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The BigJasoni's ROTK 3D Print Build Thread

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This is my 3D printed helmet. I decided to lead with this, because there's going to be a lot of boring 3D print talk before I get into the fun stuff. I guess throwing the helmet up there gives you an idea of what we're building up to. SPOILER ALERT... I had to repaint my helmet after I took this picture; we'll discuss that another day. Also, I was originally going to post this in the 3D Parts and Technical forum, but ultimately, regardless of the method, this is a ROTK build, so here it lies.


Throw my name in with the other ROTK threads, but let's do this with a 3D printer, and finish the project. This should be fun.


About two months ago I started searching the forums for complete 3D Print builds. This started somewhat out of curiosity, but honestly I think it really started because my wife asked if it could be done. Right off the bat, I found a few threads that looked promising, including Andrewhitc's 2017 thread where he was designing some pretty awesome ROTK models, and most notably, Cricket's Kid-sized FOTK build. After reading through miles of forum posts, I decided that I was going to 3D Print a full ROTK set and see if I could get it approved.

Not to sound too cheesy, but this is my journey. I'll try to update this as much as possible and use this forum as motivation to complete everything by Halloween.


I started by researching full armor builds on YouTube. Of course I ran into some interesting videos, but noticed that everybody seemed to be printing the same file from Thingiverse (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:391664) While a fun prop, it just doesn't look very accurate and all the results I keep seeing seem somewhat fake, if that makes sense.


They looked 3D printed.


In my searches, I came upon the Galactic Armory videos, which I thought were great. Though The Big Baby sticks to clones (which I'll build next) his Coruscant Guard build was pretty impressive and was ultimately what led to his 501st approval. Additionally, in one of his videos, he mentioned NerdForgeDesigns which brought me to this:





Not bad for an $8 STL file. If you're interested look here https://www.etsy.com/listing/808047010/ro-style-stormtroop-helmet?ref=shop_home_active_4&crt=1 The designer was very helpful and worked with me when I ran into a few issues. I highly recommend them.

After dropping the 8 bucks, I fired up Meshmixer, Simplify3D, and the CR-10S and got to work. For this print, I'm using Inland PLA+ and ABS in 1.75 from Microcenter.  Here's a look at my settings:




These are basic nozzle/ layer height settings. I've fiddled around with everything up to a 1mm nozzle @ .5 layer height, but haven't been pleased with the results. Until I'm done with this armor, I'm sticking with the .4 @ .2.



I like to slow down the first layer height in order to assure proper adhesion. I typically "babysit" the printer for the first few layers.


I experimented with rafts and immediately threw away my prints. Building a brim seems like a great approach. This teamed up with the helper discs I'll show later almost guarantee proper bed adhesion.



Standard infill settings



Supports are tricky. In the Max Overhang Angle, I currently have this set to 70, but I'm almost always generating my own supports. I'll explain this later.



Temp is where this starts getting fun. I'm pushing my filament out at 225 which is the max advertised for Inland PLA+. Check your filament specs, but I've found that if I'm pushing out higher temps on both the extruder and bed, adhesion isn't an issue. Another approach is to run the first layer higher and then settle down a little lower for the remainder of the print. I tried this and had some good results, but if the filament can handle higher temps, do it. Of course, this all needs to be monitored. If I start running into misprints or shifted lines, this and speed are typically where I make adjustments.





Cooling is pretty much standard.



No G-Code changes



Standard Script settings.



SPEED, SPEED, SPEED. Nicco Industries did a great video on speed settings. Check it out here https://youtu.be/UJF7vnJ1rNg

Essentially, he found little difference between 60mm/sec prints and 180mm/sec. Basically, with the amount of filling, sanding and painting you're doing post-print, the quality differences are negligible.






Ok. Now that the boring stuff is out of the way, let's start making some armor. I'll start dropping pics like they're hot soon.


SECOND SPOILER ALERT... I'm currently printing out the last two pieces of the entire armor set and ordered most of my soft parts. Additionally, I've already reached out to the community with general questions and others regarding sizing; everyone's been super helpful and incredibly friendly. The reason I'm saying all this is because with the entire armor set completely printed, the only reason I won't finish by my self-imposed deadline is if I lack motivation. I know that 3D printing isn't for everyone, but I haven't seen many threads where someone actually completes one of these projects. Additionally, If I can contribute to the community in some way, I'll be happy.


I'll add more later. 





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So this is where the fun stuff begins. 3D printing requires a lot of patience, trial and error. For the helmet, I initially really didn't know what I was doing and was limited to what I was discovering online. One of the first things I kept seeing was people breaking their prints into several smaller pieces, hoping they'd fit together, and going through what appeared to be an endless supply of E6000 and CA Glue to get it all put together. Again, something didn't seem right about doing this, plus with a 300 X 300 X 400 print volume on the CR-10S... why?


