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

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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!

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(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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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…

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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!

cheers,

Micke

By | 2016-12-06T00:44:35+00:00 December 6th, 2016|Ghostbusters|Comments Off on Why 3d printing IS a good tool when making props… if done correctly.

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