3D Printed Chain Mail Armor

Show off your prints!!!
Post Reply
User avatar
ednisley
Posts: 1040
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:34 pm
Location: Halfway up the Hudson
Contact:

3D Printed Chain Mail Armor

Post by ednisley » Mon Dec 08, 2014 6:04 pm

Back in my Thing-O-Matic days, I made small chain mail sheets:

http://softsolder.com/2011/06/03/thing- ... chainmail/
Image

The M2's big glass plate produces bigger and much better results:

http://softsolder.com/2014/11/27/3d-pri ... ail-again/
Image

Pyramidal armor caps should repel Nerf darts:

http://softsolder.com/2014/12/04/3d-pri ... y-edition/
Image

With armor, bigger is always better:

http://softsolder.com/2014/12/05/3d-pri ... -mm-sheet/
Image

If that's not enough, join the sheets:

http://softsolder.com/2014/12/08/3d-pri ... ts-fabric/
Image

A closeup of the joint between the two big sheets, which lie left & right of the joiner links that I'm gluing in place:

Image

The OpenSCAD program splits the joiner links horizontally under the armor cap: position the two lower bars between the sheets, apply adhesive to the four pillars, then press the cap in place. The big sheets consist of interlocked links printed as one unit that require no gluing; split links join those sheets.

The program starts with the actual extruded thread size (I'm running 0.40 mm wide x 0.20 mm thick from a 0.35 mm nozzle), then computes the link dimensions as integer multiples of the thread size to make the infill fit perfectly. That means you can't use a model built for a different printer, because the sizes won't match.

Basically, you tell the program what your printer can do and how large a sheet you want, then it builds a model to match:

Image

You can specify a diamond layout that rotates the links 45° with respect to the sheet sides:

Image

You can set the armor button shape, although I think the 4-sided pyramid looks best:

Image
Image
Image

Those big sheets pose a savage test of first-layer alignment, part adhesion, and bridging performance. The 9x13 button array rises from 514 bars on the platform, stretches 748 bridges to form the links, then builds 117 flat bridges to make the armor caps. Each 9x13 sheet requires a bit over nine hours to print.

But, y'know what? All those big sheets printed without incident and came off the platform ready to use: no cleanup or post-processing at all.

The M2 Just Works...

User avatar
jimc
Posts: 2888
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:30 pm
Location: mullica, nj
Contact:

Re: 3D Printed Chain Mail Armor

Post by jimc » Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:31 pm

thats cool ed. i have seen a bunch of chain type models on thingiverse but never tried to print any of them

User avatar
Tim
Posts: 1205
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:19 pm
Location: Poolesville, Maryland
Contact:

Re: 3D Printed Chain Mail Armor

Post by Tim » Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:32 pm

Print with bronze-fill filament. . .

Very cool!

Any instructions on how to form a chain-mail shirt? It gets tricky where the sleeves connect to the body.

User avatar
ednisley
Posts: 1040
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:34 pm
Location: Halfway up the Hudson
Contact:

Re: 3D Printed Chain Mail Armor

Post by ednisley » Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:10 am

Tim wrote:a chain-mail shirt?
You'd get better results by sewing separate armor patches onto a shirt, rather than trying to build a shirt directly from the sheets, due to the bulky buttons atop relatively inflexible links. The sheets have open links around the edges specifically for sewing them down, although special attachment links with small eyelets might be a better idea.

Bronze filament sounds great: go for it!

User avatar
jimc
Posts: 2888
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:30 pm
Location: mullica, nj
Contact:

Re: 3D Printed Chain Mail Armor

Post by jimc » Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:12 am

there is that new iron and stainless filament out or coming out. iron would be cool. let it sit outside and rust a bit.

User avatar
ednisley
Posts: 1040
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:34 pm
Location: Halfway up the Hudson
Contact:

Re: 3D Printed Chain Mail Armor

Post by ednisley » Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:20 am

jimc wrote:a bunch of chain type models on thingiverse
Judging from the comments, most of those designs seem to be very, very hard to print successfully, probably because their bar / link sizes interact badly with the extrusion width: they're designed to work on one specific printer and can't be adapted to another.

But, for sure, pulling a sheet of "cloth" off the platform always seems like magic and certainly shows what a 3D printer can do!

User avatar
jdacal
Posts: 466
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:28 pm
Location: Florida
Contact:

Re: 3D Printed Chain Mail Armor

Post by jdacal » Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:41 am

Wow! Neat stuff Ed!
jdacal

live print feed: http://enctrading.com/printcam/
See me Crash and Burn in Real time!

Post Reply