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Thread: 3D printing weapons

  1. #1
    Heroic Warrior trap-grr's Avatar
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    3D printing weapons

    Hello.
    Has anyone out there ever tried 3D printing weapons? If so can you please give me some information on how it works? Costs involved? How do you match colours, what brands to buy? Etc.
    I have thought for a while about getting one but I need it to a good enough standard to make custom weapons like changing the colours of weapons to make extra for faker or make Roboto parts in Trapjaw colours as well as just a straight copy to have extras.
    Thanks G

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  2. #2
    master of accessories facet's Avatar
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    theres a whole bunch of guys who sell MOTUC weapons on Shapeways, custom weapons for certain characters(evil mike, derwaffenmister, eternal customs) go to shapeways.com come and search MOTUC, and a bunch of stuff comes up. you can choose colors and different materials. the are stiffer and more brittle the regular weapons so you have to be careful with them, but i bought a ton and they work well.

  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior BadVermin's Avatar
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    There are a lot of MOTU 3D weapons and parts available for printing, many are free to download.

    The cost depends on the printer, size and capabilities, but decent 3D printers are priced around $300. For your needs, something like this would work, but you'll want to add a cure station.

    There are currently two types of 3D printers on the market, FDM and SLA.

    FDM printing is what you typically see, where layers are made by extruding hot plastic on top of a base. This method is cheapest, easiest and the least involved. The large base makes creating large objects easy, but the surface is covered in layer lines, so very fine detail isn't possible. While there is a wide range of colored spools to pick from, you can't mix and match your own colors without spending about 2-100 thousand dollars full color printer. I would not recommend this type of printer for your needs.

    SLA printing is where UV light is cured in a vat of liquid resin. Once printed, they need to be cleaned with the purest IPO and cured again under a separate UV light. This method is messy, has toxic chemicals, and has multiple steps that require additional accessories. The area you can build in is MUCH smaller, but fine details are crisp and clear. Most people use the small printer to print out miniatures for roleplaying games. You will need a heated and well ventilated area to set it up. The printers use liquid resin in available many colors (even clear), since it's liquid, you can mix resins and create perfect color matches. This type of printer is perfect for printing out weapons for MOTU figures, but it's small size makes other larger items problematic, there are larger 3D resin printers, but the price skyrockets quickly.
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  4. #4
    Heroic Warrior trap-grr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by facet View Post
    theres a whole bunch of guys who sell MOTUC weapons on Shapeways, custom weapons for certain characters(evil mike, derwaffenmister, eternal customs) go to shapeways.com come and search MOTUC, and a bunch of stuff comes up. you can choose colors and different materials. the are stiffer and more brittle the regular weapons so you have to be careful with them, but i bought a ton and they work well.
    Great I will have a look. G

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  5. #5
    Heroic Warrior trap-grr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadVermin View Post
    There are a lot of MOTU 3D weapons and parts available for printing, many are free to download.

    The cost depends on the printer, size and capabilities, but decent 3D printers are priced around $300. For your needs, something like this would work, but you'll want to add a cure station.

    There are currently two types of 3D printers on the market, FDM and SLA.

    FDM printing is what you typically see, where layers are made by extruding hot plastic on top of a base. This method is cheapest, easiest and the least involved. The large base makes creating large objects easy, but the surface is covered in layer lines, so very fine detail isn't possible. While there is a wide range of colored spools to pick from, you can't mix and match your own colors without spending about 2-100 thousand dollars full color printer. I would not recommend this type of printer for your needs.

    SLA printing is where UV light is cured in a vat of liquid resin. Once printed, they need to be cleaned with the purest IPO and cured again under a separate UV light. This method is messy, has toxic chemicals, and has multiple steps that require additional accessories. The area you can build in is MUCH smaller, but fine details are crisp and clear. Most people use the small printer to print out miniatures for roleplaying games. You will need a heated and well ventilated area to set it up. The printers use liquid resin in available many colors (even clear), since it's liquid, you can mix resins and create perfect color matches. This type of printer is perfect for printing out weapons for MOTU figures, but it's small size makes other larger items problematic, there are larger 3D resin printers, but the price skyrockets quickly.
    Great this has given me lots to look into.
    Where are these free downloads?
    Also do all items printed need a program to print? Is scaning an item you want to print not an option?

    So what I am asking is if I want to print something, do I also need to connect it up to a laptop, use an app with the design on it?
    I really don't know anything about 3d printing, clearly! Thanks G

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  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior BadVermin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trap-grr View Post
    Great this has given me lots to look into.
    Where are these free downloads?
    Google "MOTU 3D file". Here is a link to a dozen free weapons to get you started.

    Quote Originally Posted by trap-grr View Post
    Also do all items printed need a program to print? Is scaning an item you want to print not an option?
    You will need a program to convert your 3D models into thin slices, but most of the best slicing programs are free. I use CHITUBOX.

