Custom Darth Vader 1/4 Helmet – Part 2 – 3D Printing

After finalizing my 3D model in Blender, the next step was to export it as a printable file using Cura, a 3D slicing program (it converts the .obj or .stl file to GCode for the printer). It also tells you how long it will take to make the model. For the mask, it was about 6 and a half hours, and I think 7 or so for the dome. The hardest part was waiting for the print to finish.

 

A few “In Progress” pictures. I had to print the mask and dome at these angles due to the way the program wanted to print some of the features.

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After the prints were done, I added Smooth On’s XTC 3D, a resin epoxy coating that self levels and smooths over the print lines.

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After I made the dome, I noticed it was a little too long front to back. And the shape wasn’t quite what I wanted. As you can see, mine was a little too  upside down”U” shaped compared to the real one.

To fix this, I took a deep breath and took out the hack saw.

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I pieced it back together using some epoxy putting on the inside and some Apoxie Sculpt on the outside to create the shape I needed.

After this came the most fun part of the process. Sanding. And Sanding. And Sanding. And Sanding.

 

And when I was almost done, I did some more sanding.

But it will be worth it. I need a very smooth piece to get a nice glossy finish.

 

 

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