I thought I’d come and share a project I’ve just completed, where Blender was pivotal.
Maybe this is kind of a mini blog? It can be moved if needed.
I’ve been using Blender alongside 3D printing for a couple of years now, and have used it on a number of projects including a life size Stormbreaker, my first Kylo Ren helmet, Lightsabers, wands, etc…
For this project, I made some adjustments to my original Kylo Ren Helmet model, which I modelled a couple of years back, which was based on the Star Wars Battlefront game file, which I found floating around on the interwebs amongst Kylo fans.
Although most of a prop making project is outside of the 3D workspace, having a to scale 3D interpretation of it on hand can be incredibly useful, especially when the project requires you to make something that exactly fits a specific part.
A couple of good examples - If you’ve seen the film, you’ll know that the cracks in the helmet glow red. I was able to create a very simple (if not slightly crude) foam insert to house the lighting system required to achieve a similar effect, simply by creating a rough model in Blender around the existing model, and then transferring that to Pepakura Designer, and printing it as a paper template.
I was even able to easily offset the 3D model by ~10mm, which I knew meant I’d have some wiggle room inside the physical prop.
Made directly from the pattern generated in Blender:
Another example - I needed to cut two small foam shapes to stick some fabric too, which would be installed behind the faceplate. Blender again came to the rescue for this, allowing me to quickly and easy create a piece I knew would fit.
Normally during a project like this, my time in Blender ends when I start printing. But this time, I found myself coming back time and time again, not just to get templates or patterns, but to check the fit or alignment of things. Being able to hold up a real thing in your hands, and then compare it directly against the thing it came from is an incredibly useful tool to have.
A lot of people like to turn their nose up at Blender when it comes to 3D printing. For CAD, I’d agree that it’s a no go - but for something like prop making, it can be an extremely valuable tool, which I’m starting to see people utilise more and more, which I think can be a really good thing.
Everything you see here, was made in Blender, and then 3D printed. Of course, a lot of work happens to get it to look like this, but without Blender, I wouldn’t have a clue where to start, and my prop making hobby would probably not exist! So I guess…thanks Blender!
Photos - Real - not 3D:
If you’re interested in reading more about how I went from 3D model to finished prop, you can read about it on my website, which I’ll now shamelessly plug: http://www.magnaprops.co.uk/build-kylo-ren-helmet-the-rise-of-skywalker/
I’d love to see more 3D printing projects being shared in this community, and that’s why I’m sharing this today.