Second Iron-Man Helmet Part 1: Prints, Helper Disk FTW…

So during the course of my first attempt at a full sized Iron-Man I learned a ton.  In the end I wasn’t entirely happy with my finished piece.  I was in a rush to get done and, as such, I didn’t remotely take enough time on sanding and painting.  I just couldn’t wait to see a finished product.  So after I was finished with my heated build chamber I knew exactly what my first prints were going to be.  (You can even see the first one being done in the finished picture.) Don’t get me wrong btw, I still love my original helmet.

I usually print at 3600 mm/min and have travel speeds at 4800 mm/min, but for these prints I slowed it down to 2800 mm/min and 3600 mm/min respectively.  It was so painful to watch the first layer that prints at 50% speed.  It took soo long.  The prints were already long, but slowing them down this much made them take even longer.  It took me a while to get all the pieces printed.  Since I’m printing in ABS I used a ton of hairspray, but even with slowing down the print and the heated build chamber at 105°F, I kept on knocking down the supports.  The normal solution is to print with a raft, but rafts drive me nuts.  They just feel like a waste of time and filament.  I did print a couple with rafts, but after I remembered a helpful hint from the 3D Printing Today Podcast I used that technique.  All you have to do is make a rectangular prism a layer or two tall and as wide as you need it for the surface area contact that you need.  This solution is SUPER helpful.  I drew a generic one in CAD and used the non-relative scaling in S3D to adjust the length and width as applicable.

S3d HelperDisk Screenshot

Here are pictures of the pieces as they were printed.  I didn’t (intentionally) remove any supports nor clean up the prints at all so you can see the prints exactly as they came off the build plate.  (Click on any of them for the full sized view.)

Even with printing as slow as I did some of the prints still have some annoying flaws.  There’s some rippling laterally along the prints and some of the “screwholes” are collapsing on themselves.  I think the two primary reasons for this are that I don’t have my GT2 belts as taut as they ought to be and because of the time it takes I’m still using a 0.6mm nozzle instead of a normal 0.4mm nozzle.  My patience can only take so much.  Maybe for the inevitable 3rd iteration…, haha.  Maybe I’ll do a WarMachine version or something if I can make enough progress that I like the helmet that much.


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