I was excited to see that I could get the entire helmet to fit on the bed,



But after hitting "Prepare to Print," I was greeted by this screen:



Look closely:


That's a nearly 5 day estimate, and anyone who's used Simplify3D knows that the program is a liar. My best guess is that the actual time would be closer to 130-144 hours, basically 5 1/2 to 6 days. But, this was using the standard settings, not the ones I showed earlier.


I decided to break the model into three parts, a face, rear, and dome. My thought was that this would limit the "puzzle" aspect that I was talking about earlier and it would give the machine less opportunities to screw up the print. Unfortunately, I learned a valuable lesson about 5 hours into the face print when I started seeing a bridge being built from the left tube, through the left hovi mic area, into the vocoder. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of this, but after talking about the issue with NerdForgeDesigns, we realized that there were holes in the mesh, which the designer corrected immediately. Regardless, the lesson learned is to inspect your prints thoroughly on the slicing software before beginning the print.

Since this was my first attempt at a helmet, I let the print finish and was left with what I decided would be a practice piece.



In this picture, you can see all the bad lines as well as the seam where the bridge traveled from just under the tube stripes through the hovi mic area and into the vocoder. Additionally, after I pulled this off the bed, that's when I noticed the deep lines on the bottom of the chin, which apparently is common with printing helmets.



I keep seeing videos of people 3D printing helmets where they barely do anything to these lines. Maybe a little putty and some filler primer, but no one seems to really take the time to clean this up, probably because it's not in a highly visible area. Regardless, it doesn't look good.


I decided to reprint in two pieces, but if I had to do it over again, I would print the entire helmet in one shot. My final pieces of armor should be done in the next couple days. Afterwards, I'm going to print a Mando helmet and just let it go. I'll let you guys know how that turns out. Here's my two piece print:





Notice that I don't use any supports under the dome. Again, check out this Nikko video where he explains how this works: https://youtu.be/LF10A1UEAaU. Basically, you put supports around the perimeter of the model, but nothing on the inside. The printer operates in a sort of "stair climbing" fashion, which creates supports for the next layer as it goes up. The difference in print times is astronomical. Again, look at the whole helmet with full supports:





And now without the dome supports:



Wow! Even the material cost difference is crazy. What's notable about this is that I forgot to adjust my filament cost settings in Simplify3d, so it's still assuming $46 per kg, which is crazy. The Inland filament costs $18 which is 39% the cost built into the Simplify software. The real filament cost for the full support model would be $53.43. Without supports it breaks the bank at about $10.56.


Next, I'm going to actually start putting pictures of the work in progress. This is where it gets cool.


Please let me know what you guys think. Also, if anyone has any questions about 3D printing, I'll try my best to answer.


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Ok. So I think I've got all the 3D print and slicer info out of the way. I can actually start treating this like a typical build thread, except without the BBB. For the time being, I'll stick with the helmet, because it's the furthest along. It was complete two days ago, but that's when I decided to get stupid. More about that later. The cool thing about the helmet is that even if I were to go in a totally different direction later down the road, I'll always have this helmet on display in my Star Wars Cave.



Here's the one thing I wish I would have done different. I really should have either asked the file creator to provide a helmet without a vocoder, or sliced it out before printing. I think I could have either modeled a good one that is "tubular in nature with a visible gap between the outermost section and the helmet," or found another to print or buy. After sanding, primer and paint, I'm proud of how it looks, but not having the gap is starting to drive me crazy. I almost pulled the Dremel out a few nights ago, but my wife spoke some sense into me. Worst case scenario is I print another helmet and take care of this later.


Here's the other reason why I'm going to print the helmet as one piece next time. Even though i sliced the helmet perfectly under the brow, the layer that adheres to the bed is typically rough, similar to the chin shot I posted earlier. This makes for a lot of sanding and smoothing just to get everything sitting flush. Overall, I am still happy with how it turned out, but this was the result of almost a week of sanding, filling, and priming.


Bondo Glazing and Spot Putty is my friend. I don't think the vacuum formed armor builds require this level of fun, but please correct me if I'm wrong. Fortunately, this stuff is easy to sand, but of course finding cartridges for my respirator is impossible right now. I've been using a cloth dust mask and keeping the fans blowing, but if there's anything that would dissuade someone from trying one of these builds, it's this step.


After I got the Bondo somewhat smooth, I went for the filler primer. Again, this step gets repeated several times; putty, sand, primer, repeat. Putty, sand primer, repeat. Eventually, you end up getting a pretty cool urban camouflage effect going:





This is also the point where I started cutting out the teeth, tubes, traps and tears.




