Feb. 27, 2016 | By Kira
Blizzard’s upcoming Overwatch is one of the most highly anticipated multiplayer games of the year, and even though the official release isn’t for another few months (it’s expected on or before June 21st, 2016), dedicated fans are already plotting their 3D printed props and cosplay costumes. Luckily for them, Simone Fontana has just released the files for a 3D printed model of Tracer's gun, made from 22 3D printed parts that are easy to assemble and require very little post-processing.
Fontana, known to his large social media following simply as FNTSMN, has made quite a name for himself at the intersection of gaming and 3D printing culture. The young Italian designer has released a steady flow of 3D printed video game replicas, including this full-scale light-up model Fiora’s Project Sword, the Furious Power Fist from Fallout 4, and 3D printed Hearthstone cards. He’s also the co-founder of 3DNA with Ricardo Salomao, and not only does he regularly release awesome 3D printed projects, he also puts together short time-lapse videos to show his fans how it’s done. It all makes us wonder where he finds the time to sleep.
His latest project, the 3D printed Tracer Gun from Overwatch, was one of the most complex and challenging replicas he’s ever attempted, but the end result was well-worth the time an effort.
Fontana told 3Ders.org that he first decided to recreate the Tracer gun after doing some research into Overwatch’s main characters and stumbling upon Tracer, who is described as a “time-jumping adventurer and an irrepressible force for good,” who can zip through space and blast enemies with not one, but two rapid-fire pistols.
With his mind made-up, he got to work on 3D modelling Tracer’s gun based off of various image references. “Getting all of the design features right was quite tricky because of the different curves, which isn’t easy to get 100% accurate without spending hours creating the surface in Rhino,” explained Fontana. “I needed almost 6-8 hours to create the perfect tolerance in the model so that each part would fit together without problems.” In total, the design process took six full days before Fontana was happy with the results.
Finally, it was time to 3D print. In order to cut down on the post-processing time, Fontana decided to 3D print each part in its appropriate color. He used the Wasp Delta 20x40 for the majority, yet also had his Dremel and Ultimaker 2 on deck to 3D print the top white parts and grey parts, respectively. In all, the 3D printing process took roughly 21 hours, but that’s mostly because he adjusted his printer settings to achieve a heavier and more realistic weight for the gun.
The assembly process is shown both in his time-lapse video, below, and in this Keyshot render animation, however as Fontana explained, most parts simply fit together without the need for glue or screws (if you’ll actually be playing with it or want it to be more sturdy, he does recommend gluing the parts for extra strength). Users also have the option of adding some final touches, such as metallic and blue paint details—and for maximum character-authenticity, be sure to 3D print two.
“I love 3D printing and 3D design, and on top of that if I can add to the video game side, well then it’s just perfect,” said Fontana. “I also love to share with all the people following me work what I’ve learned with each challenge, and the potential of the this technology. I can work for hours and hours, but in the end, it’s all worth it because of the community feedback. All this pushes me to do other complex designs with even better features!”
However, he also admitted that one of the greatest challenges in 3D printing is coming face to face with users who copy designs without permission, or even use them for commercial purposes: “Creating these objects take a lot of time and effort, I hope in the near future people will understand this and change.” It can be a difficult message to share as 3D printing continues to grow, yet for a community that prides itself on openness and accessibility, it is as important as ever.
The 3D print files for this Overwatch Tracer Gun are currently free to download on MyMiniFactory (under an MMF copyright, of course). Up next, Fontana plans to design a few more Overwatch 3D prints, including potentially a 50cm tall Bastion, as well as a second version of the Tracer Gun with electronic components and the ability to change colors with a smartphone app. Whichever he decides to do next, we’re sure it won’t be long before we hear from him again.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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