3D printing is an amazing hobby. You can have fun with it year round. There is one special time of year, however, that everything gets kicked up a notch and the filament really gets flowing, or at least it should. What time is that you ask? Halloween! If you don’t have 3D printing plans this Halloween it’s time to start thinking about how you are going to get some serious use out of your printer. It might even be a good time to think about getting a 3D printer if you don’t already have one. 3D printing can be used to create amazing costumes that can rival what is used in big budget movies and are way better than what is available at your local costume store. You can be the envy of all your friends and share in the Halloween spirit at the same time. The 3D printing options for Halloween are almost overwhelming but it’s easy to get started. We’ve even got links to some super cool projects in this article so you really are just a click away from getting started. Even if you don’t plan on going big there are plenty of small fun projects that you can do to spice things up for Halloween. We’ve scoured the web for some of the coolest Halloween 3D printing projects for 2016 and included some easy tips to make your prints really shine.
Let’s get right to it. 3D printing a whole costume can be a BIG project. It takes time and effort but the possibilities are what dreams are made of for 3D printing aficionados. Just take a look at what James Bruton has done with his LulzBot 3D printers and prepare to be amazed. James is a master of cosplay and his Ironman suits (MKVI and Hulkbuster) are the stuff that legends are made of. While a whole suit may be a really tall order for most a high quality mask is definitely within most people’s reach and can even be printed on a small 3D printer if it’s printed in multiple parts. There are some great mask options available out there depending on how crazy you want to get.
Don’t be afraid of combining your 3D printed parts with some non 3D printed parts for really cool effects which can complement your printed parts and really speed up the process. A hose off an old vacuum cleaner, some hardware from the local home improvement store, or lenses cut from a plastic 2 liter bottle can really put that finishing touch on your master creation.
3D Printable Mask Projects…
A mask can be glorious on its own but with a prop or two you can make your costume drool worthy. Whether it’s armor, a laser gun, a sword, or something else entirely these fun and unique ideas can really set you apart from the crowd. Sometimes it’s as simple as adding a custom prop to a costume that was bought at a store to make it look awesome and unique. Your printer can also help fill the gap by making one of those hard to find accessories if you’re in a jam. I managed 3D printing hero status last year by printing a finishing touch for the little one’s costume. A sheriff needs a badge and when the store ran out the little one got a custom two color one off of the Zortrax M200… 3D printing for the win! If you really want to make your prop shine consider adding some paint, LED lights, or dare I even say robotics. When all’s said and done it will make a mighty fine trophy on your wall and a heck of a conversation piece year round.
Weathering your print can take it to a whole other level from basic paint and it doesn’t have to be hard. Some techniques are so quick and easy you’d be surprised. For a really cool weathering effect using paint check out this weathering technique that can take a 3D printed prop sword or gun and make it look like it’s just been through an epic battle. This is so simple that anyone can do it in just a few minutes.
3D Printable Props…
We’ve looked at some amazing costume ideas but the Halloween fun doesn’t stop there. Decorations and knick-knacks can really bring out the Halloween spirit around the home or even at work. Bringing your glorious full body Hulkbuster suit to work might not be feasible but these fun prints will fit in as easily at the office as at home. They make great Halloween gifts to share (or sell), and they can be enjoyed for weeks getting a real bang for the buck for your time and money. Most of these prints are pretty easy that can be knocked out in just a few hours.
Finishing your print with paint is highly suggested to make it look superb. It can help to hide layering and give a finish that is not possible right off the printer. We have had great luck with Tamiya hobby spray paint for plastic. If you really want to hide the layering left from 3D printing consider automotive filler (i.e. Bondo) and some sandpaper before painting. For the perfect finish use filler, sand, primer, and then paint. It takes time but you will be amazed at the results.