The tears on the back of the helmet is something I refuse to do again. This part almost lead me to throw away the helmet, but I kept trying until I got something reasonable. This picture is bad, but now that the helmet is done, the results are much more presentable, and it definitely passes the "ten foot rule."


I finally got the "camouflage" helmet sanded down to around 800 and sprayed one last coat of Filler & Sandable Rustoleum. After a quick sanding, I blasted it with some white primer and got this:


Yes, I printed a Darksaber and Baby Yoda. Also, I was not happy with the Hovi Mics in this pic, so I found KamikazePigeon's file on Thingiverse, which I've seen several people on the FISD forums use. The file is found here https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3510123. These Hovi Tips allow you to add the wire mesh and look great when finished.

This next trick is something the paint shop used to do at the luxury motor coach manufacturer I used to work for. I was reminded of it when I watched Bryson Michael RC's 3D Printed Stormtrooper Helmet DIY Build video on YouTube. https://youtu.be/erxzsImux2Q If you can make it through the music he plays throughout the video, right at the 4:35 mark, a gold helmet appears out of nowhere. For the next 2+ minutes he discusses and shows the benefits of using a gold metallic undercoat. At the coach factory, we used to do this under a pearl coat and I was always blown away by the results. Even in a rattle can, the gold flake just seems to flow into any scratches and lines, and seems to work just as well as any filler primer I've tried. Additionally, you can really lay the gold paint thick, and wet-sand it down to 2000 and beyond for a smooth-as-glass finish. I've found that when I do this, the white seems to flow onto the surface, and just looks brilliant. Here's some closeups of my runs:



And then the finished gold helmet:


I love it. It's almost like a Rogue One version of Captain Pyre. After the gold, like I said, the white just seems to flow. I know that's the second time I've said that, but it's the only word I can think of to describe it.




I've got a bad habit of not leaving good enough alone. After a full day of taking pictures such as the one above, posting them to social media, and admiring what no longer resembled a 3D print, I decided that if the first coat looked as good as it did, surely another wouldn't hurt... I was wrong.


This isn't the disaster I've been alluding to, but as you can see in the pic, gone is the glistening white, and gone is the "flow" I've been so proud of. The helmet still looks good enough, but if you look closely, the paint has a texture to it, and would require additional wet sanding and polishing to get it back to where it was. I think the issue was that the paint was not fully cured and introducing another layer of wet paint caused a reaction. This also happened during the hot/ humid spell we had in Virginia last month. Since I was letting the paint cure in my garage, I think the humidity became a factor. Since then, I've let pieces dry in the garage for a day, and then after any noxious fumes are gone, I move into my basement to finish curing in a cooler, dryer climate. This seems to have made all the difference, also, I decided that I would add a layer of clear coat to bring back the luster.


My next step was to mask up and spray on the Rustoleum Gloss Protective Enamel Smoke Gray for the teeth, traps, and tears. Additionally, I picked up some 16th inch pin-striping tape and began preparing for a very simple layer of Plasti Dip on the brow, vocoder, and neck trim. I didn't even take a picture of the Plasti Dip; I peeled it off just as fast as I sprayed it on. Rather, I went with the Rustoleum Satin Black which actually turned out pretty nice.




After I added the Hovi-mic Tips, lens, and outlined the gray with an Extra Fine Point Sharpie Oil Based Paint Pen I was ready for my first Zoom conference.



In this pic, I still have blue painter's tape in the tubes. Can anyone tell me if it's OK to touch up the inside of the tube cut-outs with some Testors Model Master French Blue paint? I bought a bottle for my ab armor, but was thinking about brushing a little on the inside of the cut-outs to accentuate the tubes.


Here's this pic again.

Ao491Vz.jpgIt's where I should have stopped.

But again, I can't leave good enough alone. Remember I said something about adding clear coat. And, remember my Bold, Italicized, 16 Point, Red lettering up above? They don't mix... I didn't take a picture, but it looked something like this:


So, It's Sunday, 9 August 2020, and I'm back at this:



I got the flow back. I also know how to wet-sand, when to clear-coat, and the best way to do the gray and black. But, that stupid Sharpie. Can someone tell me how to draw those outlines straight?

I'm done for tonight, but here's what I'm working on now:










Good Night!









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The helmet came from NerdForgeDesigns on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/listing/808047010/ro-style-stormtroop-helmet. I'm actually working with them to get a couple tweaks done to the model i.e. vocoder and rear tears. Though I'm happy with how the helmet turned out, the vocoder gap needs to be increased a bit and the tears were almost impossible to cut. I asked if they could modify the file so that the teeth, tubes, and tears are not filled; they said they would tweak the file. Absolutely great customer service. As soon as they're done with the file, I'm going to print another helmet and start tracking the progress here immediately. I may turn the current helmet into a Jeddah Sandtrooper.


