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Questions? Call Us: (334) 648-9354

3D Print the Perfect Costume

Technology in 3D printing has become a necessary aspect in numerous industries from business products to medical supplies. But it might surprise you to know that 3D printing technology can elevate costumes, props, and cosplay pieces further than you ever imagined! With Halloween right around the corner, you might want to take into consideration a new way to create the perfect costume unique to you.

When 3D printing your own design, you will get exactly what you’re looking for – and one that is unavailable anywhere in stores! While the printing techniques don’t change when it comes to costumes, there are a few things you should know before designing and diving into your costume project. The following tips and tricks can ensure you get exactly what you want.

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Designing Your Costume Idea

Bringing ideas to life is one of the best parts of 3D printing. But before your idea gets printed, you will need to make a 3D model of the cosplay prop or costume. There are a variety of software options available to help build your 3D model such as AutoCAD, Maya, 3DX Max, and Blender. Although using those programs will take some experience, there are plenty of tutorials online that can help you. Even if art and creativity aren’t your thing, don’t fret! You could always commission a talented 3D modeler or visit a website that offers open-source models, particularly from video games. 

What Type of 3D Printer Should I Use?

A question that is on everyone’s mind, especially if this is the first time you’re using a 3D printer to create a costume, is what type of 3D printer would work for this project. Understanding the types of printers and their price range is key. Essentially, there are three main types of printers to consider. Stereolithography printers, often simply known as SLA printers, are among the costliest. They offer a pristine print quality by laser printing with a mirror and photoreactive resin. Another common, but costly 3D printer is Selective Laser Sintering, or SLS 3D printers. Similarly, a laser is used in the printing process to melt the powder. But this type of printer is most often used for engineering and industrial purposes. For that reason, unless you already have this printer or intend on using your costume on multiple occasions, you can probably skip this one. It is probably more printer than you really need. No need to get too fancy if you are just planning a Halloween party or a night out. If that’s the case, Fused Filament Fabrication, also known as a FFF 3D printer uses melted filament (typically plastic). This plastic is melted and stacked layer upon layer. This is a very common printer and one you would consider most for your costumes and cosplay projects. If you enjoy cosplay and plan on making costumes pretty regularly, then the Fused Filament Fabrication would be an excellent choice.

Filament and 3D printers for printing

What Type of Filament Works Best?

For cosplay and Halloween costumes you’re going to want easy, flexible, and cheap filament. Inexpensive filament is great when you are tackling a project and need room for trial and error. Premium ABS is a great choice. If you’re looking for a premium solution, then go with a better quality filament such as Nylon PCTPE. This type of filament is great, particularly for wearable items. You might be tempted to go with PLA filament because it’s easy to print with and less prone to warping, however ABS will give you the durability you need if you plan on wearing your 3D printed costume for many hours.

The possibilities are truly endless when imagination and 3D printing come together. Your Halloween and cosplay events will never be the same once you start 3D printing your own designs and costumes. Have fun, and remember you can always contact us at GL Robotics to find out how we can help you!