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3dp_mech_renderWhen most people get their first 3D printer, their first 3D printing project tends to be something simple, like a Yoda head or a cell phone case. But 3D design student Armin Hesampour decided to think a little, no make that a lot, bigger. Instead of an Eiffel Tower or a geometric vase, Hesampour just went right ahead and decided to convert a complicated and detailed 3D model of a Mech into a 3D printable model. The model that he chose was so complex that he ended up completely redesigning almost the entire thing and dividing it into more than 120 separate parts that would been to be printed, sanded and painted. Who needs 3D printing training wheels? Certainly not Hesampour, because this was his first project.

3dp_mech_bannerIt started simply enough, while taking his first 3ds Max class, Hesampour was learning about 3D design and 3D modeling and decided that getting himself a 3D printer was the next logical step. One of the 3D models that he was using in class was this Mech that he found on Turbosquid, and Hesampour decided that he wanted a real version of it for himself. Unfortunately the 3D model was not designed to be 3D printed but was only a clean render, so none of the joints moved and the entire robot was fixed. So he needed to completely rework the entire 3D model in order to make it printable, and modify any of the pieces that wouldn’t be suitable to print. It took him almost a month of tinkering before he was happy with the results.

3dp_mech_parts_bedlayoutHesampour started by dividing the model up at the joints, but that still left too much detail that wouldn’t print cleanly, so he started to remove details from the model so they could be 3D printed separately. By the time he was done, he had chopped the model up into 129 individual parts that would each need to be 3D printed on their own. To make it easier Hesampour used 3ds Max and Cura to arrange several groups of the parts to reduce the printing time, finally ending up with eight individual printing batches.

Hesampour’s chosen starter 3D printer was a RepRap variant called the Quantum 2035 sold by Persia 3D Printers, which he used to print all of the mech’s parts using a basic white PLA. The printer was set to use a 30% infill with a layer height of 300 microns. Over all, just the 3D printing alone took him about two months to complete, mostly because he had a few false starts and needed to go back to the drawing board and redesign a few parts that weren’t printing correctly. Including those initial starting mistakes the mech took Hesampour about 90 hours in total for him to get all of the parts 3D printed.

Once he had all of the mech printed, Hesampour sanded each individual part, smoothing down the striation and then priming them. Then he painted each part in silver or red and used super glue to put everything together. He spent about a week assembling his mech, although much of that time was spent making sure that his camera was catching each step in the assembly process, which you can see here:

Believe it or not, a project of this size and complexity didn’t turn Hesampour off of 3D printing, it has only inspired him to think bigger and start even more complicated projects. He’s also been inspired to start up his own 3D printing services bureau to serve his local community. You can find more of his awesome 3D printing projects over on his Instagram, his website and his company’s Facebook page. And if you want to try printing your own Mech, Hesampour has uploaded his 3D models to Thingiverse.

What are your thoughts on this design?  Let us know in the 3D Printed Mech forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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