Introduction: ThunderCats Umbrella
As a kid I was a huge fan of ThunderCats television show and now that I have an Ender 3D printer I decided to combine my love for the 80s cartoon with my love for staying dry. And hence was born the "Umbrella of Omens"!!! Honestly I just thought it would look pretty cool to have an umbrella with a sword handle. While researching different swords I came upon the "Sword of Omens" from the ThunderCats and I also found an awesome 3D model of the sword on Thingiverse.com. So I printed out all the parts and did a little problem solving to fit them all together. I tried to make the sword handle look a little weathered in an effort to make it look a little more realistic. I still need to work on my techniques for this but overall I really like the way it turned out. Now I'm just waiting for the next rain storm so I can unleash my Umbrella of Omens on the world. Keep reading if you want to know how I did it.
I bought this umbrella because it had a carbon fiber shaft, and thought it looked quite sturdy. The first thing I did was remove the current handle. I used a razor blade and just brute force to remove it. I also used the razor blade to clean off any handle residue. Once it was mostly clean I used some acetone to clean off any remaining glue. Then I set this aside.
I download the 3D files for all of the Sword of Omen handle parts here. Once they were all printed I removed the supports and cleaned them up a bit and checked to see if they all fit together.
This may just be my printer but I had some fitment issues between the two pieces that make up the handle. They did not fit together so I had to use my Dremel with a sanding drum to remove some of the material so that the two handle pieces would fit together. If using PLA printed parts be careful here because PLA will heat up quickly with sanding and start to deform.
The cross guard had a hole that was a part of the 3D model but it was too small. So I had to drill out the hole so that it would fit over the shaft of the umbrella. This was just a matter of taking the part over to my drill press and enlarging the hole with a large drill bit. Once I finished at the drill press I checked to make sure it fit the umbrella shaft.
I also had to 3D print a spacer that would take up most of the room inside the handle. This spacer would serve two purposes, first it would take up a lot of the empty space and second it would also accept the metal rod that will eventually be glued in place. The metal rod, which you will see in a later step, is there so that all the pieces have a common point to be attached too and to add strength to all the plastic parts. The metal rod will be glued inside the umbrella shaft and eventually be glued to the spacer in the handle. This will make more sense in the later steps.
But first I had to epoxy the two handle pieces together. I mixed up some epoxy and glued the two pieces together. There was no real way to clamp the two handle pieces together but the fit was snug enough that I didn't need to. I set this aside to cure.
Next I had to glue the spacer in to the handle. I first poured some of the epoxy in to the handle then I covered the spacer with epoxy and inserted it in to the handle and again just set it aside until the epoxy cured.
I printed out part of the blade, its actually supposed to be the base of the blade that goes in to the cross guard. At first I thought I was going to use it but I decided it would look better if I didn't. However I decided to use the base of the blade by cutting off the lower section and then splitting that in half so that they could act as spacers in the cross guard. These two little piece where just there to take up the empty space so that I wouldn't have to fill the entire cavity with epoxy. I superglued those two little spacers pieces in place.
It was time to paint the logos. I first sanded them up to 320 grit and then primered them. Once the primer was dry I painted the entire logo disk red. Once the red paint was dry I used a black paint marker to color in the black part. I used a fine tipped paint marker for this because there are some very tight spots that couldn't be reached easily by a brush or at least none of my brushes.
Now I turned my attention to glueing together the cross guard to the handle. I decided to use super glue for this which worked out quite well. I had a little bit of an alignment issue but a little sanding took care of that minor detail.
I did a dry fit of all the components to figure out the length I would have to make the metal rod. Once I figured that out I used my portable band saw to cut the rod to length. I then did another dry fit test to make sure everything lined up and fit snug. It really started to take shape at this point.
I did a little more tidying up of the handle and a little more sanding before priming and then painting the handle a "chrome" silver color. I did 3 coats of the silver.
While the paint dried I epoxied the metal rod in to the umbrella shaft. I made sure to not epoxy the rod to far in to the shaft because there was a release mechanism for the actual umbrella that would be obstructed if I did.
With the silver paint now dry I painted in the black details. I used black acrylic paint for the majority of it and a fine tipped black acrylic paint marker for the finer details.
Next I epoxied the logo disks in place. Since I didn't want to mar the surface of the paint I used a rubber band to keep the disk in place while the epoxy cured.
I decided to try and weather the handle so it didn't look so new. I used my paint maker again to add a little black paint on the inside creases and curves. I then used a q-tip dipped in alcohol to remove some of the paint and a napkin to clean up any major areas. I repeated this process until I was happy with how it looked. It came out okay but I definitely need to work on my weathering. Once I was done weathering the handle I spayed the entire handle with 3 coats of clear coat.
Before the final glue up I made sure to rough up all the mating surfaces with 80 grit sand paper, then I mixed up some more epoxy and poured some in to the spacer hole, I wanted to make sure I got good coverage. Then I liberally applied epoxy to the metal rod and the umbrella shaft. Then I slid everything together and wiped away any excess epoxy. I used Acetone to clean up and spilled epoxy. I made sure to keep the umbrella vertical while the epoxy cured over night.
I am brand new to 3D print and was really excited to pull this off. If I was more versed in 3D modeling I could change some of the features of the original models to better suit my needs. But since I don't have that particular skill set I did what I could to make this work. Now I just wait for the next storm to unleash my "Umbrella of Omes!!!!!!!!!!"