Scales and Armor For Cosplay

So to begin with, I need to acknowledge this printing technique is credited to Shorey Designs as best I can tell from researching the internet.  His Dragon Scale design (seen below) can be downloaded from Thingiverse here.  These were printed using PLA and the manufacturer’s normal recommended temp settings of 230 C for extruding and a bed temp of 60C.

So, how is this cool effect accomplished?  Well, to begin with you will need to acquire some Tulle material.  The large square Tulle seen above was pilfered from my wife’s secret stash of materials.  However, the smaller square Tulle seen further down the page was purchased from Amazon here for $4.40.

Next, download the design from Thinginverse and load the Imaginator with PLA.

Now, don’t just run off and start printing.  There are a few more important discussion points.  What is not evident in the pictures is the Tulle is actually embedded within the print.  It’s not just 3D printed over the Tulle.  Hence, the print is started normally.  After 1mm of print, the Imaginator must be stopped, and the Tulle put in place as seen below.  To secure the Tulle, I just used good old clips purchased from Walmart.

So, the only question left to answer is how to stop the Imaginator after it has printed 1mm thickness of the design?…I’m so glad you asked!

  • Once the printer has heated to the print temperature and begun to print, push the back arrow on the machine once to get to the blue screen with <“Pause,”> however, do not select <Pause>. Push the down arrow on the machine until the <Z Pause Height> is visible and select <Z Pause Height>
  • Enter 1mm in the millimeters portion for the height of the printer to automatically pause
  • Set Pause Active to <On> in order to tell the 3D printer to activate the pause, at the set position
  • Finally, select <Done> and Back to Monitor and wait for the printing process to reach to the set point
  • It will automatically pause, activate the Change Filament menu, and the print platform will descend
  • Once the printer pauses, laydown the Tulle material and secure with clips.
  • Restart the printer

Once you have perfected the technique, which will be quickly, as it seems to be fairly forgiving, start making your own designs.  I whipped the design below out in about 5 minutes on Tinkercad.

Also, be careful when removing your design from the build plate as the Tulle is somewhat fragile and tears easily.  As I mentioned above, the process seems to be fairly forgiving.  I doubled up on the Tulle in the design below and it still printed like a champ!


Make sure to check out our gallery of downloadable armor!


Happy printing and see you at the next Comicon!

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