First go at 3D printing a mask

      First go at 3D printing a mask

      Hello, I’m new around here though I've been lurking for a bit. I’m no stranger to cosplay or crossdressing, ( but Animegao Kigurumi is new to me.

      I’ve seen Kigs at MCM expo in London, have a slight fascination with masks and well, I ‘aint getting any cuter, but the cost put me off buying a mask. But last November I bought a 3D printer (a Creality CR-10s, which BTW was cheaper than a full kig mask) and have been getting to know it and learning Blender. I’ve designed and built a few cosplay items (mostly for an Overwatch D.Va cosplay) and felt I could now have a go at a Kigurumi mask. I searched around online for free masks, but none took my fancy, so I designed my own original character. She's supposed to be a slightly older chara with a bit of a sly smile. I’ve never worn a kig mask before, only seen them at a distance or in pictures, so was slightly unsure about both the fit and the eye holes, so its all a bit of a best guess. The holes in the top are for ventilation.

      It was designed as a sub-div model in Blender and used the Solidfiy modified to give it thickness (It varies between about 1.5mm and 2.5mm). I imported the STL into Cura, which told me it would take about 4 days to print at .2mm layer height…. Yikes. I cut it up into 11 pieces in Meshmixer so each piece took less than 7 hours to print (I don’t like leaving my printer on while I’m at work or overnight, when both my neighbors and myself want a quiet nights sleep) and started printing away in PLA. I set it up the print so it had multiple walls and didn’t need infill, the resultant parts feel strong enough.

      What do you think? I drew the eyes on with a sharpie to see how they looked, final version will be printed on my paper with my inkjet. I’m still 3D printing the rest of the pieces, the top right piece is being printed as I type. On reflection I think I cut it into too many parts, the seams are bit ugly. I think it will fit my head, what’s done so far fits but it’s a little snug (its 28cm tall by 23cm wide). The individual parts are glued together with cyanoacrylate with a stip of sheet styrene on the inside to strengthen the joint, with a layer of epoxy resin as well just to be sure. I've dropped 3D printed parts just glued with cyano before learned they're not as strong as they look the hard way. The grey bits on the mask are model filler, just to fill in the seams and some of the layer lines.

      After its all printed, had a first pass at sanding and assembled I’m going to give it a coat of XTC-3d to hopefully cover the remaining layer lines and help the seams. After that its going to be more sanding, filling, sanding, priming sanding and more sanding. Who said 3D printers where labour saving devices

      As for paint, well, I’m a little unsure, what do most people use? I have a can of Tamiya Flesh Tone spray paint, but I’m not sure its quite the right colour. I was planning on brush painting the lips but perhaps an airbrush would be better, I don’t have one but am thinking about getting one.

      As for the hair, none of my regular wigs will fit it. I’ve read a couple of tutorials but am still unsure about frankensteining a few wigs together to fit the head. Actually I don’t even know what style or colour I want yet.

      Any input you have would be much appreciated, thanks.
      This is amazing. I don't have any input for you since I'm also a beginner in this (and cosplay in general). I'm right with you in that I bought a CR-10s4 and learned blender to print my own mask out. You can see the face of mine in my avatar. I went for a lower detail style but basically matches perfect to the reference art I was using. Yours looks really good with the level of detail you've used. I think the only input I would have for you is try not to slice the face for printing since you wouldn't want a seam there normally. The only reason I say that is because I was also told the same thing by a professional. Although, as long as you are really good with the filling, sanding and priming (which it looks like you are) then there shouldn't be much of an issue.

      You're quite well ahead of me and I'm impressed with your progress. At this point, I think I could learn quite a lot from you so keep up the great work and do keep us posted. I'm sincerely interested in following your project to it's completion.


      Helenako Chan wrote:

      I have a can of Tamiya Flesh Tone spray paint, but I’m not sure its quite the right colour.

