3D Printing Helmets


Active Member
Hello all,

For Christmas my lovely wife bought me a Printrbot Simple Metal and once I got the hang of it, it's been running pretty nonstop. As much fun as I've been having, I'm already outgrowing the 6x6x6" print bed. It's great for small pieces but I hit the limit when I tried to print out a disassembled section of Loki's staff from Avengers. My bed size was about 1" short. No amount of wrangling would make it fit.

So I'm in the market for a second printer. (This is a serious addiction, folks.) I had hoped to find a decent 12x12x12" bed because I want to be able to do helmets. I did a pepakura Magneto helmet last year that fits in a 10x10x10 so that led me to look at the Printrbot Metal Plus which retails for $1,000. I like Printrbot and am about to hit the trigger. However, I wanted to ask you guys who might have experience with helmets.

A few notes:

- Yes, I know helmets will take a crap-long time. 3D printing is the new "watching paint dry". I'm over that.
- Helmets will take a lot of filament. Also, I know. I'd rather do this than Pepakura any day of the week. Besides, my wife has a business license so I'm looking at getting filament for wholesale.
- Modeling. I'm getting better at this but still have a long way to go. There are some files out there but not many. (If anyone has links, I'd appreciate it.)

Have any of you guys done 3D print helmets? Will the 10x10x10 be large enough? Obviously, some things will need to be cut up (like I'm guessing a Stormtrooper helmet won't fit because of the "cheeks") but that size should at least hold the base bucket with the rest printed separately as add-ons.

Love to hear your thoughts.




New Member
Hey Mark,
Some friendly advice on any large project that your going to use a small 3d printer on. Break the model up into a bunch of small pieces whether they fit on your build platform or not. There are a bunch of reasons for this.
For one if something is wrong you can correct it long before you waste a crap load of printing materials.
Prints take less time.
And the number one reason, say you have a print that is going to take 12-14 hours if something goes wrong at the 11 hour mark your part is screwed and your out 11 hours.
I have learned this lesson the hard way over the last 4 years of doing 3d printing everyday, so I'm just trying to save you from some nasty headaches!
I have done helmets before and its a lot of fun, sadly I don't have any pictures anymore lost them in a hard drive crash and every time I finished a helmet someone wanted to buy it so I can't show you anything.
Good luck with your builds and print on, it is a hell of a lot of fun owning a 3d printer.



New Member
I have been doing some different buckets as well as some other props with my Replicator 5th Gen. If your using 3Ds Max it is fairly easy to learn how to slice your build into smaller pieces in order to get them to fit good on your print bed as well as get a better quality print. Yeah they take a while to print out for the most part but the end result is great... In this link are some of the things that i have gotten printed as of now... http://www.thingiverse.com/Baddog01/about
I am not the greatest at any of this yet but if i can assist i have no problem with that... 20140921_185457.jpg 20141023_185849.jpg 20141023_185853.jpg 20141102_145617.jpg 20141228_184004.jpg 20150108_172358.jpg 20150111_174916.jpg
A few pics

Vic Green
Baddog 3D Printing & Hydrographics


I hate to say it but the money might be better spent on netfabb pro so you can custom cut your models with dovetails and such. I have a simple metal and have done some simple cuts in netfabb to make parts print on the 6x6x6 and I have also printed a copy of "thorn" from destiny with the dove tail cuts and it goes together solid. IMO upgrade to the heated bed and better software before getting a larger printer. thats my plan at least.


Active Member
Thanks for the replies.

I have upgraded to the heated bed, yes. Makes a world of difference. And I have been cutting things into smaller bits to cut down on printer waste. I wish I could afford 3DS Max but there's no way. I'm still using Repetier but I will give netfabb a look this weekend.

ataris121, you did Thorn on the Simple Metal? Wow. Very nice.

Vic, what size bed did you print your Mandalorian helmet on? That's the kind of stuff I'm looking to do. I'm trying to figure out if I can do a Sabine helmet for my daughter before Celebration.




Ive printed all the pieces but the sides of the reciever L/R warped so I need to reprint. As for 3DS max look into blender, its free and Ive done some simple models in it so far that have printed nice. Also, its auto face feature (Edit mode----> select all----> "F") is really good and making sure your model is manifold and it can import/export .STL with ease


Sr Member
Hey Radioman,

I'm using 3DStudio at home and it's free on the Autodesk web site if you get the student edition license.

There's nothing missing that I've noticed and it's really a nice software to learn to use!

Hope that helps!
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