this for reference. It is a good reference of what a raw 3d print looks like, even when printed in good quality.


What I don’t get is this: Many people that 3d print parts for costumes or gadgets never put in enough work with sanding and polishing the 3d prints, making them looking not good enough!

This is not going to happen with my Clippard!

I started off by sanding off the biggest irregularities, getting it fairly smooth, then a coating of spray filler … then sanding again to get it smooth.

A few places (most notably the top of the thumbscrew on the valve) was also hit with a few coats of Tamaiya Putty, to remove the print lines. Again, sanded away most of it, to get a smooth finish.


Once sanding was done, I painted everything black. Two quick coats did the trick.

Although it is cold and freezing outside, I still painted them quickly and then used my fiancées hair drier to harden the paint just enough so I could bring them inside without smelling the place up.


I then masked the top portion away and clear coated the majority of the body of the valve.


My plan was to use Silver Leaf Rub and Buff for the metal part of the top of the valve, and as experience have shown me, this does not stick well on clear coated surfaces, but on raw painted surfaces, it fit just great! I also treated the top screw with Rub and Buff.


Once that was finished, all that was left was to add a metal sticker on top of it, to create my finished valve. Please note that in the pic below are two different types of valves, so they should look slightly different. The one on the left was my 3d printed version.

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And … as a final comparison, here are the final result compared to the 3d printed raw print. The knurling on the screw could be slightly better, but it is only really visible when being very close to the valve, and I am giving you the full horror here…


All in all, I am happy with the results, and this baby weighs just a few grams as opposed to the original, which ways about 100 times more. Every gram counts when you wear it on your back!

I will be back shortly with more about this new exciting project!



By | December 6th, 2016|Ghostbusters|Comments Off on Why 3d printing IS a good tool when making props… if done correctly.

BB-8 progress

Time for another update on my BB-8!

Things have been going well, and this week I printed the last pieces for the body:


In all, that makes quite a large stack of pieces that I need to go through and sand and treat and all that..


More importantly, I started experimenting with the weathering. First take a look at my kickass weathering mount setup!

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Once I had this on the inflatable ball, weathering was fun and easy. I must say this is a process I really do enjoy.


This was only a test with water colours, soon the real weathering will follow, this time with acrylics!

In addition to this milestone, I also got around to making a new PSI, since I lost my old one. Putting it all together looks really nice too!


Stay tuned… =)


By | October 20th, 2015|BB-8, Building|Comments Off on BB-8 progress


.. but if I was, there might be a few things I could have done..

First off, I would probably have added a few pictures with everything roughly put together, just to get something cool to look at:

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How, there would still be a lot of work to do:

The top panel .. well .. I can start with painting that one, so I can fix it to the pie panel ring:


Some filler primer first…. then sanding almost the entire layer of paint down to nothing, then on to the proper colour: The Satin White used on R2-D2.


The pie panels need another round of rub and buff, I think..


Much better. It is still a few things visible where I was rubbing too hard, but it will still be weathered in the end, so I’ll let it be for now.

The top panel has also been fixed to the pie panel ring with my glue gun. Melt glue is perfect for this. It will hold forever.

I remembered (too late) that the top panel still isn’t clear coated, but I can easily mask off the pie panels later on for a quick spray.

I have also drilled and glued magnets all around the pie panel ring and the top of the dome, to make the pie panel and top piece removeable. Works great!

What else.. ?

Well, The dome needs filler in the seams and sanding..

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A couple of coats of Tamaiya Putty, scraping with my break blade knife and sanding… and I think the dome is now one more round of putty and sanding away from being pried (with filler primer of course)..


This one will really look cool when it is all done..


The antenna pieces have also been painted flat black. I might have made the antenna a bit too long, but I can easily shorten it, if need be. Or print a new one 😉


Finally, I’ve spend some time with the holo projector, sanding all the small grooves in the rim, and smoothing the sides out. I printed this on 0.05 layer height to really make all the detail come out, and it really does. It has been sanded with 600 grit sand paper, and at the moment, I am unsure if I even have to paint it. Might still dab a few coats if black on it. It feels really smooth to the touch! Picture taken through my magnifying glass.

Next off, is painting the basic dome, but in order to do that, I need to find a decent box and get some time in the yard to do this. After that, the dome skirt needs a bit of TLS, as one part warped slightly and needs to be filled in before assembly.

That’s a project for another day, however! 😀

If i was building BB-8, that is…



By | September 1st, 2015|BB-8, Building|Comments Off on Still #NOTBUILDINGBB8 ..

Building R2-D2 is Stephen Fry proof thanks to caching by WP Super Cache