Introduction: Props With Floating Parts
Ever wanted to make a cosplay prop that looks super cool, but seems impossible because some of the parts are floating? Well here is how!
Disclaimer: this is just one way to make props float, and it most certainly isn’t the only way!
(Picture credit: Andrew Tubridy)
Sheet of PMMA (plexi acryl). I used one that was 8mm thick
Lasercutter (I went to Fablab Leuven, since I don’t own one myself)
Rest of your prop
Step 1: Planning
Before making your prop, you have to plan how you’re going to attach the PMMA to the rest of your prop. PMMA is clear, so it will be see-through in most pictures. Sandwiching is the easiest way.
I had three parts the PMMA had to connect: the body of the spear, the point, and some strange donut-double-triangle-shape in the middle. I cut out parts in the 3D model I made for the spear that I could insert the PMMA into. Because the donut-double-triangle was so small, I couldn’t do the same, or nothing would be left. Instead, I cut the donut-double-triangle shape out of the square that would be my PMMA piece. Instead of making the cut-out entirely round around the donut-shape tough, I made it a little smaller, and cut a ditch in the donut shape, so I could still ‘sandwich’ the PMMA between the side of the donut (it is kind of hard to explain, but I included a picture which will hopefully make it a little more clear). I also cut out a small triangle at one side to make place for some point that was sticking out of the bottom of the spearpoint. Then I cut round holes in both the 3D model and the PMMA blueprint so I could attach them with screws. Alternatively, you can just glue the PMMA in between your other pieces, but I wanted to be able to take everything apart for transport. Also make sure you include at least half a millimeter wiggle room so everything will fit together and there’s still room for paint.
Note: I am combining the PMMA with 3D printing, but you can use whatever material you prefer for the rest of the prop. However, if you want to lasercut your PMMA, you will have to make a blueprint on your computer and save it as an SVG. I have included my own SVG as an example.
Once the blueprint is ready, you can go and lasercut it.
Step 2: Planning
The first thing you should do after you cut out your PMMA piece is to see if it fits. If it does, take everything apart, and paint (it is easier to paint without the PMMA sheet, as we don’t want any paint on it)
Once the painting is done, you can assemble everything. As I said before, you can just sandwich the PMMA sheet between the rest of your pieces and glue everything together, but I installed screws in the 3D print, so I could take everything apart again.
Step 3: Show Off
Be proud of your new gravity-defying prop!