    I can't comment on scanning, I've never done it.

    Quote Originally Posted by trap-grr View Post
    So what I am asking is if I want to print something, do I also need to connect it up to a laptop, use an app with the design on it?
    I really don't know anything about 3d printing, clearly! Thanks G
    The work flow goes: Create or download a 3D model, then use a slicing program to create a file that is used for 3D printing. You load the file onto a USB stick, plug to stick into the printer, choose the file from the printers menu and print. Was that clear?

    I'm happy to answer any and all questions, I dislike it when artists are secretive about their technical processes.
    Last edited by BadVermin; February 12, 2021 at 01:53pm.
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  7. #7
    Warrior of El Shaddai He-bro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadVermin View Post

    I'm happy to answer any and all questions, I dislike it when artists are secretive about their technical processes.
    Sorry, I'm one of those guys, I don't give out my STL files, as I want to make money to pay for my hobby. Just like I'm sure the ThuderCats Battle Tank was prototyped on a 3D printer, but I don't think Super7 will give us the STL files either.

    But I will be happy to help you create your own:

  8. #8
    Heroic Warrior BadVermin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by He-bro View Post
    Sorry, I'm one of those guys, I don't give out my STL files, as I want to make money to pay for my hobby. Just like I'm sure the ThuderCats Battle Tank was prototyped on a 3D printer, but I don't think Super7 will give us the STL files either.
    You aren't one of those guys, you are showing people what you use in your video, that makes you one of the good guys. I charge for my stuff and don't give away free STL files either.

    I was referring to technical processes, learning materials and resources, not artwork or tools given away for free. For example asking what program an artist created the STL in or brand of paint used shouldn't be a treated as a threat. But asking for your custom brushes or anything you made is over the line.
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  9. #9
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    A lot of the OP's questions have been answered but as far as the scanning question, the answer there is "probably not", at least right now. Some of the larger weapons can possibly be scanned using consumer-available options, but most of them are a bit too small. Higher end scanners are capable of scanning smaller objects, but most of the options available to hobbyists can't do much smaller than a softball or so. Photogrammetry using web-based processing can give better results for hobbyists, but these still usually require a lot of cleanup and post processing. This isn't to discourage anyone from trying, especially the OP if he's looking to get into it, just to let them know that it'll take a lot of trial and error to find something that works well enough for them to scan what they want. If they enjoy the tinkering around with this sort of thing, then it's a fun hobby and they can have a great time even if they don't get the results they want. But if they're just wanting a means to the end, it's not quite there yet. However, it is a fast-moving field, and advancements are happening all the time, so my answer here will hopefully be obsolete in a relatively short time.

    And now, a tangent:

    Quote Originally Posted by BadVermin View Post
    You aren't one of those guys, you are showing people what you use in your video, that makes you one of the good guys. I charge for my stuff and don't give away free STL files either.

    I was referring to technical processes, learning materials and resources, not artwork or tools given away for free. For example asking what program an artist created the STL in or brand of paint used shouldn't be a treated as a threat. But asking for your custom brushes or anything you made is over the line.
    I agree with you. I have no problem with people charging for STLs or prints but when people are secretive about their techniques, especially more basic things that can trip up a beginner, that's kind of annoying. There was a guy in a customizing group I used to frequent who had supposedly come up with a great way to do some paint work that was more durable than standard painting. But he refused to actually tell how he did it. When he posted a new figure and someone invariably asked, he'd say something like "it's a secret and I'm not going to let it out. It's something so simple and everyone already has access to it at home already, so if someone really wanted to do it, they could figure it out like I did." That sort of mentality makes me bristle. Sure, if you figured something out on your own, you don't have to share it. But if you're going to keep showing off then act coy about it, that does not make you appear as awesome as you think it does, it actually makes you appear churlish.

    That mentality seems really rampant in the 3D printing community right now. There are a lot of great guys out there who will gladly help anyone who asks but there are others who want to act like it's some arcane magic and anyone who dares ask for any sort of help or tips rather than figure it out all on their own doesn't deserve to be in the hobby. I love seeing guys who have some real skill who are willing to help people out. While I'm still fairly new to this community, from what I've seen from He-Bro, he's actually a great example of the latter. He does some great stuff but he also does a really good job of walking you through how he did it, so if you want to attempt it yourself, you can.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by justwannalook View Post
    A lot of the OP's questions have been answered but as far as the scanning question, the answer there is "probably not", at least right now. Some of the larger weapons can possibly be scanned using consumer-available options, but most of them are a bit too small. Higher end scanners are capable of scanning smaller objects, but most of the options available to hobbyists can't do much smaller than a softball or so. Photogrammetry using web-based processing can give better results for hobbyists, but these still usually require a lot of cleanup and post processing. This isn't to discourage anyone from trying, especially the OP if he's looking to get into it, just to let them know that it'll take a lot of trial and error to find something that works well enough for them to scan what they want. If they enjoy the tinkering around with this sort of thing, then it's a fun hobby and they can have a great time even if they don't get the results they want. But if they're just wanting a means to the end, it's not quite there yet. However, it is a fast-moving field, and advancements are happening all the time, so my answer here will hopefully be obsolete in a relatively short time.