      The color wouldn't be an issue compared to the fact that Tamiya is acrylic paint. Kigurumi masks can turn pretty hot on the inside, leading to the PLA to warp on a scale that isn't neccessary visible to the human eye but can result in the acrylic paint cracking due to the difference in heat properties. You will want to go for vinyl-based paint instead as it's more flexible.

      Post was edited 1 time, last by “ichigomomomya” ().

      That looks so GOOD!! This is making me really think that I should buy a 3d-printer on my own. Because recently I've been trying to follow the technique RinRin use when she 3d-printed her kigs through papercraft but failed, though I thought trying the Papercraft technique again as a second try....Until I saw this.
      MARS :P ^^ :D :/ :S X/ :rolleyes: :love: :cursing: :thumbsup: :sleeping: :evil: :saint: <3
      Thank you all for your kind words :D

      I’ve got the rest printed and assembled and am now well into the tedious process of sanding, filling, sanding, priming and more sanding. It does fit, I can even get in on over my glasses, just, which is a relief.

      I did give it a coat of XTC-3D, but that didn’t go well. First problem was I mixed too much, 30ml, and it started to set (it gets warm just before it hardens) before I could put it all on, I panicked a bit and applied some too late, it didn’t smooth out and dried in big lumps. I added a couple more coats, mixing less this time trying to cover bits I missed the first time, but that never seemed 100% successful, I always see to get gaps and it also dripped. Cue several hours of aggressive sanding to get rid of most of it. I would recommend not using it.

      After a bit of filling I gave the front a very thin coat of filler primer. Only a thin coat on the front because my can run out, I’ve got more coming tomorrow. After more sanding and filling I gave it a thin coat of regular white primer, that’s that in the photo. It’s hard to see on the photo, but I can see many flaws, so at least one good coat of filler primer and yet more sanding is required to get the surface to an acceptable level.

      I have a hadatai, well a flesh tone zentai in a modal material anyway, I bought a while back. I had it made to measure but the sleeves came out to long an the supposed fitted toes where comically awful. I shortened one arm and sorted out the toes and will shorten the other arm with my sewing machine this weekend. That will give me a swatch of fabric to match the paint too. An art shop near me has a good range of spray paints from Montana Gold and Liquitex, hopefully I’ll find a match.

      Still don’t know what to do about the hair though, I’ve read a couple of tutorials (thanks for the links) and have an idea what todo, but haven’t yet decided on a colour/style yet. All I know is, its not going to be too long, I’ve worn waist length wigs before (I cosplayed Sailor Pluto) and found them to be a total PITA.
      Thank you for the advice, I going to leave the eyes as is for this one, punching out the eye holes would be difficult at this stage, the PLA is too thick to cut with a knife, I can’t get a saw in there and power cutting tools scare me somewhat. I’ve got a cutting wheel for my Dremel that could cut the plastic but I would make a mess and possibly chop off a finger or two. I’ll try open eyes for MK II, I can remove them from the model and they simply won’t get printed. For a MKII I'd also reduce the number of sections I print and move the seams to somewhere less visible.

      I’d got a bit further with the paint, put on filler primer and sanded it all down till it was glassy smooth and went out to look for spray paint with a scrap of my zentai to match it. I found what looked like the best match in a local large art shop, Montana Gold in flesh. So I went home, gave the shell one last clean and polish and sprayed it on…

      It came out awful. The spray was week and it went on unevenly, some parts came out glossy, others rough and several parts crackled. That plus the colour, which looked OK on the can top had a deathly slight blue pallor to it, it was more zombie flesh than human flesh ☹ Note to self, never use Montana gold paint again. The thing I’ve noticed in spray can painting props and cosplay over the years, spray paint that’s meant to go on Models or Cars works and gives a good finish. But Artist, Graffiti, generic DIY spray paint usually sucks. I should have taken my own advice.

      Sanding down the horrible paint was hard work, it didn’t want to come off. Eventually with most of it gone I added another coat of filler primer and once more sanded that down. This was getting tedious. I tried my best with the sanding but the I couldn’t get the finish back to what it was ☹ I decided to let it go.

