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  1. Talaaya's Avatar
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    May 29, 2013, 3:15 AM - 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit - FINISHED! (Pics on pg.14) #1

    (My progress is being covered in more detail on my blog here.)

    For the last several months I've been working hard on my Varia Suit from Metroid Prime 3. Originally I had planned on doing the pepakura method but right as I was about to get into it, a good friend of mine, Matthew Serle, told me he had just purchased a couple Zcorp 450 3d printers. 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 from a company like Shapeways, so I had ruled it out. But my friend is only charging me cost of materials (still quite expensive, but totally worth it for all the effort saved and the ridiculous accuracy)! I'm still using pepakura in a sort of trial and error method in order to correctly size the prints. It has to be right the first time it's printed, or that's a very expensive mistake!
    Here's my pep'd helmet. Only took me about 5 tries to get it just right!



    Luckily the peps don't have to be super amazing looking since I'm only using them for sizing purposes, but all my files are available on my blog here and anyone is welcome to use them!


    This is the 3d model for the helmet. It's based on this model I found on the garry's mod site (you'll need an account to download the files). That appears to be the actual Metroid Prime 3 model and it's even rigged well enough to pose her limbs. However, the original model is super low poly and not even good enough to use for pepakura. My pep files are heavily edited versions of the original model, and my high poly models are completely my own (other than being based directly off the original look of the model).

    (The visor was not included in the actual print.)

    The printed helmet:

    The left forearm and the elbow cap:

    (Half the arm is gray because a little bit of color ink got mixed in by accident.)

    The helmet print had to be done in four pieces because the printer bed is only 8"x10"x8". I successfully glued the pieces together, but not without a ton of work. The pieces must have gotten warped during the curing process (which consists of superglue being poured over the object or the object being dipped in super glue) and also for some reason the grooves on the back side didn't match up with the front grooves even though it was printed directly from my correct model. I still have no idea. Anyway, I had to grind off a wedge shape on each side of the back piece on the center groove, meaning I also had to grind a new groove.

    Here's the complete helmet. The pink is bondo to fix the imperfections. Note the top right picture - you can just make out a line of white on the left half. That's the front half of the helmet mismatching the back side. The warping made it off by quite a bit.


    Recently I sprayed a coat of primer on it to find any rough bits I couldn't see or feel in its previous state (it felt pretty smooth, but apparently wasn't).


    You can see in this picture how there are still little grooves all over the place. The 3d printer prints in layers and as a result leaves a sort of wood grain-like texture. I sanded this way down, but apparently quite a bit was still there. To fix this I'll be applying a super thin coat of bondo to just fill in those grooves and then I'll re-sand it. I already did this to the forearm:

    They sure look ugly, but holy crap are they smooth!

    I've got a few other parts of the costume in progress but I'll post about those later when they're at a place I can show. I should be getting the shoulder prints very soon, and I have the chest and arm cannon models ready to print too. That just leaves the outer thighs and lower legs. The rest will be EVA foam coated in plastidip then painted.

    I'm new to cosplay so any advice you have would be greatly appreciated! Yeah, I know. My first cosplay is one of the hardest I could have chosen. What can I say? I like a challenge.

    I'm so excited to see this completed! My goal is PAX 2013 but I'm really scared I won't be done in time. This is going to be one busy summer!

    (My progress is being covered in more detail on my blog here.)
    Last edited by Talaaya; Nov 30, 2014 at 4:24 PM.
  2. Member Since
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    May 29, 2013, 7:36 AM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #2

    Dang, i need a 3d printer! he he.
  3. typewriter is offline typewriter
    May 29, 2013, 8:03 AM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #3

    I'm jealous......... hahaha nice print!
  4. Member Since
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    edmonton, canada
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    May 29, 2013, 12:02 PM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #4

    This is great. I need to get this 3d printer too.
  5. RPF Premium Member Murdoch's Avatar
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    May 29, 2013, 12:18 PM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #5

    Holy crap. Totally unfamilliar with this subject, but those are some mad skills...GM
  6. tauriice's Avatar
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    May 29, 2013, 2:18 PM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #6

    Amazing! I would love to build this suit someday. You are totally lucky to have a friend with a 3D printer, that would save so much time and the results are really great even if you have to go back and do some touch up work. Can't wait to see more progress.
  7. FatMan is offline FatMan
    May 29, 2013, 2:23 PM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #7




  8. YenChih Lin's Avatar
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    May 29, 2013, 2:32 PM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #8

    Now that's an impressive way to enter the RPF
  9. RPF Premium Member El Fett's Avatar
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    May 29, 2013, 2:56 PM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #9

    man...love it or hate it, it looks like 3D printing is where its at...wish I could afford it

