This is a project I have already done twice and now I am in the process of doing it again. I have always been after the perfect shape and scale for is helmet and I think this time I will be spot on! I’ve done it before with pepakura and this time I’ve done it with 3D printing and modeling. Hope you dig the process.
Just as a side note, even though some photos are from this new build and some are from a previous build, the steps are still the same and will be required to finish this project.
Step 1: Supplies.... in No Order What So Ever...
- 3D printer (brand is up to you but I had a Robo3D R1+ at the time)
- Bondo Body Filler
- Bondo polyester resin
- Fiberglass Cloth or mat
- Double-stick tape
- Primer (I use Rustoleum brand Filler Primer)
- Sandpaper of various grits
- Polyurethane casting resin ( I used SmoothCast300 from Smooth-on)
- lots of coffee
- Molding Rubber ( I used MoldMax30 from Smooth-on)
- PLA filament
- Vacuforming machine (I made my own)
- .060 PETG plastic
- Rotary tool with attachments (I use a Proxxon)
- DAFT PUNK playing on loop while you work.
Also, none of these links earn me money, this are just examples for you to visualize the tools and supplies needed, you can buy whatever brand you like from where ever you'd like.
Step 2: Model and Print.
Step 3: Make It Solid, Make It Smooth!
After printing, I glued all the parts together with superglue and slushed Polyurathane resin inside of the helmet to make it strong and solid enough to sand down all the layer lines fill in the gaps with Bondo.
After sanding, I use filler primer from Rustoleum to help with filling in small scratches that sand paper leaves behind.
Step 4: Once It’s Smooth... Mold It!!!!!
I made something called a matrix mold for this helmet.
You have to:
- Secure the helmet to a smooth base.
- Cover helmet in plastic wrap.
- Cover helmet in an even layer of white clay and sculpt in registration keys. This will be the thickness of your mold.
- Add dividing flange with aluminum stripping and join together with aluminum tape.
- Add those toilet paper rolls!!!!
- Spray clay in Acrylic Crystal Clear. MUST BE ACRYLIC!!!!
- make a mold jacket with a layer of bondo + resin and then a few layers of fiber glass.
- Let cure for a few hours.
- Drill registration holes into baseboard (you’ll need this to line up the jacket later)
- Take the mold jacket off and clean white clay off of the sculpt.
- Trim up excess fiberglass and
-Drill small vent hols in any areas that may catch air while the mold is being filled. This will act as a silicone "bleed" and allow air to escape your mold.
- Reassemble jacket with the helmet inside of it. (There will be a gap between the jacket and the helmet now the same thickness that your mold will be)
- Seal all gaps in the jacket with hot glue.
- Degas your silicone rubber and fill your mold with it. You’ll only need to pour silicone into one side and your other toilet paper tube will let out the air from inside the mold. Eventually you’ll see silicone rise in your second tube.
- Let cure over night.
- Remove mold jacket.
- Cut mold in half along center registration key using a jeweler’s cut.
Here is a video I found on YouTube that documents how a matrix mold is made.
Step 5: Make a Copy!!!!
With that new fancy mold you just made, you can rotocast a copy of your sculpt and make it hollow, light and wearable!!!!
After setting up for a couple hours, you can demold your helmet and feel really proud of yourself.
Here is a video I found on YouTube from Tested on rotocasting a helmet.
Step 6: Make a Visor So Yeeeee Can Seeeeeee!
I don’t have any photos of my making my Daft Punk visor for this helmet because I haven’t gotten that far with this sculpt yet, but the process is the same as this one I did for a Pacific Rim helmet I made a few years ago.
The process involves:
- Cast a helmet and trim out the visor area.
- Add a flange area around the visor for plastic overrun.
- Fill with high density expanding foam. (This will create your forming buck)
- Using a vacuform machine, heat form .060 PETG material (Thermo plastic) over your buck.
- Trim it out and fit to your helmet.
- Tint your visor using Polyester dye. My buddy Bill from Punished Props made a great tutorial just for this process and it explains it better than I ever could.
Step 7: Make It Shiny!!!
I send my helmets off to get professionally chromed. I mainly do this because the process is quite volatile and frankly, I don’t have the space or funding to do it myself.
A company out in Valencia California called Creations ‘n Chrome does all my shiny things.
Step 8: Reassemble. Go Be Awesome.
After a couple of weeks, your helmet will be ready for pick up.
Now that I had already made a visor, really, all that was left to do was attach a visor and add wires to the rear plate on the helmet.
The visor was attached with 3M double stick tape and the wires were threaded through 2 slits cut into the helmet and bent over inside, the sealed in place with hot glue.
I’m pretty sure you can tell I also added electronics for a bit more awesome, but that’s a whole other tutorial. :)
I hope this all makes sense.
Leave me a comment if it doesn’t and I’ll try and explain.
You can follow my work on Facebook.com/mrpinskiprops and Instagram @MrPinski