      Next try with paint was with Tamyia Flesh spray. It went on beautifully and gave a smooth even finish, but the colour isn’t exactly to my liking, it’s a bit too dark and orange. Plus the paint only came in a tiny 100ml can and one wasn’t enough. I couldn’t find any local shops selling it any more (A lot of model shops in London have closed down in the last few years) and had to order of Amazon, it only arrived today. I did search around for other spray paint, I found a games shop near my work (The Orc’s Nest in central London) selling Army painter “Barbarian Flesh” in a nice big spray can. It went on nicely too (Model paints FTW) but the colour was even darker than the Tamyia, to my eyes it looked like sunburnt skin, so I noped on that one. I’m going to have to get an airbrush aren’t I.

      I’ve also been experimenting with the eye’s, its harder than it looks. The picture you see are my 2nd attempt, printed on cheap paper and only tacked on to the mask. Any idea’s for improvements? What do recommend to print the final versions on, Photo paper (matt or gloss) or film?

      I thinking of trying actual lipstick on the lips, applied with a brush, is that a recipe for disaster?

      And for the hair, I'm torn between burgundy or blonde, not too long, just past the shoulder. I'm on the look out for cheap wigs I can disassemble and glue on and style
      What ever stuff one uses as a filler, its impossible to get even smooth layers by hand, so sanding bit takes lot of elbow grease.
      Painting can be pain too. readymade sprays have limited collection of tones, and mixing paint is science.
      Endure and soldier on! you have gotten excellent results so far!

      Post was edited 1 time, last by “victoria” ().

      Some more WIP

      After about 5 or 6 iterations and lots of test prints I got the eyes to a state where they look OK. I printed them on thick matt paper and glued them on the mask with UHU glue. I tried a few different glues on previous versions of the eyes on test 3d prints and the UHU worked best, they feel quite secure, but I doubt they are the slightest bit waterproof, not rain or swimming pools for me (actually it will probably never leave my flat anyway). I went around the vision ports on the inside with black acrylic paint to try and make sure they are not seen, but I think they’re still a bit too visible. Saying that the visibility from inside the mask the is pretty awful.

      I tried lipstick on the lips and brush painting, but didn’t like either of the results. I wiped/sanded most of it off but still had a stubborn layer remaining. I gave that a mist of spray paint and then stopped myself before I completely covered the old paint. I got the effect I was looking for, just a subtle hint of colour and smooth.

      For interior padding I experimented with various bits of upholstery foam before I think I got what I needed. Been trying a few glues on test pieces tonight, it seems like Contact adhesive and surprisingly UHU work the best. I’ll probably glue the them in tonight. It does feel a bit Darth Vader though when its on, with the sound of my breathing amplified.

      I decided to go with burgundy hair in the end and ordered a couple of cheap wigs off ebay that looked quite thick and where slightly too long. They came quicker than expected and I’ve been trying to workout how to use them all night. I cut one up into 2 pieces, the crown/fridge and the back/sides, that seems to cover the back of the head quite nicely. For the other I made a few small cuts to make it lie flatter and have been messing around trying to get the look I want, here’s what I’ve got so far.

      ( I think I'll have to get her a tripod of her own, she's using one of my light stands at the moment)

      Nothing’s permanent yet, its all a bit of double sided tape and hair grips, but I think its about there. I’ll trim the back so it the length is even and dowse it with strong hair spay to try and keep the style. Do I need to keep the hair spray off the paint and eyes?

      It is a bit plain for Anime hair, but I wanted a ever so slightly more mature look and I can dress it up with a bow or a flower etc
      Art is never finished, only abandoned…. So I’m going to call it done. Actually I don’t think its too bad for a first go, especially as I’ve never worn or even seen one of these masks close up before.

      Eyes are on, padding is in, hair is on and styled as best I could (wig styling is not my forte), I can wear it, but barely see out and it’s a bit warm.

