MiniFactory Designers Rock Finland’s Provinssirock Festival in 3D Printed Ghostbusters Garb
What happens when the Provinssirock Festival is getting ready to rock in Europe, and there’s nothing to wear? You know what to do. Create an elaborate Ghostbusters getup–and quick! That’s right–and in the Nordic country of Finland no less, where the slapstick story of the three parapsychologists still reigns and entertains–now in 3D print.
The multi-day rock festival, an annual tradition since 1979, was expanded this year from its usual three days to four and called on fans to go all out as they arrived to see bands like Muse, Apocalpyta, Faith No More, and a very long lineup of other well-known headliners in the alternative rock and metal scene.
Hanging out over a pint, the guys at MiniFactory, headquartered in Seinäjoki, mulled over how to pull off some showstopping gear for the year’s biggest summer event–and without much time to spare.
“At summer festivals, you can often see Supermen, Borats and even walking bananas. This time, we decided to go one step further,” said the team in their blog. “Since our team included a 3D-modelling aficionado with a MiniFactory 3D printer in his living room, a person good with paintbrush, and a person with a number of great ideas, we called it open season for ideas, so to say.”
At first–with the clock ticking–the team was thinking about making just a couple of items. They completed the ghost trap with such success though that “the hunger began to grow.” The project, last minute or not, began to gain steam with the team’s enthusiasm and excitement about the pending show.
They became ambitious, creative juices flowing, and decided to make the following via the 3D printer:
- Ghost trap
- Proton gun
- PKE meter
- Utility belt
The team felt like the ghost trap, modeled in Solid Edge, was almost an exact replica of the original–but not without great effort in finishing touches. Even with little time to spare, they were busy taping and painting and lending impressive craftsmanship to their costumes. One thing led to another and suddenly they were planning to adorn their following 3D prints with a list of accouterments required for wear in banishing evil specters.
The proton gun, which they worked on second, was quite simply a big deal to pull off, and ended up being their most substantial challenge. The team had to do a bit of searching online, brainstorming, and designing and editing before they settled on what became their own version, featuring LED lights, electronics, and even a PVC pipe used to replicate the tubular components of the original.
“We had to make a number of changes in the next prototype in order to fit all of the functionalities desired in our proton gun,” reported the team of designers. “LED light locations, wiring routes, central housing lighting, the feel of the handles, push-button locations…plus a lot of tuning and upgrading, all the way from basic design.”
It wasn’t an easy piece just to fire off quickly, and the team reported numerous modifications and several prototypes being fabricated before they were happy–and that included more taping and painting–as well as gluing and adding the electronics.
They had to 3D print ‘a pile of parts’ as well if the team of three were each to carry their own gun. Thankfully, due to their multiple prototypes and previous testing, all of the weaponry snapped right into place, wires were hidden, and they were ready.
The team decided on water-soluble spray paints by Maston and RAL9005 matte black paint for priming, with several light layers required. Acrylic was used in finishing, with a silver color and some other mixes of paint accenting the pieces.
This project was showing itself to be no small feat indeed, and certainly makes a statement regarding not only passion involved by fans attending the Provinssirock festival, but also in the pure joy this particular group gained through designing and making.
They moved onto the PKE meter and goggles next, at which point they project was ‘running wild.’ Energy was cresting regarding the project, with ideas coming from every corner. As they watched the clock and kept saying they were going to reach a stopping point, one thing continued to lead to another.
The PKE meter, while certainly a necessary part of the Ghostbusters garb, was one of the easier parts to design and 3D print once they had a plan for design and aesthetics.
“We modeled a space for two white LEDs in the cover, which were located at a distance of approximately 1.5 centimeters from the cover top surface. To cover the LEDs, we printed out a .5 millimeter thick white plate serving as a reflector/display,” said the design team.
They rigged the meter to activate with a switch that allowed the lights to pulse energetically at their whim. LEDs were installed in the front, sides, and inside of the handle, and the group was obviously quite proud of how well their handiwork was functioning.
“We created some space in the goggles to fit in a 9V battery and two holes for some LED lights for a more lively appearance. These looked really cool in the wee hours of the festival night!” said the designers.
Lastly came the addition of the actual clothing and nametags. While not 3D printed, they were the absolute finishing touches on the project, which produced fifty 3D printed parts overall, and used up two spools of PLA, as well as a touch of Taulman Nylon 645 filament. They finished everything in one week. With nametags, the proper patches, and some British RAF overalls, the team was off–but not without some reflecting upon all the new things they learned about modeling and 3D printing, electronics, and the craftsmanship involved in finishing pieces with paint, glue, and more.
“The project was awesome, and if we had more time, the possibilities for adding equipment were almost limitless. Ideas were definitely not the problem,” stated the designers upon finishing one night before the show started. “If you have the interest and the tools, everything is possible!”
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen 3D printed Ghostbusters parts and pieces via makers and hobbyists. The movie, just celebrating its 30th year anniversary, is far too popular not to be a theme chosen by the wide world of movie lovers and techno-geeks for translation into the world of high tech–where we love some retro.
As the anniversary loomed last year, there were 3D printed figurines, 3D printed Ghostbusters proton packs, and even a 3D printed giga meter. This is, however, the first time we’ve seen the Ghostbusters gear taken to such a level–we certainly hope this team attends the festival next year, as we can’t wait to see what they come up with to wear then.
Have you used 3D printing to create something similar in concept? Are you interested in trying to recreate this design? Discuss in the 3D Printed Ghostbusters Garb forum thread over at 3DPB.com.
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