The armor has been a small adventure. It came from akira-yuming on CGTrader.com https://www.cgtrader.com/3d-print-models/art/other/star-wars-rogue-one-tk-first-imperial-stormtrooper-armor. The reason I call it an adventure is because I've thrown something like 20 suggestions to them for adjustments, and they've made them all. This includes everything from the rib cage flare on the chest armor, to correcting the hand plates. Every time I've reached out to them I've thought they're going to get sick of me, but on the contrary, they've been extremely helpful and have even hit me up with unexpected changes to the armor based on the CRL and movie references. They've got a perfect 5/5 Star rating on CGTrader, and respond quickly (typically at night while I'm asleep). 

Hope this helps. Both designers have gone above and beyond what I would have ever expected, and I will be buying from them again. I've already been working with akira-yuming on their Captain Rex armor. Please see the below pictures for examples of how these guys have worked with me.




I talked about this in my original post. This is the "bridge" that extended from the left tube to the vocoder. This was a result of holes in the mesh. I notified the designer and they corrected their file within 30 minutes. Also, I'm kind of glad I caught this because this was before I knew that I could print a helmet without dome supports. Look at that mess in the middle of the bed.



This is the corrected file. No bridge, no holes, and no dome supports.




Original chest armor pic provided by designer. notice how wide it looks and there was absolutely no flare on the bottom.



The redesign looks awesome and printed out even better. I'll post pictures of this later.



Original back pic sent by designer. Notice how there's no "flare" on the sides for the "arm holes" and no curve on the bottom.



The new design follows the CRL reference. Changes were made within hours. Also, the 8mm indent is missing, but I thought this should be added by the costumer as the position may change a little based on the shoulder strap placement.





Some of my notes on the hand plates included increasing the "fanned out" shape of the top trim, making it flush with the rear trim, including the indent, and decreasing the thickness.



New hand plate is consistent with R1 shape, it's thinner, and includes the indent. Changes were made within hours.


Finally, here's some changes they found through their own research. When they were able to find things in the CRL, on the forums, and in references that I missed, and then make the corrections without me requesting, it was confirmation that I found the right designer.


Pic sent by designer annotating the correct shape of the shoulder bells.



Corrected design.



Pic sent by designer showing the chamfer on the belt ammo boxes. I'm not sure if anyone has caught this. However, I just noticed that for Centurion level, the CRL states that "The ammo boxes across the front are all made separately from the main belt and are secured to it." That's interesting. I can't tell from any pics that these are supposed to be separate, but I may slice this myself and see how it goes. The front belt doesn't take incredibly long to print.



Corrected belt. Very detail oriented.


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First, I am jealous of your build volume. I have a Prusa I3Mk3 and I love it but that CR-10 has a huge build volume. I could have really used all that volume when I was printing my shore trooper.


Ok so your build looks good so far and I have only one suggestion. There are two boxes on the belt that have some top detail you need to add. Also, I would recommend you print the boxes separate and then add them to the belt.



Keep up the hard work, Also I added you to the RO build roster

Edited by 11b30b4
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On 8/12/2020 at 10:07 PM, BigJasoni said:



Corrected belt. Very detail oriented.


Appears separate 





Just note also that the CRL's are going under review at the moment and there may be a few changes on some pieces, I don't believe there will be any change to the belt at this stage

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23 hours ago, Darth147 said:

I saw that one too. I actually really liked their helmet and was originally going to buy that file. The only issue I had was they didn't seem willing to work with me on correcting a few small things. That's not a huge issue though, I'm just some random dude hitting them up asking them to change something they probably worked pretty hard on. They have some awesome models in their store; the b-wing helmet is phenomenal, but their prices were a little steep.


3 hours ago, 11b30b4 said:


First, I am jealous of your build volume. I have a Prusa I3Mk3 and I love it but that CR-10 has a huge build volume. I could have really used all that volume when I was printing my shore trooper.


Ok so your build looks good so far and I have only one suggestion. There are two boxes on the belt that have some top detail you need to add. Also, I would recommend you print the boxes separate and then add them to the belt.


I love the 300x300x400 build volume, but I'm already looking at picking up a CR-10 Max or a CR-10 S5 around Christmas. As much as I love this printer, I love the idea of printing out my ab armor without slicing it into 4 parts even more. What's cool though, is right now I have a Mando helmet (my next build) printing off in one piece, and next week I'll be printing off a Phase 2 Clone helmet for my Commander Bly build. The clone helmets are huge, but still fit on the build plate.

For the second part of your post, when I saw that the ammo boxes are supposed to be separate, I also caught the detail on the top of the two boxes. I reached out to my favorite designer again (akira-yuming) and they shot this over to me in less than a hour. I can't recommend them enough.








