Monstrous Suit of Power Armor 3D Printed over 140 Days

fallout-armour-3d-printed-no-helmet[hirocreations] printed an entire suit of enormous Fallout power armor on his Monoprice Maker Select 3D printer, which took some 140 days and over 120 pounds of IC3D PLA filament. Happily, [hirocreations] was able to arrange a sponsorship with IC3D for the build – who would be crazy enough to use so much filament over so long for an entire 7+ foot tall suit, right? Over those 140 days, the belts on the printer needed to be replaced twice but it otherwise chugged right along.

Most of the parts were printed at 0.46 mm layer height. Individual parts were welded (melted) together using what is essentially a soldering iron with a flat tip; many parts were too thin for any kind of joints or fixtures to be practical. Parts were smoothed with drywall spackle, lots of filler primer, and painted. Some of the parts – like the chest armor – are mounted on a frame made from PVC tubing. [hirocreations] may have gone through 120 pounds of filament, but the end result doesn’t weigh that much; the suit itself weighs in at 85-90 lbs, the rest of it went to support material, skirts, and print failures.

It was known from the start that weight could become a serious issue, so [hirocreations] went for a very light infill (10%) and 3-4 perimeter layers; he also extruded at a high temperature (~230C) which he said seemed to provide a very strong layer bond with the settings and filament he was using. So far, he says it’s taken some very hard knocks and nothing has broken or cracked. He has a short video series documenting the assembly, and you can see some of the raw armor parts before any finishing in one of the videos, embedded below.

Models used include the T-45b Helmet from Daniel Lilygreen and the Raptor Hand by e-NABLE (updated design here) combined with models of the armor that [hirocreations] extracted directly from the game files and modified for his own use.

We have seen the Maker Select range before, like the MP Select Mini and we recently posted this review of the Monoprice Maker Ultimate. So far as we know, [hirocreations] is the first person to put their printer through this kind of 140-day marathon.

[via Reddit]

35 thoughts on “Monstrous Suit of Power Armor 3D Printed over 140 Days

  1. Holy CRAP that is awesome. As a huge Fallout fan (Fallout 4 is the best RPG of all time IMO) I give mad props to anyone who can pull off something that amazing. (I happen to be wearing very similar power armor in Fallout 4 right now :)

          1. I loved Fallout 3, but NV just couldn’t hook me for some reason. I like Fallout 4, but there are certainly things that could be improved. Anyway, I enjoy it, so that’s all I care about. ;)

      1. Plastic has some give and flex, spackle is rigid and more brittle, and adhesion to plastic is not it’s strong point, appears to have happened by luck here, that the surface was rough and provided some “keying”. This means that inevitably it will crack up and scale off. A closer match would have been bondo, but that is still slightly mismatched to PLA, so any parts it’s used on that have a lot of flex, or after a lot of thermal cycling, that would also start to come off. Chemically, PLA is kind of close to types of PVA glue, so fillers made with waterproof aliphatic PVA and either PLA sawdust or microballoons fillers even flour or talc, should adhere well and match minor flexing without scaling. If you must because it’s cheap, spackle is okay for static models you won’t move around much, but that’s it.

        However, not sure I’d print in PLA if I wanted something to last a long time anyway, not sure how long prints are lasting, but I’ve had PLA containers crack up and crumble after only a couple of years, but those were thinner wall, and unprotected from UV and atmospheric humidity with paint. I’d only use it on something with a projected lifespan of up to a year.

        Most of the solvents for PLA are either spendy or nasty AFAIK, otherwise it would be preferable to do what you can with other plastics and make a thick “soup” of it molten in the solvent and use that to fill.

        1. Howdy I’m the dude who built this armor.

          For most plastics like PETG or ABS, I’d definitely agree with ya there is too much flex for the something that drys rigid like spackle. But it actually works out very well with a very stiff plastic like PLA. In the two event’s I already have taken the armor to I’ve dropped or dinged the parts a few times it’s taken the impacts like a champ. As for deterioration–I’ve found that stored well (low mositure/low temperature variance) PLA stays as inert as most other plastics. Some of my older print are still as good as they were when I pried them off the bed a few years ago.

      2. Fiberglass putty, autobody glazing putty, wood filler, multiple layers of thinned epoxy (assuming that adheres to PLA).
        Spackle just seems fragile for something meant to be worn around for hours on end. You can scratch it with your fingernail so bumps and jolts at a Con will probably wear it faster.

  2. 120 pounds of filament… how does his waste bucket look like right now (because of all the possible failed prints). This thing is huge. Cool project, very nicely done. With 140 days of printing it shows true dedication to the project.

    1. I imagine much was learned in the process, and the exposure may lead to future commissioned work or a position somewhere. Heck, there are a lot of jobs that mainly require people to have serious follow through, which shows here in spades.

    1. Someone should write a poem to express the exact amount of existential angst this causes…

      8 hours of Octopus,
      Plastic slowly squidging.
      8 hours of Octopus,
      Seconds fall like hammers,
      8 hours of Octopus,
      I’ll go and feed the pigeons,
      8 hours of Octopus,
      bzzt bzzt the printer stammers.
      8 hours of Octopus,
      Slowly drips my sanity.
      8 hours of Octopus,
      Oh time you sap my vanity,
      8 hours of Octopus,
      Layer upon slice,
      8 hours of Octopus,
      Did someone bring some dice?

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