Nov 10, 2015 | By Kira

If there were a Hall of Fame for 3D printed cosplay costume designers, Natasha Spokish would be the latest inductee. In preparation for BlizzCon 2015, an epic, two-day convention for diehard Blizard fans, she spent more than 500 hours—that’s 21 days straight—designing, modeling, 3D printing and finishing this incredible Nova Terra armour suit (a character from SarCraft). The results are incredible, and to show just how much work she put into every possible detail, Spokish uploaded a full series of progress photos with descriptions for fellow fans to admire.

A prop and costume maker by trade, avid gamer of 22 years, and cosplayer for 1.5 years, Spokish took no shortcuts in creating this suit. Though she started with the game assets from Heroes of the Storm (one of the Blizzard games in which Nova Terra appears), these models were far from detailed enough for the level of accuracy she wanted to achieve. So, she set about adding in the missing details using Blender, converting all triangle polygons to quads and filling in textures—a painstaking process that took two weeks to accomplish.

(Above) the original asset pulled from the game and (below) the model with added detail.

Luckily for the next step, she had a bit of an advantage. Spokish already happened to have a 3D scan of her body from New York Comic Con, which she used to scale her armour pieces and ‘virtually’ try on, ensuring a perfect fit. It pays to be a serial cosplayer.

With all the models designed and ready, she began 3D printing them on a LulzBot Taz 4 3D printer using PLA as the material. For many parts, she used a transluscent light blue PLA, which would naturally diffuse the LEDs installed underneath. With as much care and devotion as one could possibly imagine, Spokish smoothed down each print with XTC-3D epoxy, then sanded, primed, and gave each a basecoat. “I love and hate XTC-3D, because it's a great coat for prints but it takes forever to fully cure and sand,” said Spokish. “That being said, it definitely reinforces the print so there's definitely an advantage to using it.”

A piece of arumour treated with hydro dripping to acheive a 'carbon fiber' finish

An interesting technique she used to create the final, authentic layer of detail is a method known as ‘hydro dipping’, (or computational hydrographic printing), which involves printing patterns into 3D objects by dipping them into water. This effect gave select pieces an authentic ‘carbon fiber’ look just like in the video games. As for the gun, she went for spackle rather than XTC-3D to decrease the amount of weight (the gun is almost as tall as she is), and finished it with airbrush detailing.

Video example of the hydro dipping technique

The final result, completed with a blonde wig and custom-patterned spandex suit, is so realistic, you might forget that StarCraft is a video game, and not the universe we actually live in. “I'm pretty sure when I saw myself in the mirror like this, I started tearing up. I can't explain how good this felt, after working so hard for so long,” said Spokish.

In addition to the 500 hours of 3D printing time, she spent countless hours and weeks on the modeling process. In terms of cost, she spent roughly $400-500 on parts and materials, excluding the cost of her TAZ 4 3D printer. We’re sure that the experience of strolling up to BlizzCon looking as good she does, however, was 100% priceless. You can check out all of her progress and completion photos in in this album.

We’ve seen some amazing 3D printed cosplay outfits in the past, including several great Arkham Knight examples, a working Furiosa prosthetic arm, a Halo 5 assault rifle, and a 3D printed Destiny MMO rifle, among others. Natasha Spokish: welcome to the Hall of Fame.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Jack Bandit wrote at 2/14/2016 11:20:03 PM:

It's amazing omg.

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