So, progress slowed a little after the great helmet debacle of 2020. But, I was able to find an accurate vocoder and have started working with the designer of my helmet file on a few minor changes. The helmet I posted earlier is probably going to find a new life as a Jeddah Sandtrooper. So, as much as it pained me to do so...



It's back to urban camouflage. However, now that I've grown used to these long 2-3 day prints, printing a new helmet doesn't phase me too much. Especially now that I understand how to do it in one piece.

I needed to get going on this project, so I printed the chest armor off in a few different pieces. While I felt this made the most sense, I really don't like "welding" the pieces back together. Additionally, filling the seam isn't much fun. If you look down in the lower left corner of my print bed, I created some alignment pins to help me get this thing perfect, but I ended up tossing them. Also, if you look closely, you can see that I have the entire chest printing in one shot here. I have the right side sitting directly behind the left. I think this was a 48-60 hour print.



For this print, I should have kept the chest together, and just cut off the sides. This would have allowed me to fit it at a 45 on my print bed. While the print worked out, a person should not situate big prints like I did. The Y axis is the most "jerky." I think I got lucky, especially since I'm printing at 180mm/sec.



This would have been a better slice. Also, when you separate shells, this automatically separates the shoulder strap slots.

I totally forgot to take a picture of the chest armor covered with Bondo, so here's a sub:




Really, it was almost identical to this.



As always, I sprayed the chest with my favorite gold paint, which seemed to work perfect on the seam, but for some reason, I kept getting these small cracks, no matter what I did. If you look at the bottom right where I sanded through the paint, and directly in the center, you can see what I'm talking about. Then, I remembered a video by Nikko Industries https://youtu.be/PcAd0kxbI4I where he discussed using Alex Flex spackling on flexible filament (TPU). Unfortunately, neither HD or Lowes had any, but on a whim I put some Alex Flex caulk on the cracks and it worked like a miracle.



I also got the side "extenders" (not sure what they're called) sprayed in gold.



On these, I didn't use Bondo. This was sort of a trial to see how the filler primer would work at getting out the print lines. I would only advise doing this on flat surfaces that aren't as highly visible, but in the end, they turned out great.





Yes, I got a "booger" up by the pectoral, but the cracks were immediately eliminated.




Really happy how this turned out.


Here's the chest and extenders together:




I think it's good, when I can see the reflection of my basement in the pic.


Finally, since I mentioned it earlier, here's Mando just getting started. I needed to do something since I'm done printing my TK armor. Also, I threw on a mirror for the print bed. I heard great things, but I didn't want to try anything new until I was done printing out everything else.


Take care!



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i get what you mean 

the nico henderson helmet is good quality 

ived had my printer down for a while 

your build makes me want to level the bed and start printing again

keep up the good work

looking forward to seeing you build complete

youll probably be the first 3d print ROTK

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It's coming along nicely Jason.

What do you intend to reinforce the armour with? Big pieces like the thighs chest, back and ab are going to need something on the inside as I know a few who have printed complete sets of armour now and all have had problems with de lamination of layer and parts cracking in transport.

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Hello Jason, the separate boxes is definitely the way to go. I have no idea what that 3rd image of the models is but the now separate boxes still do not have the top detail. Look at the pic i posted previously and notice the trapezoid on top of the #2 and #5 boxes from left to right. 


Now the bad news, the chest plate looks awesome but there are two trapezoid boxes missing at the top that the shoulder straps insert into. 



Most likely you can make models of the boxes, print them, paint them, then glue them to the top of the chest plate. I recommend you do some research to make sure you get the size and look correct. Also there are similar boxes on the back plate, and there is a rectangular tab protruding from the bottom of each of the two raised trapezoids at the top of the back plate.


Do not let these minor setbacks discourage you, keep at it.

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1 hour ago, 11b30b4 said:

Hello Jason, the separate boxes is definitely the way to go. I have no idea what that 3rd image of the models is but the now separate boxes still do not have the top detail. Look at the pic i posted previously and notice the trapezoid on top of the #2 and #5 boxes from left to right. 


Now the bad news, the chest plate looks awesome but there are two trapezoid boxes missing at the top that the shoulder straps insert into.


Thanks again for the feedback. It just dawned on me that you made the 11B3OB4's ROTK Build thread. I think I've referenced that thread more than any other; thanks for the awesome resource. I'll talk about the shoulder straps in a minute. The third pic you referenced is indeed the trapezoids that go on top of those boxes. The designer sent it to me as a separate file to see what I thought. Here's a pic of the two sliced together.



For the chest and back, when I inserted this pic, I noted that the "shoulder strap slots" automatically gets separated. So, I printed them separate from the chest and back. These are the trapezoids you talked about, I just didn't know what to call them.