    Looking great!
  10. msleeper is offline msleeper
    May 29, 2013, 4:06 PM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #10

    What material does your Zcorp print in? I've printed on a Zcorp Z402 and the results were, uh, not nearly as attractive.
  11. Haystack Hair's Avatar
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    May 29, 2013, 4:14 PM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #11

    Whoa this is going to be a thing of beauty. Also seconded with msleeper's comment, the prints look very good
  12. msleeper is offline msleeper
    May 29, 2013, 4:18 PM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #12

    Will, are you forum stalking me? ;3
  13. Bluesfier's Avatar
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    May 29, 2013, 4:25 PM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #13

    Wow, those are looking amazing! You are going to be the best Samus around.
  14. armoredbursh's Avatar
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    May 29, 2013, 4:29 PM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #14

    Incredible work! are you planning to do a run on the helmet by any chance?
  15. RPF Social Media Team Zendragon's Avatar
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    May 29, 2013, 4:48 PM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #15

    Oh man, too cool!!
  16. Balmung's Avatar
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    May 29, 2013, 6:06 PM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #16

    I saw this in Thorssoli Iron man topic,totally fits here:

    How I want a 3d printer

    wonderful work
    Last edited by Balmung; May 29, 2013 at 6:17 PM.
  17. Talaaya's Avatar
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    May 29, 2013, 10:17 PM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #17

    Thanks for all the positive feedback!

    msleeper said: View Post
    What material does your Zcorp print in? I've printed on a Zcorp Z402 and the results were, uh, not nearly as attractive.
    Zcorp zp150 composite material. It could be the material or also that the higher series printers just make much nicer prints, but I don't personally have any experience with other printers.

    armoredbursh said: View Post
    Incredible work! are you planning to do a run on the helmet by any chance?
    Thanks! Unfortunately this is just a personal project for me. If you'd like to use my pepakura files that I linked in my first post, you are more than welcome.
  18. Haystack Hair's Avatar
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    May 30, 2013, 12:24 PM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #18

    msleeper said: View Post
    Will, are you forum stalking me? ;3
    Not intentionally! Because you're a contact, I see all the threads you've commented on, so naturally I was interested by a goshdarn 3-D printed Varia Suit
  19. Talaaya's Avatar
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    Jun 2, 2013, 4:16 AM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #19

    I applied a thin coat of bondo to most of the helmet last night, then spent over 6 hours today sanding it back down. It's super smooth now!



    It looks like it's still got texture to it in some parts, but it's just an illusion. Tomorrow I'm going to apply a new coat of primer and go on a supply run. Hopefully I can find the right color of red paint this time.
  20. Member Since
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    Jun 2, 2013, 4:33 AM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #20

    Incredible work! Looking forward to seeing it finished!
  21. Talaaya's Avatar
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    Jun 3, 2013, 2:16 AM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #21

    New coat of primer is on!






    So much better!

    You may notice the grooves haven't been sanded. I left it as is for a couple reasons: it's very difficult to get sandpaper in there (and the dremel melts the plastic which ruins the bit quickly), and I kinda like the contrast it provides. It's hardly noticeable in person anyway.

    I also tested a red spray paint today, but I don't like it. Spray cans leave a very visible stippling texture (which I suppose I could wet sand, but meh), and the color of red wasn't very metallic. Maybe it just needed another coat or something, but it looked kinda lame. I discovered though that another friend of mine conveniently has a compressor and airbrush! This will be much better because it will be much smoother and I can make custom colors. I've been struggling with how to create the light yellow metallic color that's on the armor, but now I can just make it myself!
  22. Blackout's Avatar
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    Jun 3, 2013, 4:04 AM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #22

    I own an airbrush and use paint cans often, and haven't noticed any extra stippling from using cans. Is it quite hot/cold where you are spraying?
    Fantastic work anyway looking forward to more progress.
  23. Talaaya's Avatar
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    Jun 3, 2013, 4:20 AM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #23

    It was about 60 degrees or warmer out when I did it. It could have been any number of factors, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't because I was holding it too close or anything either. I applied it the same way I did the primer and the primer didn't do anything like the paint did (I held it 8-10" away like the can said). I'm sure with further investigation I could fix the problem, but since I found out I can use an airbrush I see no reason to bother with spray cans anymore. Thanks for the help though!
  24. Formerly cobalt crimson Wes R's Avatar
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    Jun 3, 2013, 10:08 AM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #24

    man how did i miss this until now. It looks great. I keep wanting to make a full sized Samus for the corner of my room near my old game system shelves.
  25. RPF Premium Member Soulinertia's Avatar
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    Jun 3, 2013, 12:48 PM - Re: 3D Printed Samus Varia Suit #25

    Excellent work. I'll be following!

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