In this video I show you how to make full size Mandalorian helmets using small 3d printers. I can’t print a full size helmet so I had to split the model and assemble the pieces. Learn how to make full size and kids’ size Mandalorian helmets that look amazing!
If yo are interested in 3d printing a full-size helmet, there are many ways to do that. First, you can purchase models from places like MyMiniFactory.com, or get some for free at thingiverse.com or prusaprinter.org. Many times the modelers will split the model into multiple parts so that you can print the piece separately and assemble it. With that being said, many times the helmet shell is a single piece that has to fit over an adult head and may require digital splicing.
The point of this project is to show how you can split up such a model into smaller parts that can fit on a more readily available 3d printer’s build plate. The 3d printers I use the most, the Prusa i3Mk3 and the Ultimaker machines have a build plate about the size of a dinner plate. I also have a Creality CR-10 that has a much larger build plate, but still not large enough to print a full helmet in one job. To split the model for printing, I chose to use a function in my slicing software, Prusa Slicer, that will easily split a model along a layer line that you specify. You can also use free software call Meshmixer to cut the model along multiple angles to optimize joints and seams. Once split apart, it’s time to set your robots to work printing pieces.
Now that you have a jumble of disjoined parts, you have to securely assemble them. There are a few ways to do this, some more reliable than others. First, you can simply use CA glue. This method isn’t the best because super glue is brittle and can crack at the seems. There is a product called 3d Gloop that chemically bonds the plastic together, but it works on specific plastics; PLA PETG, etc. Lastly, the method I chose to use in this video is epoxy. Good ole 5-minute epoxy is really strong and I haven’t had a print break using it.
Now that the helmet is assembled, some of the seams and joints might not match up perfectly. This is the real irritation with using a smaller build plate, but you work with what you have. I printed this helmet in PETG which sands a lot easier than PLA. After sanding the joints smooth, I covered uneven or rough areas with spot glazing putty, a Bonda product that hardens into a sandable material. After sanding those areas smooth, it is time to apply filler primer. I use the 2-in-1 fill primer in heavy spray layers and sand those after drying.
As you can tell, there is a lot more sanding and spraying with an assembled helmet, but this step is necessary to hide the layer lines inherent to 3d printing helmets. With a smooth helmet in hand, you can add a base coat of silver or white or black, depending on the overall color scheme. I chose silver as a base layer and used a color guide to help identify the specific Boba Fett helmet colors. An air brush and masking tape were perfect the tools to help get an even color in tight spaces. Specialty shapes and designs can be cut out from paper templates or a vinyl cutter for added accuracy.
You Don’t Need Massive Printers to Make Helmets
I am super happy with how this helmet looks! I have always wanted a Boba Fett helmet, but I let the excuse of having small printers hold me back. I hope this project proved that you can make amazing things, large or small, on budget-friendly printers. I know that there is a Black Series helmet available for Boba’s new helmet, but this one cost about $8 in plastic and now I have more paints to make other cool helmets. Go make something cool with what you have access to, don’t wait!
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Finishes & adhesives I like:
- Elegoo Mars Resin Printers
- Original Prusa i3 MK 3
- Silhouette Portrait (vinyl cutter)
- All filaments, 3d printing supplies from MatterHackers