3D printing armor: a complete guide

A new way of creating props and cosplay armor has been opened up by 3D print. It is now possible to do a process that used to require a lot of cutting, folding, and sticking or a manufacturing degree for every one piece using a home 3D printer.

The entire process of how people make a 3D printing armor will be covered in this guide. There are techniques to create intricate, detailed, and cool-looking props.

Which is the best type of 3D printer?

The resin within a chamber is used for SLS or resin 3D printers. A UV laser is beamed into the resin at certain points, and it turns into a solid. With a laser, this process can be done with great precision.

The higher fidelity 3D print will be produced by the resin 3D printers. A filament 3D printer is highly recommended for items that will be worn or handled a lot, such as cosplay outfits, armor pieces, or props.

3D printers for cosplay and props

An all-around 3D printer, such as the Anycubic Mega S, is a fantastic choice. It offers almost all the features required for 3D printing props, all at a reasonable cost.

The 3D printer has a good feature set. The print quality is good, and the print volume is on par with other 3D printers.

Creality CR-10 V3 is a suitable option if you want to print larger items such as armor pieces or helmets. It is one of the largest print volumes in this price range and features a much larger print volume than the Mega S.

The Select Mini V2 3D Printer is incredible if you are looking for a beginner-friendly printer that requires little to no knowledge of 3D printers. Some of the most user-friendly features of any cost 3D printer are included in it.

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Creating or finding a design

The fun starts once you have chosen a printer. The 3d-printed design of your model can be either created or sourced very quickly. As a skilled 3D designer, you can jump straight into your 3D modeling application of choice and start to form the cosplay content.

It is possible to get 3D-printed model print files from the internet. Some of the files that other creators have produced can be found on the internet for free or for a small fee.

Prepare your armor for printing

Armor can be split into different parts

When armor is 3d printed, you will need to split your cosplay armor pieces into multiple pieces and glue them together.

The plane cut tool can be used in your favorite software. Autodesk MeshMixer, Slic3r, and Netfabb all support the plane cut feature if you are unsure which software to use.

The process of generating your GCode

Depending on what 3D printer you have and how you intend to wear your cosplay armor, you will need to use different settings.

  • You can determine how heavy your finished armor will be by using the amount of infill you use and the amount of 3D printer ink you use. If you use less infill and less filament, your armor will be more fragile. More durability is achieved by the addition of more infill.
  • You can get away with a low percentage of infill depending on how much movement and stress each piece will be under. The strongest patterns can be used to improve strength.
  • Adding an extra outer layer or two can ensure you have extra material to sand away since you will most likely have to sand away some of your outer material.
  • According to the shape of the armor pieces, you may need to use support materials to 3D print your armor. If you want to make your 3D print bed more stable, you can use a raft or skirt. 3D tools are especially useful if you are 3D printing an object that is asymmetrical or has narrow first layers.
  • When you adjust the layer height, your printer will be able to print faster, but it will also affect your final print resolution. A 3D printer with a smaller layer height will produce models with greater detail and less visible layer lines.
  • The higher the layer height, the less detail will be lost, and you will spend less time 3D printing. High layers are best for large, simple models that you plan to fill with putty or primer in post-processing (more on that later).
  • Things like platform and extruder temperatures, material flow, and nozzle speed depend on your 3D printer. Use the settings you know work well with your machine.

3D printing armor

Now is the time to start printing your 3D print file. Each 3D printer manufacturer has its way of uploading a file. You can either connect the printer directly to your computer or use a USB or SD card to upload the files to the printer.

If you use larger models for the 3D print, you may need to slice them into multiple parts to fit within your 3D printer’s print volume. You can use free slicing software like Cura or Simplify 3D to do this. If you follow the tutorials provided within the software itself, slicing software can be relatively simple to use.

You can use your 3D printer to download your print file once you have it ready to go. Ensuring your print bed is level is just one of the tasks to be done.

You then need to choose a filament material and load it into your 3D printer. The materials you can select from are a wide range, from ABS and PLA to more exotic such as wood and metal. If you are looking for a flexible method to print your 3D prints, some 3D printers also print nylon filament.

Make sure your printer is compatible with the type of filament you pick. Because not all 3D printers are compatible with every filament type.

It’s time to finish your armor

Post-processing is going to take a lot of your printed armor pieces. Realistic costumes are especially important if you are dressing up as a character from a film or TV show.

You may also be interested: How to paint PLA on one’s own

Removal of supports

Before you can do anything else, you will need to remove any supports or rafts that are required. You should invest in a dual extruder printer that supports PVA if this is a step you dread. You can break off the supports by running your model under the tap.

How can you put the pieces together?

To make them fit on a small build plate, you will need to glue them together with superglue, two-part epoxy, or other strong plastic glues. The adherent that you use to glue your 3D prints will depend on the type of filament that you 3D printed in. You can read our article on the subject for more information.


Sanding is a must if you want your armor to look smooth. Use rough-grit paper like 200 to remove the layer lines, and then use fine-grit paper like 2000 to get a smooth finish.

It is possible to create the initial sanding using a variety of substances. Instead of the actual 3D-printed surface, you just have to sand the filler smoothly.


Some people skip this step, but it’s a critical one. Priming your armor pieces before spray paint helps you use fewer coats to cover your model. The results vary if you use a paint and primer combination.


You can move on to spray paint once your pieces are smoothed out and primed. The degree of involvement in painting takes depends on the armor set you’re making and how detailed the painting technique you want.


Can you 3D print Armour?

3D printing has made it easier to create detailed and accurate cosplay props. It used to take days to craft a set of armor, but with a 3D printer, you can make the base in hours.

Which 3D printer is best for armoring?

A 3D printer like the Anycubic Mega S is a great choice. All the features required for 3D printing props are available at a reasonable cost. A relatively new, feature-rich 3D printer is available. Its print quality is excellent, and the print volume is comparable to other 3D printers.

How long does it take to 3D print Armour?

Usually, it takes several hours, along with the painting technique and the complete assembly of the set.

Can 3D printers print Kevlar?

It is ideal for 3D printing because Kevlar technology is a tough, lightweight material that can bend further than any other fiber.


It takes a lot of time and effort to 3D print and paints an armor set, but it’s one of the coolest projects you can try. If you’re thinking of giving it a try, you might find yourself a wonderful hobby that will keep you hooked for a long time. Read about Strongest material for 3D printing

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