    And now, a tangent:



    I agree with you. I have no problem with people charging for STLs or prints but when people are secretive about their techniques, especially more basic things that can trip up a beginner, that's kind of annoying. There was a guy in a customizing group I used to frequent who had supposedly come up with a great way to do some paint work that was more durable than standard painting. But he refused to actually tell how he did it. When he posted a new figure and someone invariably asked, he'd say something like "it's a secret and I'm not going to let it out. It's something so simple and everyone already has access to it at home already, so if someone really wanted to do it, they could figure it out like I did." That sort of mentality makes me bristle. Sure, if you figured something out on your own, you don't have to share it. But if you're going to keep showing off then act coy about it, that does not make you appear as awesome as you think it does, it actually makes you appear churlish.

    That mentality seems really rampant in the 3D printing community right now. There are a lot of great guys out there who will gladly help anyone who asks but there are others who want to act like it's some arcane magic and anyone who dares ask for any sort of help or tips rather than figure it out all on their own doesn't deserve to be in the hobby. I love seeing guys who have some real skill who are willing to help people out. While I'm still fairly new to this community, from what I've seen from He-Bro, he's actually a great example of the latter. He does some great stuff but he also does a really good job of walking you through how he did it, so if you want to attempt it yourself, you can.
    This happens a lot more and in a lot more communities than I feel it should. People dont want to share the knowledge they accumulate and it is frankly sad. I use to see this happen in the 1/6 scale world war 2 groups all the time. People would critique you on your projects tell you what you should have done but never share how they would do it. Frankly this group is a breath of fresh air as 99.9 percent of the people are willing to teach and share.

  11. #11
    Court Magician
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    Yup. It's like the difference between a world class chef who will charge a premium for their food but gladly answer any questions you might have versus one who feels insulted you would dare ask for his secrets. I think a lot of it boils down to insecurity. If you're confident in yourself and your work, you don't care if others know some of your techniques. They're still not going to be able to do it exactly like you. If the only thing keeping someone from overshadowing your work is the fact they simply don't know how to do what you're doing, then maybe you should spend more time honing your craft instead of just tearing down others.

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    Heroic Warrior
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    I honestly wish more places were like here. Ive posted a few custom figures I have made and gotten some excellent feedback from people on how I could improve the next time. Also when I ask questions I dont feel like im putting people out by asking. God knows I bug He-Bro enough lately and he always responds and with sound advice.

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    Heroic Warrior trap-grr's Avatar
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    Hi all,
    This is just a hobby for me that hasn't even started yet but everything you have told me I will take note of and if I ever make anything I will post it for you to see. Cheers.

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    Heroic Warrior trap-grr's Avatar
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    I have one more question, what would be the cost for each weapon had? If I made a he man sword how much in cost of materials would that be? I guess I'm asking is this worth it? The designing is not my thing only have the end product. Thanks

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    Heroic Warrior BadVermin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trap-grr View Post
    I have one more question, what would be the cost for each weapon had? If I made a he man sword how much in cost of materials would that be? I guess I'm asking is this worth it? The designing is not my thing only have the end product. Thanks
    This for SLA printing, but the price is $35 per liter. The slicing program will tell you exactly how much resin you use for each print and calculate how much each print costs. I'm guessing a He-Man sword would cost less than 35-75 cents in material costs.

    When you pay a company to print your stuff for you, you are paying for the time and their expertise, that why there is a 10X or more markup.

    Even a cheap resin printer is going to cost you around $300 with all the accessories. So unless you need a lot of weapons, it might be cheaper overall to have them made for you.
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    Court Magician
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    Quote Originally Posted by trap-grr View Post
    I have one more question, what would be the cost for each weapon had? If I made a he man sword how much in cost of materials would that be? I guess I'm asking is this worth it? The designing is not my thing only have the end product. Thanks

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    It really depends on the size of it, type of printer used, and material used to print. Something like He-Man's sword, using a filament printer, would cost you maybe $.50, depending on the filament you used, probably less. This isn't counting the electricity used or time to design it, but it can definitely be worth it. I don't collect the Origins/Classics/original MOTU stuff (beyond my childhood collection), I'm only into the Mega Construx stuff, but I design and print weapons for my MC stuff all the time.
    Here's my take on Tri-Klops (next to the official Tri-Klops they recently released):


    And this shield was a 3D design and print:


    You can definitely have some fun designing up stuff and printing it out, just know it isn't something you're going to do perfectly on your first attempt and that it does take some practice.