      I'm thinking about doing a MKII, with open eye sockets so I can back mount the eyes (and make the eyes and brows out of something more substantial), rearrange the split of the model so the seams are less visible, make the smile my prominent and there something about the lines of the chin that aren’t quite right.

      But MKI (I need to give her a proper name) does have something going for her, she’s a cheap date Outlay the project was £6.50 for crappy paint, £9 good paint (damm that post and packing extra charges for spray cans), £8 filler primer, £5 for even mode glue and £34 for 2 wigs. So that’s £62.50 in total, it would probably be cheaper elsewhere as spray paint is so expensive in the UK. Ok I already had the the printer, the software (actually I mostly used free open source tools) , the PLA filament (it used about 400-500 gm) the tools, the sandpaper, the filler, glue (Cyano, Epoxy and UHU), duct tape, masking tape, printer paper and ink, sheet styrene and foam, but if I did pay for all the materials it would still probably come out < £100, which is quite a bit cheaper than a professionally made mask. But now I understand with those you are mostly paying for skilled labour and experience, the hours spent modelling/sculpting and gluing and styling and sanding and sanding and even more sanding add up to rather a lot.

      I have to adjust my zentai a bit (it came with the arms way too long) and chose some outfits, but I should be able to do a photo shoot tomorrow, I’ll spam the gallery with those

      It’s been an interesting project, I still don’t know if I’ll ever manage to go to a con or something in it. I'll tidy up the STLs and re-cut it, perhaps knock out the eyes and post the files on Thingiverse in the next week or so if anyone wants to print there own.

      Post was edited 1 time, last by “Helenako Chan” ().

      Had a photoshoot, that was hard work, what with the limited vision and too much heat and having to pose, work the remote, not walk into things etc as well. Respect to anyone who kig’s for hours on end.

      Some conclusions, the hair is very unruly, I need to get some more serious styling stuff, or perhaps just glue to keep it in place. Also my zentai isn’t very good, it's way to thin and pale. Any recommendations for vendors? I think I’d like one with “Valley” processing, because, you know, boobs.

      Post was edited 1 time, last by “Helenako Chan” ().

      The maid uniform (the one on the left) is another of my DIY creations I'm afraid. Most of the cute maid outfits I found on line where in very small Asian sizes and I'm an enormous northern European, so I made (maid) my own.

      It's actually quite simple (I'm only a novice at sewing), the black dress is made from Scuba (with is a medium weight stretch Jersey material, not neoprene), the top is a basic bodice pattern with a princes seam, the skirt section is a simple circle skirt and the sleeves short poofy ones with some white lycra trim. Being stretch material you can just pull it on, it doesn't need a zip. I did the patterning myself, but commercial patterns could be adapted. The pinafore is mostly heavyweight polyester with some lighter weight stuff for the ruffled trim, it joins at the back with velcro. A large bow with long tails goes on the back, its poly-cotton with heavy interfacing to keep it upright. The pattern is again very basic, a square for the top, a rounded bit of the bottom and some wide strips for the straps and belt. For the ruffles measure the length you want and multiple by 2.5, then sew it on to the main piece pushing the fuller material into the sewing machines foot to create folds while keeping the bottom layer taught. The gloves are white lycra, made simply by drawing around my hand and arm and adding a bit to make the patter and sewing 2 sides together, the material is stretchy enough to code. The petticoat and stockings where just bought.

      But if you are petite enough, many places sell cute maids dresses, Bodyline from Japan for instance

      Thanks for the vote for the DAME suits, I was looking at those but was a little unsure. I'll have to measure myself up and get one ordered.

      Helenako Chan wrote:

      I've put the STL files on Thingiverse, if anyone wants them they can be downloaded for free from

      I'm going to post a link to your message on Discord as I think the resource that link points to will be handy for some of the others to know about.

      EDIT: Forgotten to mention where I was posting a referral link.
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