Access to a MakerBot Replicator 2, downtime after season wrap, and itchy fingers. We thought: why the hell not? Working closely with RWBY creator Monty Oum, I began an ambitious project with hopes of final products in time for the Rooster Teeth Expo later in the year.
Given the show’s simple look. there were some design aspects that were only a texture, not modeled, so we had to work around some things using Blender’s boolean in order to get the right model we were looking to print.
Several of the weapons used in the show are modeled impossibly thin, with some geometrical crashing taking place as well. Prior to actually printing anything, we had to tackle the task of sitting down and correcting the show’s models in order to give them some sort of stability when printed into a realistic form.
Beyond that, given the dimensions of the printer on hand, there were certain size specifications needed to be followed. As such, Monty went ahead and extruded connectors that would allow me to more accurately assemble the pieces once everything was ready. There was a lot to be learned from this print, as it was our first attempt, and possibly the most complicated and intricate out of all four that team RWBY wield.
As seen here, this is one of four blades being printed stand alone and vertically. Several other test prints had included all 4 at once, which led to warping of the outer ones, and in other cases, the domino effect. Another attempt had been printing each face laying flat against the build plate with the intention to glue them back to back. Once again, warping proved to be too much of a hindrance, as well as an impractical fit when it came to assembly attempts.
With everything printed, we tested the acetone vapor smoothing method, only to find we did not have any sort of sealed chamber large enough to effectively melt the ridges off the surface of our prints. So, we resorted to next best (read: fastest) thing; sanding, bondo, sanding, repeat. It took some time, but we learned a lot, and the end result is a seamless blade made up of 7 individual printed segments.
Primarily, anything past the modeling/printing stages was left entirely up to me. Depending on the assembly process, pieces would be smoothed using auto-body filler, glued using Loctite Super Glue, and painted with aerosols, with some details being hand painted.
Close up of the engravings on the guards.
Since we wanted these to be available on display for the event, we even modeled, printed and coated custom stands glued to balsa wood for more stabilization.
The final product itself was sprayed silver with silver metallic aerosol paint, while the bullets were painted with acrylic before inserted into the chamber during the assembly process. Myrtenaster weighs about 1lb.
On display at the Rooster Teeth Expo, 2014.