I keep going back and forth on whether I should have printed them on the chest and back instead, but I feel that I made the right decision because this eliminates the possibility of a misprint on the smaller detail parts, especially since there's a cavity underneath. When I attach them I'll probably regret it, but I'll be crossing that bridge this weekend. You can see it attached in this Meshmixer pic.



Here's the golden trapezoids and shoulder straps after wet-sanding. When I started sanding last night, I realized that the paint wasn't 100% cured, so I decided to hold off for another day. However, after wet sanding the slightly "soft" paint, these got real smooth. I really don't want any more paint issues, the helmet broke my heart.



So, here's an idea I had after I saw the silicone shoulder straps on Jeff's 11B3OB4's ROTK Build thread, "can I make flexible shoulder straps with my 3D Printer? I've heard about how good flexible filament is for armor prints, but I've been nervous about printing with it because you really need to get the slicer dialed in. Plus TPU comes in various forms, so it's kind of important to test different products to see what works best for your application. Initially, I picked up some Inland TPU from Microcenter, because I wanted to make the rear portion of my ab armor with it, but after running a test print, I laughed pretty good at what came out.



I chose the Hovi Mic Tip as my test because it was the smallest piece I had and was only a 45 minute print. They look innocent enough



But they're very flexible. I could never make armor with this brand. The Zyltec filament Nikko Industries uses is pretty good for these applications because it's somewhat rigid. With mine, I may try to make some shoulder straps, but that'll be more of a test than anything else. I guess TPU that's this flexible needs to be dyed rather than painted, so I'm really not confident that they'll match the rest of the armor. I'm very interested in the silicone straps.

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15 hours ago, Sly11 said:

It's coming along nicely Jason.

What do you intend to reinforce the armour with? Big pieces like the thighs chest, back and ab are going to need something on the inside as I know a few who have printed complete sets of armour now and all have had problems with de lamination of layer and parts cracking in transport.


Thanks for asking, I neglected to add this to my post. Initially, I tossed around the idea of using fiberglass/ resin on the inside of pieces that rub a lot, but decided that I would only do it to pieces that flex. I'm more than likely going to do this with the abs and when I do, I'll post the pics.


One of the issues often encountered with 3d printed armor is when people decrease their infill percentage or outline/ perimeter shells in order to lighten the print or make it go faster. For mine, I left the infill at 20% and kept the perimeter shells set at 2, but I've also increased outer shells to 3 for a few pieces. This makes the armor a little thicker than typical, and basically gives the outer shells more surface to "cook" together. While these are fairly common settings, I'm laying down the plastic a lot hotter that typical. This really helps with layer bonding since I'm still running the .4mm nozzle with a .2 layer height.


In my first post I talked about the different settings/ combinations I've tried. By far, the worst prints came from the 1mm nozzle, but I'm probably going to step up to a .6 for my Mando chest piece, it just comes down to trying different settings until I find the one that works best. Also, I'm starting to find that filament brands all act differently. With the Inland brand, I haven't had any issues unless I lower the temp, or go too big with the nozzle. Temp swings of even 5 degrees have screwed up my prints, and make the parts susceptible to the issues you mentioned. Ultimately, I'll watch the non-fiberglassed parts and adjust as needed.


Thanks again! 


Edited by BigJasoni
Forgot something
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Definitely increasing the infill helps strengthen parts, I found this with a recent battle droid build, was printing at 20% (to print fast ;) ) but found on some areas like elbow joints it just wasn't strong enough for movement, couldn't take the strain, went to a 50% infill and is strong as nails. These are the things you learn on your way with 3D printing I guess.


I've often looked at the flexible PLI and wondered if armor could be made out of that but I've not tried printing with that as yet, I fellow member has shown me one of his printed pieces and I'm amazed how much you can bend yet it still goes back to it's original shape.  

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This is the video I watched that made me curious about flexible filament https://youtu.be/96mIEBRZvNY Rigid, yet flexible.

Of course it's out of stock, but I definitely intend on picking some up once it comes back. The only issue with the flexible stuff is it's difficult to smooth and paint. If I'm able to get some, I'll try it out and post some pics. 

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I guess it depends also on what paint will be used to, I find some will give a little when you flex but others will crack straight away so there is that to consider with using a flexible filament 

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This is the video I watched that made me curious about flexible filament https://youtu.be/96mIEBRZvNY Rigid, yet flexible.

Of course it's out of stock, but I definitely intend on picking some up once it comes back. The only issue with the flexible stuff is it's difficult to smooth and paint. If I'm able to get some, I'll try it out and post some pics.


