For some, the adventure doesn’t end when the book closes or the credits roll. Fan Creators take inspiration from their favorite movies, games, comics, and cartoons and make incredible things. To see what that passion can produce, we gave some hardcore fans the latest 3Doodler Create for two weeks.
We talked to well-known crafter and modeler of fictional costumes Gina B as she unboxed the 3Doodler, and then checked back in a week later to see how her project was going.
Few fans are as dedicated as cosplayers. They spend long hours perfecting costumes that can involve incredibly elaborate feats of sewing, sculpting, and design to show off their passion for their favorite media. And Gina B is one of the best.
With more than 37,000 likes on her Facebook page, Gina’s creations are hugely popular. That’s a testament to the care and attention to detail she uses in producing loving recreations of some of the most popular characters from comics, cartoons, and anime. Whether she’s producing an exacting replica of an ancient Korean pole-arm, or she’s putting her own spin on the outfit of a classic character, Gina is always looking for new ways to bring her work to life.
That quest for perfection has given her a wide range of experience with a diverse set of materials. “I have a lot of experience working in fabric, I do a lot of custom body suit work, as well as elaborate armor based outfits. That’s anything from complicated headpieces all the way down to belt buckles and breastplates. In terms of materials, I’ve worked with things such as foam, styrene plastics, as well as fiberglass, and I’ve even tried thermoplastic used in car dashboards.”
As she first sat down with the 3Doodler, she says she thinks that the 3Doodler will offer her an opportunity to do the sort of fine-detail work that often relies on a 3D printing service to accomplish, and is excited by the prospect of accomplishing it with something that costs a fraction of a digital printer.
When Gina holds the unit, she immediately has ideas about what to make with it. “This has a very wide variety of use. It’s great for something small—if you have a detailed item like a belt buckle, it would lend itself really well. For existing armor, I could also do detailed overlay pieces. It would probably be easier than sanding out a product, like I usually do. Instead I could add a layer with this, since it’ll probably adhere to the plastic.”
“Ultimately, I think I’m going to make something that’s in the cosplay department but isn’t super frequently seen, which is a horn item. There are a lot of different styles, whether it’s like a ram horn or a goat horn, or something sanded down like with Hellboy. I think this will work great because what I’m making, it’s really organic and not perfectly smooth.”
A week and an extra package of yellow plastic later, Gina has a horn. It is hollow, and made out of two tones of yellow plastic, one matte, and the other glossy.
The hollow horn took Gina two and a half hours to complete, including some time to learn the ins and outs of using the 3Doodler. She says that compares favorably to the time it takes to produce the item with other methods.
"The 3Doodler has a very wide variety of use. It’s great for something small—if you have a detailed item like a belt buckle, it would lend itself really well. For existing armor, I could also do detailed overlay pieces."
To construct it, she used the bottom of a bowl to provide a curved surface. She doodled an internal structure, than stitched the sides together rapidly in what Gina calls a “spider like” fashion to produce a tight chain of strings. Once the initial curved shape was done, she was able to repeat the process, building upon each previously extruded section.
She’s pleased with the results. The horn is immediately identifiable, and has even had passers by asking if it came off of a ram. Making it by hand gave it a natural look Gina’s pleased with. “I think that it has a good organic swoop.”
But her project isn’t over yet. She didn’t make a unicorn horn after all. “The biggest issue now is: can I create a second one?”
In addition to crafting a second horn, Gina also plans to use some advanced crafting techniques to enhance the horns. Sanding, priming, and maybe even painting will give them a more advanced and literally polished look. She looks forward to sharing the outcome of her work after she’s brought the horns up to her exacting standards.