Mar 5, 2016 | By Alec
Over the past few years, 3D printers have been increasingly making a name for themselves in the cosplay world. Even a basic FDM desktop 3D printer can be used to produce a few cool and unusual props to complete your costume, and we’ve seen so many inspiring projects already. But there’s good, and then there’s great, and just about everything done by PunishedProps fits into the latter category. Bill Doran has just shared his blueprints for a particularly cool replica of Rey’s Blaster gun from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Now if you’re a cosplaying regular, you will have probably heard of PunishedProps before. Founded by Bill Doran back in 2012 and sometimes involving the help of Brittany Doran, PunishedProps have been remarkably successful in building fun, cool, inspiring and life-like props for just about any costume in any shape or size you can think of. Through an extensive trial and error process, and lots of internet inspiration, Bill’s hobby eventually grew into a very skilled prop manufacturing business that is a joy to watch. And with the help of some Patreon backing, the rest of the world can enjoy their work regularly on YouTube. From guns, to toys, to armor and anything else you need to complete your costume, they are the team you need.
As huge fans, we were happy to see them tackling Star Wars too. Now we’ve seen plenty of 3D printed BB-8 and lightsaber projects already, but when it comes to guns, Rey’s Blaster stood out head and shoulders from anything else in the movie. Fortunately, Bill agreed. “Just like just about everyone else on the planet, I really enjoyed the new Star Wars movie, and of course I wanted to make something from it. Now it’s no secret that I’m a big fan of space guns, so Rey’s blaster seemed like the obvious choice,” he said of his latest project.
What’s more, he hopes the rest of will also tackle this fantastic 3D printing project. While most of his projects are sold through his website, he actually shared some blueprints for the 3D printable blaster for free on his website. “I used these blueprints to 3D model, print, mold, and cast a copy of my very own version of Rey’s Blaster from The Force Awakens. You can use them to make your own version of the gun in a variety of methods!,” he says.
Though it will take a bit of effort to turn these into 3D printable CAD files, it’s not beyond the reach of the average hobbyist. However, other mediums for making the blaster are possible too. Bill frequently makes guns from MDF and foam as well, and the same principles can be applied to this one. For more info, take a look at his YouTube channel.
As he explains in the clip below, these blueprints were developed with the help of Google Image Search and the replica prop forum. Most parts was designed in 123Design, a free Autodesk CAD tool, and some other parts in Maya. Everything was 3D printed on Bill’s own Dremel Idea Builder 3D printer in PLA. This actually took several tries to get everything right, especially the grips, he reveals.
After 3D printing, the parts were cleaned with sandpaper by hand and painted. Some additional, but straightforward work was need for finishing. For instance, some holes needed to be drilled into the parts to make room for the screws. The only non 3D printed part was the trigger. Because it was such a simple shape, Bill decided to simply cut out a bit of acrylic using his laser cutter – though you could very easily 3D print a part too.
Now you could just glue these parts together, but Bill wanted to go for the highest quality – and layers just won’t do. He therefore made a series of silicone molds from these 3D printed parts, as you can see in his clip. While this does complicate things, the results are remarkably clean. After some sanding, these could be assembled – which involved some drilling too to make some slots. Several paint layers, including an aluminum lacquer, finishes it. Some optional oil paints add a ‘wear and tear’ look, but this isn’t necessary of course. The molding process definitely adds a new layer of complexity for those of you who’ve never worked with it before, but no one can argue against how cool the results are. Definitely one of the best Star Wars tributes we’ve seen so far.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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