Ok, So Akira-Yuming came through again. I asked if they would take a swing at altering the file for their ROTK Bucket. Specifically, I asked if they could remove the vocoder, and remove the filling of the teeth, tubes, traps and tears. Their response at 11:57 P.M. last night was "This is more troublesome, I will try it, it will take some time." At 8:42 A.M. the responded with this:




And with my separate vocoder file the sliced helmet looks like this:



I'm so excited to print this out. The helmet before the alterations was essentially the same as the one I previously made, which I loved up until I destroyed it. However, with the changes, I feel the helmet will be at another level. I was so happy with their work, I bought their Phase 2 Clone Armor as well. I'll try to post more progress updates later.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, I haven't updated this in a while, because I wasn't feeling like much was getting done. However, after looking at my MCT (Medium Clear Tub) I realized that there wasn't much left in there. It's not that progress hasn't been made, it's just that it's been slow. Additionally, the biggest issue with 3d printed helmets and armor is the sanding. Sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, and one more sand.

While I don't have a lot of white parts sitting on my finished table, my workbench is absolutely covered in primed parts that have gone through two rounds of sanding and are waiting for their final inspection before paint. Also, I ran into a few issues I wanted to get feedback on, because I'm sure they're problems the community has encountered several times.


First, since I didn't get to feel the excitement of receiving a BBB, I created the aforementioned MCT. Really, the only things I have left to prep are the legs and belt.




I may have to get creative with the lower legs because after 30 years of running and cycling, my calves are kind of "bulky." I can make the armor fit (as in the second picture), but I can tell that I'll be stressing out the Velcro every time I move. Here's my first question, what is typically done in these situations? I'm sure I can shim it fairly easily, but I don't want to screw up the aesthetics of the armor.

Please don't mind the Birkenstocks, that's my telework attire. Also, after seeing this, I'm glad I'm going to be tearing up the carpet in a few weeks. Back to the build:




Here's some pics of all my armor greeblies and a few other items for the blaster. However, I'm not really liking how the E-11 is turning out, so I may abandon that effort in favor of a built model. I really like the idea of getting a full metal blaster, but stock seems pretty low everywhere I look. After a full career in the Marine Corps, I'm really not concerned with the weight of an all metal blaster while trooping. Any suggestions are welcome.

If you look closely at this pic, you can see some print errors. For anyone else who attempts this, fix your print settings before doing intricate work. I forgot to slow down the print, so I left this stuff jamming at 180mm/sec. For greeblies, one should really slow it back down to 60 or below and decrease the layer height to .1. Also, if you look at the ab greeblies, they all separated from the build surface. I've since started using helper discs as seen below. Filament sticks best to itself, so if you help your prints out a little bit by providing a surface for it to stick to, warping in minimized. Also, since the helper discs are relatively thin, the heat from the bed seems to really keep them warm and stuck to the surface. The file for helper discs can be found here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:217725 Additionally, Uncle Jessy does a much better job at explaining this in his video which can be found here https://youtu.be/EIXvhJKRTU0

I have absolutely abandoned the idea of using rafts and do not advise anyone to try them. As I stated, filament sticks best to itself. Removing items from rafts is harder than needed, and typically destroys the first layer of the print. The helper discs do the same thing as a raft, but are incredibly easy to trim off.


My bed was a little out of level in this pic. That's why there's so much space between lines in the first layer. Typically if you see this, you can easily raise the bed a tiny bit. This pic shows me that the bed is a little low on the front left leveling screw, and very low on the right. My printer is supposed to have an auto-leveling feature, but I never updated the firmware. Also, even the auto-level feature requires you to perform the paper shim test, so I stick with leveling tests available on thingiverse https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2187071 and I always keep my eye on the prints during the first few layers. 



After I pulled the greeblies off the plate and gave them a quick inspection, I realized they weren't too bad. All the errors appeared to be superficial and could be cleaned up with putty and filler primer.



While I appreciate the print volume of the CR-10s, I've determined that I really want a CR-10s Max. With a 500x500x500 print volume, a person can scale and slice their armor and then print the entire section in one piece. Typically, I'll try to hide seam lines in inconspicuous locations (such as behind an ammo box on the belt), but for large pieces such as the chest and back, these larger seams cannot be avoided. Fortunately, bondo works great, as does the Alex Flex caulk I mentioned in an earlier post. On this piece, I had fairly good results without the caulk.

After I finished off my second tube of glazing and spot putty, I found a Galactic Armory video in which he mentions using Bondo Resin instead of the putty. The resin goes a lot further and does a great job at reinforcing the armor. I think the draw back of resin is that it's a little harder to sand than spot putty. I'll probably go that route with my Clone Armor. 



