In this article I will reveal to you some of the benefits you can have using a 3D printer for your Cosplay projects .
We’ll talk about how to save a lot of time and effort by finding printable files online and outsourcing them to an inexpensive print service.
Or everything you need if you want to participate as a protagonist in the creation of your costumes: like the best printers to start with and the best programs for 3D modeling
We are ready? Let’s go!
I have been playing video games since I was 6 and have been reading manga for as long as I can remember, the characterization of the characters and the relationship of friendship and admiration that is often created with one’s favorite characters are the aspect I prefer in reading or playing something.
This is what makes a story truly memorable.
I was stunned when I discovered the world of Cosplay: seeing all your favorite characters come to life or being able to play them is a truly fascinating aspect.
“A crazy cool” I thought, I immediately set to work and then collided with the sad reality:
It was by no means easy to make a Cosplay costume
Best 3D Printer For Cosplay | 2022
We needed a great deal of manual skills, knowledge of the most suitable materials, painting skills and above all a HUGE amount of time and work! Not to mention the cost of materials.
Sure the satisfaction was huge, but would things have been different if I had a 3D printer?
I answer you with confidence: Absolutely Yes!
Now, once I have drawn or downloaded the model to print I let the printer WORK FOR ME , so I can use my time to do other research or projects, but above all in this way I always get a clean job, with very few smudges 😉
Best 3D Printer For Cosplay | 2022 Comparison Table
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Best 3D Printer For Cosplay | 2022 Guide
How does 3D printing for Cosplay work?
3D printing can give you incredible help in the production of your costumes, there are two possible example approaches:
- Download templates online and have someone print them
- Design your templates and print them with your printer
If one of the two doesn’t interest you, you can go directly to the next, but in the meantime let’s see what the basics of the technology are 😉
I will briefly tell you about the FDM printer, that is, plastic filament fusion
FDM printers are the cheapest and easiest to use 🙂
They essentially need two things:
- A template to print (the format used is .stl) that you will need to design or download from the internet
- reels of plastic material in the form of filaments that are melted and deposited by the printer layer by layer to create the final object.
They are great for making plastic items as cosplay accessories, because they can work completely autonomously , so you can spend time doing other things 😉
Read this article if you want to know EVERYTHING about FDM printers.
Well, now that you know what it takes, let’s move on to:
Where to download 3D models to be printed
There are really well-stocked portals where you can get ideas and download 3D models for free.
Start from Thingiverse, take a look at the categories and do some research in the search bar (for example Naruto), you will immediately see how many incredible possibilities are available ready-made!
All you have to do is download the file and contact a print service to have it printed and shipped home!
Design your own templates and print them
You will need:
- a good pc
- a modeling software
- a slicing program
- a 3D printer and filament
A performing PC is essential to be able to model with 3D software, files tend to become very large and if you don’t have a good processor, drawing can become slow and truly a nightmare.
Once you get the pc you will have to choose a modeling program, there are several, I recommend these:
- Sculptris : is a free software from pixologic, it allows you to “sculpt” as if you were using clay, suitable for anatomical drawing with free forms.
- Fusion 360 : is an Autodesk home software downloadable with free license, excellent for drawing geometric details, but also useful for anatomical shapes.
Let’s now pass to the slicing software: slicing is the process that allows the printer to “understand the design” you are feeding it. The software creates the commands and sends them to the printer which proceeds with the printing of each single layer of the object. Here you will find a guide on how to use it!
Among the best we have:
- Simplify 3D : it is the top, and it is paid at $ 149
- Slic3r : is a free software widely used in the 3D world
- Cura : another free software like Slic3r
Last but not least, you will need a 3D printer, if you are starting out I definitely recommend an FDM , they are simpler and cheaper.
You will need a generous print volume for your creations, as most of your designs will be wearable.
The printers can be in kits to be assembled or already assembled, the kits cost less but you will have to take into account the time to assemble and calibrate it, the assembled arrive at home assembled and calibrated and are ready for printing.
- Creality3d – CR10-s Kit: a Low-Cost FDM printer that comes in Kit, its strong point is the huge printing plate up to 500x500x500 mm. You can truly print anything with this volume!
- Prusa i3 Mk3: It is the famous Prusa printer, very smart and with a huge support community, you can buy it in kit or pre-assembled, the print volume is 250x210x200 mm.
- Anycubic i3: it is a replica of the Prusa model (MK2), it arrives home assembled (in 10 minutes) and it is VERY cheap, the value for money is truly remarkable! Print volume 210x210x205 mm
And once it’s printed?
Most budget FDM printers can print one color at a time, although there are models that can print multiple colors at the same time.
When used well, printers produce aesthetically pleasing objects, but it is often necessary to print media to support the print on its way.
These supports will be removed later with a nice pair of pliers or cutters, and will inevitably leave some marks on the surface of the object.
Often it is also necessary to divide the objects and print them into several parts and then glue them later.
Therefore, for those who want a truly excellent product , such as a Cosplay accessory, they will need to work the object once removed from the printing plate, this is what we mean by Post-production.
You will therefore have to:
- Smooth the surface of the object with various shades of sandpaper
- Apply a Primer to create a perfectly smooth surface
- Paint with Airbrush or Acrylic can etc.
Also in this case you can decide to do everything by yourself or have the printing service work that will print the objects for you and send them home finished and ready to use!
So what is best to do?
We have come to the conclusion of this article, if you liked it how about sharing it?
At this point you may be wondering: so what is best to do?
Let me try to clarify your ideas with a few questions and answers 😉
- Do you want to save time? Download a file or have someone model it and have it printed by a service
- Do you want to save money? Download the available files and have them printed by a friend or a service.
- Do you want to be autonomous? Buy a printer and learn how to use it, in our blog you will find many guides that can help you in a practical way
- Do you want high quality items? If you do not have great manual skills or time it is better to use a 3D printer or entrust the project to a service
Good! You will have understood that you have two options: rely on someone or make an investment in the printer and study to be able to fully use it.
The choice depends only on what you feel 🙂
Let’s say if you’ve tried to make a costume and the result is this
I definitely recommend you to think about 3D printing 😀
It is certain that 3D printing is becoming more and more available to everyone, but it remains a technical area where you have to study a lot to know how to use software and understand the problematic situations that can occur during printing.
Learning 3D printing is a process that goes through understanding the motivation of your mistakes (print fails) and it will take some time before you are fully aware of the procedures and settings to be used in each case.
Are you willing to get involved?
If the answer is yes, then buy a printer now! I have recommended 3 that are right for you!
If, on the other hand, you prefer to spend your time in other ways, for example improving in painting to refine your costumes, I highly recommend that you rely on someone who knows how to use printers and all the necessary software! You’ll save yourself a few headaches and have your Cosplay accessories shipped home!