John Watson, Mary Watson, Sherlock Holmes, Jim Moriarty: our gender-bent BBC Sherlock cosplay group

I’m a closet cosplayer; most of the cosplays I’ve put together have been from my own closet and/or thrift shops. This works for me, though, as most of my fandoms tend to incorporate characters wearing street clothes. For a local con last week, a group of friends and I dressed as gender-bent characters from Sherlock (I did invest in a classic deer stalker hat, not found at a thrift shop). We may not have won the group costume contest, but we were a recognizable bunch there — and we had a lot of fun, which is really the point of it all.

Many cosplayers, though, go way above and beyond closet cosplays, constructing elaborate costumes and props from a variety of materials — and, ever more often, incorporating 3D printed elements. Those involved in the 3D printing industry have certainly taken notice of this popular trend, and are increasingly frequently offering better tools, tutorials, example builds, and more to showcase the uses of 3D printing in this costumed play hobby that many take very seriously.

A new contest, put on by Pinshape and Ultimaker, has just launched to help highlight the creativity possible in 3D printed cosplay builds. The latest contest offered by the busy Pinshape community, which recently announced the winners of their Design for Electronics challenge, offers a chance for makers to design their own props or models from movies/video games/books — any type of cosplay accessory that highlights design skill and 3D printing know-how. The Cosplay Design Contest is now open for entries!


“We’re excited to bring our community the contest they’ve been asking for. It’s really fun to see all the great designs people come up with and the Pinshape team is excited to try printing them!” Lauren Watkins from Pinshape tells 3DPrint.com.

pinshapeOf course, a design contest is nothing without prizes — and this contest has some set to surely entice makers who have been seeing the potential for 3D printing in their design work. The first place prize is definitely set to drum up some major interest in this challenge, as Ultimaker is offering a brand-new Ultimaker 3 3D printer for the top design submission. The newest 3D printer from the Dutch company is set to bring professional 3D printing quality to the desktop, and is a machine that the company has expressed great enthusiasm for since its unveiling just a few weeks ago.

“We’re very excited to be giving away a new Ultimaker 3 for this contest. Cosplay is such a huge part of the 3D printing community and brings so much thrill, we can’t wait to see what people create! ” Sander van Geelen, Ultimaker Community Manager and a judge for this contest, tells 3DPrint.com.

Contest prizes in full include:cosplay-prizes

First Place

Second Place

Third Place

  • $150 gift card to 3D printed prop store Eucl3D

These prizes are sure to turn a few eyes to the contest. The two 3D printers from Ultimaker are certainly exciting (and portable, in the case of the Ultimaker 2 Go!) and the third place prize brings another great opportunity for those interested in the game-inspired offerings of Eucl3D. which we’ve seen create some truly impressive designs.

Submissions have already begun rolling in for the Cosplay Design Contest, and the Pinshape team is gearing up to see all the entries that come in before the November 24th deadline (all entries must be submitted by 23:59:59 PST on that date). Entries, which do not have to be entirely 3D printed (though a bill of materials must be included for all non-3D printed parts), must be original works and cannot have been submitted to a previous Pinshape contest. If you have more than one great design, all the better — you’re welcome to submit as many unique designs as you’d like. Pinshape does note that due to “IP concerns, contest entries must be listed as free.”


Some of the uploaded entries to the Cosplay Design Contest

The team of judges will score each entry out of 100 points, broken up as follows:

  • 40 Points
    • Technical excellence and ease of printing
  • 30 Points
    • Presentation: Image quality, print settings, assembly instructions (if required)
  • 30 Points
    • Aesthetics: How well does the model reflect the original design in the movie book or game it came from?

“Please note – having your model 3D printed does help to illustrate your design is printable on an FDM printer and helps with higher presentation quality,” Pinshape points out.


Detail on the Ultimaker 3

Judges include:

  • Brian Graf, Eucl3D Co-Founder
  • Sander van Geelen, Ultimaker Community Manager
  • Garrett, Pinshape Ambassador, Chaos Core Tech YouTuber

See the full contest page for full rules, FAQs, and more details — and remember when you upload your designs to Pinshape to check the box for contest submissions! Happy designing — we can’t wait to see what you come up with for this contest!

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