This is a small trial. If you look just above the top left portion of the middle blob, you can see a small crack in the paint. Similar to the chest armor, these were some of those cracks that just wouldn't go away with primer and sanding. As a test, I used wood filler to see how it would work, and the results were pretty good. I've seen people do this in 3d print tutorials, but I've been somewhat leery. However, after trying it out, I'm happy. I will keep my eyes on these spots in the future, just to monitor how it holds up.



After I affixed the greeblies, I was very happy with the results. The 3d printed parts add a lot of detail and realism to the part. I'm almost fearful that it looks too detailed, but I'll defer to the the CRL for that decision. Also, the last few pics are a little misleading, the appropriate curves are present at the bottom of the armor and at the arm holes.





I mentioned earlier that I didn't change the print settings for the greeblies which resulted in less-than-optimal print quality. But, as I suspected, the putty and primer did a good job at sealing up the gaps.



I really laid the primer on heavy here. This was due to me accidentaly dropping the piece after I laid down the first layer. I caught it, but left an awesome thumb streak going across half the piece. I wiped it down and then re-primed. All it meant was even more sanding.



As has become standard, I painted the back piece gold and let the particles do their magic, unfortunately, I got a little sloppy (which seems to be the norm with this piece) and created a few streaks in the paint. Additionally, if you look just below where the cat is sniffing, you can see the thumb streak I mentioned in the previous step.



Here's a better pic. This really sucked.



I wet sanded and coated again, but then had to stop. I've had so many paint problems recently, that I had to remind myself that less is more. This whole gold step is probably unnecessary for the armor, but I don't want any evidence of a 3d print at all.



Here's my second call for assistance. When I threw down my first layer of white, I decided to hit my shoulder straps, hand plates, and shoulder clips with a second. I originally painted them two weeks prior, but as soon as the paint hit them, this happened.




What causes this? This is the same thing that the clear coat did to my original helmet which had been curing for a month. Everything I read says it's caused by an uncured undercoat, but I don't see how that's possible. I'm only using Rustoleum products and have had no issues laying the white over the gold. The issue comes up when I try to add layers on top of dry white paint. After this happened, I sanded everything down and re-sprayed, but it happened again. Since they're small pieces, I just threw them away and re-printed. I really need help, because I originally intended to clear everything later, but there's no way I'm trying that now. Please help.



Got these finished. I think I mentioned previously that I've been using several ROTK build threads and the CRL as my references. Jeff's 1130B4's ROTK Build has been my favorite so far. In it, he mentioned that he had received the advice that "for sizing and fitting, you start from the center and work your way out." Though I haven't included any pictures, this is actually what I did. I'll post some pictures of the abdominal in my next post, but it is entirely unfinished. I kind of assembled it and have really been putting it through the wringer. Since it's essentially the base of my project, it's really taken a beating, so much in fact that I just reprinted the kidney pieces and am reassembling from the ground up. Also, the following question/ comment from Sly11 got me really thinking about trying some new things.

On 8/14/2020 at 12:29 AM, Sly11 said:

What do you intend to reinforce the armour with? Big pieces like the thighs chest, back and ab are going to need something on the inside as I know a few who have printed complete sets of armour now and all have had problems with de lamination of layer and parts cracking in transport.

So, while I absolutely cannot change the scale of the armor now, I can play around with the parts and really improve the process. Laying down the resin on the inside of the abs will be critical. Thanks for getting my gears turning Andrew!



Here's the base of the project.

Until next time...



Edited by BigJasoni
Added warning about using rafts.
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Great progress, I agree sanding is the worst with 3D printing, so time consuming, it's never ending.


With the paint issues I try to make sure I use all the same brand paint, sometimes different brands just don't like each other. Also make sure you are not painting an acrylic over enamel that can also react. 


I tend not to use Rustoleum most of the time, I and many others have had a lot of issue with the paint, non consistent flow, dry finish, paint reaction, runs BUT in saying that I did just use some on my droid build as I needed a satin beige and it went fine. I guess it could also be shelf life of the paint, doesn't get used much here locally so I gather is on the shelves a long time.


For all my armor that needs paint I use automotive acrylic paint, a little more expensive but goes on great, dries very quickly and can be sanded and buffed.


You are doing a great job, keep it up

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Paint fry sucks lol, Ive had it happen a few times on various projects. The paint has reacted with something on the surface. Sand and rubbing alcohol to clean the area seems to do the trick.

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First off: loving this build! I've been looking for decent ROTK files for a while. Once you're through this build and making all the enhancements, I'll defo be reaching out to your guy.


With the Rustoleam paint, I've only had issues with the clear coats when applying them to a fulled cured base coat (of the same brand). As in, it's been left for weeks to cure. However, when I've applied the clear coat within an hour (or whatever the re-coat time is) to a semi-cured base, it's been fine. Might be something worth trying on some scrap.

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