By Whitney Hipolite | 3D Print
We have seen some tremendous looking projects involving 3D printed cosplay, but I don’t think we have seen one quite as incredible as what one young woman named Chelsea has come up with. Avid fan of the science fiction action-adventure video game series, Metroid, Chelsea set out to create a 3D printed full-body “Varia Suit” worn by the game’s protagonist, Samus Aran. Starting in early 2013, Chelsea began working on her Varia Suit, and has finally completed the long process of designing and printing it.
“Originally I had planned on doing the pepakura method but right as I was about to get into it, a good friend of mine told me he had just purchased a couple Zcorp 450 3D printers,” explained Chelsea. “I couldn’t believe my ears. I had briefly looked into 3D printing a while before this and discovered how ridiculously overpriced it is to get things printed.”
Thanks to her friend Matt Serle, who helped Chelsea handle over 100 hours of post processing and hundreds of hours of just printing the pieces to perfection, Chelsea was able realize her goal for only the cost of materials. Because the print bed on the Zcorp 450 is only 8″ x 10″ x 8″, Chelsea had to break the prints down into many small parts. For example, the helmet alone was printed in four separate pieces, and then glued together.
Some of the design files that Chelsea used were obtained from other 3D modelers, while for the rest, she used Maya to model, and then Zbrush to smooth them out. This allowed her to get the perfect sized pieces, just how she wanted them.
Once the pieces were printed out and glued together, Chelsea realized that something needed to be done to take the rough, layered look of the 3D printed objects and make them as smooth as possible. She sanded them down the best she could, but still found that the surfaces were not quite as smooth as she needed them to be. To fix this problem, she got the ingenious idea of applying a thin coat of Bondo to fill in the grooves, and then resand them. Once she had the pieces as smooth as she could get them, she applied a primer to each object.
Painting the objects was a bit tricky, particularly finding the right paint. “I had to go around to several auto parts stores, have new stock sent in, and also order some online to find enough,” wrote Chelsea. “The stores either had one can or none (of the particular copper paint she needed). I ended up finding some on eBay.”
Just recently Chelsea finished the project which took her hundreds of hours of tedious, hard work to complete. The results were quite phenomenal, to say the least, as you can tell in the photographs provided. Be sure to check out Chelsea’s blogfor more details on this project.
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