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    Heroic Warrior King Tycho's Avatar
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    I'm a bit late to the game when it comes to the 3d printing hobby, it's something I'm starting to get interested in. This seems to be the closest I've found to a sort of catch all thread for 3d printing. We got our daughter a small printer called a Toybox. https://toybox.com/collections/frontpage

    It's not a high quality printer by any means, but it's incredibly easy to use, and very sturdy, and the company that sells it has great customer service. I've found a number of files on thingiverse, and tried printing out a Hordak that is posted there. I was very surprised at how well it came out on such a low resolution printer. I'd post pictures, or a link to the file, but I'm not sure what people's thoughts are regarding free files available online, or posting makes of someone else's models. (I'd like to start modeling myself, but I don't really know where to start, and I'd like to get a higher quality printer first)

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    Broncos lovin' admin! dorrmann's Avatar
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    I like the models made by RBL3D. He does charge for the files, but it's only a buck or two most of the time. Well worth the money.

    https://cults3d.com/en/users/RBL3D/creations

  19. #19
    Heroic Warrior King Tycho's Avatar
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    He's got some good stuff. I'm tempted by his Laser Power He-Man sword (I have a beat up LP He-man sans all accessories). What are people's general feelings about things like this? Is it considered copywriter infringement in any way? Or is it small enough scale that it's ok? What about free files online? I wonder about those as they could seem to be undercutting for sale stuff.

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    I just got my first 3d printer this week. I got the creality cr10s v2pro. I am not exactly sure what I am going to make with it. Was thinking of possibly doing a larger project like the attak trak from filmation as I worked in 3d modeling previously. I kind of want to make some weapons and stuff but not sure now if this is the right printer for the job.

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    Heroic Warrior BadVermin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by King Tycho View Post
    He's got some good stuff. I'm tempted by his Laser Power He-Man sword (I have a beat up LP He-man sans all accessories). What are people's general feelings about things like this? Is it considered copywriter infringement in any way? Or is it small enough scale that it's ok? What about free files online? I wonder about those as they could seem to be undercutting for sale stuff.
    I don't think the free stuff is hurting anybody (unless the files are stolen). Almost all of the free MOTU weapons are very simple designs that most artists can make in just a few minutes. The stuff people charge for are typically brand new sculpts that can't be found anywhere else and they are far more detailed.

    I just got my first 3d printer this week. I got the creality cr10s v2pro. I am not exactly sure what I am going to make with it. Was thinking of possibly doing a larger project like the attak trak from filmation as I worked in 3d modeling previously. I kind of want to make some weapons and stuff but not sure now if this is the right printer for the job.
    Sweet! I just got my first printer early this year. If I had that printer I'd be making vehicles, cosplay armor and life-size busts.

    I'm guessing small weapons wont print perfectly as the layer lines on FDM printers are typically pretty obvious, but the cr10s v2 can make stuff that is fairly smooth. You really want a SLA printer for smaller highly detailed items, but the small printers are fairly cheap, I've seen them sell for as low as $100 new.
    Last edited by BadVermin; May 7, 2021 at 02:54pm.
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    Heroic Warrior King Tycho's Avatar
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    I'd like to get a resin printer at some point, but it's not even first up on my list. I'm okay with layer lines so far. I still like how this guy came out. (It's not my model, it's a free model I found on thingiverse, so let me know if it's not kosher to post it). 20210505_112505.jpg

    When I have enough money, I was kindof looking at a flashforge adventurer 3. Anyone know anything about this printer? Anyone have any suggestions on how to get started learning how to model myself?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorrmann View Post
    I like the models made by RBL3D. He does charge for the files, but it's only a buck or two most of the time. Well worth the money.

    https://cults3d.com/en/users/RBL3D/creations
    I know nothing about 3d printing, other than it's cool
    Are those files that user provided the same size of the actual accessories for the figures or are they 1:1 scale? Can the sizes be tweaked?...

  24. #24
    Broncos lovin' admin! dorrmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MossMan710179 View Post
    I know nothing about 3d printing, other than it's cool
    Are those files that user provided the same size of the actual accessories for the figures or are they 1:1 scale? Can the sizes be tweaked?...
    You can adjust scale before you print. Here's an example of what I printed from the RBL3D files.

    Mer-Man's own Power Sword:



    Increased 250% just for fun:


  25. #25
    Heroic Warrior Wakko's Avatar
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    I very recently placed an order for four MOTUC pieces from Shapways. Love them. This shot was taken before I painted Netossa's mask. The bird stands I left as-is.

    Check out my on-going project: THE UNOFFICIAL MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE CLASSICS COMPLETE COLLECTION GUIDE
    Featuring photos, bios, accessories, release dates, and trivia for every figure, beast, vehicle and playset released in Masters of the Universe Classics!

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