One of my favorite areas within the 3D printing space, which I really enjoy covering, is that of cosplay and costume design. Over the past several years, we’ve seen many incredibly unique and amazing 3D printed costumes, masks, weapons and accessories come about, thanks to talented 3D modelers and the use of 3D printers. We’ve seen Iron Man masks, Batman masks, and many many more, but what we haven’t yet seen is a 3D printed high-quality Spider-Man mask. That is, until today!
Thanks to a 30-year-old man named Yuri Schuurkes, who is a costume designer in the Netherlands, we can now say that we’ve seen it all!
“Seeing Spider-Man come to life on the big screen back in 2002 made a big impression on me, and I really wanted a suit like that,” Schuurkes tells 3DPrint.com. “I never particularly was a fan of Spider-Man, but there was something about this costume that amazed me. After looking everywhere for a movie-quality suit, I got my hands on a costume kit. It was a partially finished suit that I had to finish myself. When I finished it I didn’t really like it at all, so eventually decided to build the entire thing myself from scratch.
And that is exactly what he has been doing ever since. For years, he had a dilemma — he could create a super awesome looking costume, but could not figure out a way to create the face shell to go along.
“My research showed me that making a shell to my required standards was not possible with the budget I had available,” Schuurkes tells us. “But then new 3D printing technology arrived and it opened all the doors. Not only could I keep fine tuning the design until it was exactly the way I wanted it to be, it also made it possible to easily create multiple sizes so everybody could wear one.”
So Schuurkes ended up finding help from a professional 3D designer who was very proficient at using Autodesk 3ds Max. With his help, Schuurkes spent approximately 6 months designing his mask exactly the way he wanted. The shell of the mask is one piece, with additional eye frames which were designed separately. They are magnetically locked into the face shell with fabric from the overall costume in between. This provides for a very comfortable fit for the person who is wearing it, and also allows for the eye plates to be taken out whenever necessary.
To 3D print the mask, Schuurkes used 3D printing service Shapeways. The shell of the mask itself is printed in “Black, Strong and Flexible plastic” on a selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printer. It measures just 2 millimeters thick, yet is very strong and provides for ample flexibility as well. As the material the mask is made out of is a bit rough, it is damaging to the spandex fabric that is laid overtop. Because of this, Schuurkes was forced to sand it down to make it smoother and ultimately cause less wear on the fabric.
As for the eye frames, they are printed in Shapeways’ “White, Strong and Flexible plastic,” and were a bit of a challenge for Schurrkes.
“It’s important that they are very smooth and painted metallic black,” he tells us. “It actually took me and a professional airbrush artist dozens of trials and errors to find out how to make them this perfect. First it’s important to have them polished by Shapeways, to take off some of the rough surface. Then we paint the frames with surfacer after which the frames are sanded by hand, using 3 different grits to get it real smooth. Once it’s smooth enough it’s airbrushed in a metallic black color.”
As you can see in the photos and video (below), the mask came out extremely well. The 30-year-old Schuurkes has been working on his costume since he was just 18 years old, and the hard work has paid off. Schuurkes is offering the mask for sale on Shapeways to other fans interested in making their own costumes, and he maintains a SpideyPlanet Facebook page. What do you think about this creation? Discuss in the 3D Printed Spider-Man Mask Forum thread on 3DPB.com.