3D printers are getting more popular as a means of building sophisticated cosplay costumes that’d otherwise be extremely difficult or impossible to build.
If you want to take your cosplay game to the next level and start building your first 3D-printed cosplay costume, check out this guide for a detailed walkthrough.
4 Steps to Build Your Own Cosplay Costumes Using 3D Printers:
1. Design Your Model
The first thing you need to do is to design your model using a specialized 3D-modeling software. Some of the available applications include Blender, Maya, 3DX Max, and AutoCAD. If you have zero or little experience with 3D modeling, you can enroll in an introductory 3D modeling course, or you can even go through a few online tutorials.
If you don’t want to go through the process of designing your cosplay costume, you can download ready-to-print models from websites like MyMiniFactory. Alternatively, you can also hire a freelance 3D designer.
However, it’s worth noting that designing your cosplay costume is the most fun part of the whole thing. Moreover, you need to take accurate measurements of your body to make sure that everything is built with suitable dimensions that’ll fit you.
2. Choose Your Print’s Material
Once you’ve designed your model, it’s time to specify the print material. The choice mainly depends on the nature of your costume. For example, if your cosplay costume is an armor, you’d want to use a hard material like PETG. However, not all 3D printers support several materials, so make sure that your 3D printer supports the material you choose.
3. Start Printing
Now that you’ve chosen the print material, you can start printing your model. It’s highly likely that you’re going to break up your models into smaller parts if your 3D printer’s build volume is limited.
Your model’s parts maybe a few dozens or hundreds depending on the complexity of your cosplay costume. 3D printing is pretty straightforward, and it doesn’t differ from conventional printing that much. All you have to do is connect your printer to the computer with a USB cable or WiFi (if your printer supports it), then send the print command to the printer, and you’re good to go.
The tricky part is that you need to make sure that the print bed is leveled correctly before printing to get an accurate model. Many 3D printers have automatic bed leveling, which saves you the hassle of leveling it manually. Check out this guide for more information about leveling the print bed.
4. Grinding Your Model
After you’re done printing your cosplay costume, consider using sandpaper to grind off hard surfaces and extra material. Finally, you need to assemble the model using either chemical fastening (bonding agents) or mechanical fastening (screw threads) and apply paint to your model.
If you don’t want to invest in a 3D printer and spend time printing your costume, you can always opt for a 3D printing service. Just keep in mind that if you’re planning to print more costumes in the near future, investing in a 3D printer would be much more economical. Some of the well-known 3D printing services include Shapeways.com and Sculpteo. If those aren’t available in your location, you can search for a nearby 3D printing service on 3DHubs.com.
What Are the Different Types of 3D Printers?
There are several technologies used in 3D printing. Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printers are the most common among hobbyists and cosplay costumes creators. 3D printers that utilize this technology are affordable. You can get a Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printer for as little as 200 dollars. They use a melted filament that’s stacked like layers.
Another technology used in 3D printers is Selective Layer Sintering (SLS). These 3D printers work by melting powder using a laser beam. These printers can produce models with very high precision and level of detail. However, they’re very expensive, making them more suitable for industrial purposes.
3D printers also differ in things like build volume, layer resolution, print speed, and supported materials. It’s recommended that you get a 3D printer with an adequate build volume since you’re going to print wearable models. Moreover, you should consider getting a 3D printer with a fast print speed since you’re going to print many parts to assemble the cosplay costume.
3D printing enables you to make any cosplay costume you want to come true. The procedure itself isn’t so hard to execute. You just need to nail the design to get the results you desire.