3D Printing: Ember Celica

posted in: 3D Printing, Prop | 3

Rapiers, broadswords, short swords. Why not gauntlets? Why not moving gauntlets? The final products were proof enough that our methodical process was working, so why not take the engineering a little bit further?

ember celic 34

Ember Celica was the fourth RWBY weapon to be printed, and one of the most ambitious. With the success of 3 prior builds, along with experience with cleaning up the prints and painting them, Monty devised a way to engineer moving parts for the gauntlets. What this consisted of was a track running down the top of the build, with a rail of plastic that would slip into the lip to allow for sliding. In hindsight, I suggested we devise pegs to affix springs to for smoother movement, but that’ll be in the next build should it be revisited.

SlapShot115 (3)

SlapShot116 (3)

This model took a lot of clean up and breaking down in order to be assembled both cleanly and sturdily, as we anticipated a lot of force being exerted with the movement of the top sliding piece. All in all, this prop was more condensed  than the rest, and ultimately became more of an interlocking 3D puzzle piece. The chambers were also designed to move, but the few millimeter allowance for primer and paint has left them a little more stiff than prior.

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We had originally planned for the gauntlets to have their own 3D printed hand-stand, but due to time constraints we had to forfeit that for the event. You can see Gambol Shroud in the background; we ended up working on several prints at a time. This photos gives a great look into the interlocking pieces, where the breaks are in the models and how different things look as raw prints.

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The amount of work that goes into each piece once it’s been printed is just as lengthy as sitting down, modeling, correcting, and splicing the file itself. For a comparison, the pieces on the left have been smoothed with auto-body filler that I then sanded down and primed with gray aerosol. The two pieces on the right are the top sliders after the glossy yellow spray paint, which would be the final stage. The time difference between the left and the right is probably give or take 8 hours, depending on how much sanding is needed, and how much time needed in between each coat of paint.

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Making use of old shipment boxes, I was in a hurry to get these done before the event; T-minus 3 days. The bullets were spray painted separately, as you can see from the back of the box. They would be assembled the next day.

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Overall the finish was very well received. There was no varnish needed, just a glossy yellow aerosol in 3-4 coats. From hereon it was a simple matter of assembly with some Loctite superglue and steady hands. The bullets are actually 1/2~2/5/full cylinders that slide into notches on the yellow piece top-left of photo; no glue necessary!

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Here’s the finished product on display at RTX 2014. I was also asked to create the small-mode “bracelets” for the voice actress so that she could sign and walk around more easily while in costume. I used 3mm PVC foam layered on top of each other and then used an angle grinder to get the bevels required. They’re worn using velcro loops.


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Yang Xiao Long’s voice actor, Barbara Dunkelman, wearing the finished 3D printed gauntlets at RTX 2014! Costume was made by Anna Hullum.


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