Look at this helmet. You already know that it is 3D printed because of the headline for this article, but just look at it. Can you spot the 3D printed parts? Can you tell what was done with a printer? I can’t and the answer to which parts, is pretty much everything here was 3D printed, even the mohawk.
This was created by the folks at CustomPrototypes.ca and you can read their entire blog post on it here. It is almost difficult to believe that this is all 3D printed, but in their article and in this gallery you can see the whole process. They used a few different technologies to print the parts, then a lot of painting and hand finishing to get them to look exactly how they wanted.
An incredible amount of work and trial and error was involved to make this project come to life, and it paid off. The team won first place in the category of advanced finishing at AMUG.
Looking at these pictures, I ran into something that piqued my curiosity. I noticed that there are support structures on items that were made with laser sintering. I personally don’t have much experience in laser sintering metals, but I didn’t think you needed supports as the surrounding powder supported your object. I asked them about it and this was their answer.
DMLS (direct metal laser sintering) unlike SLS (plastic) is a bit trickier. Since its a metal powder, once the sintering takes place you are dealing with a denser material that can sink, break off or warp. DMLS deals with extremely high temperatures so supports help keep everything in-tact. Once the metal is sintered it becomes denser than the surrounding unsintered powder and can therefore sink through the powder and break off the part or otherwise warp without support structures in place.
Not only did I see an awesome project, I learned something about DMLS printing!