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Metal 3D Printing Like Never Seen Before – 1st Century Roman Helmet Build


(See Full Video Down Below)

Over the past couple months we embarked on a journey to see just how far we could push 3D printing technology. It was time to tap into the real possibilities of metal printing and strive for a more complex and organic build, not just another wall bracket or custom valve.

After seeing some interesting angles that 3D print enthusiasts have taken on their own projects, it was time we at Custom Prototypes take inspiration and harness all of our efforts to truly showcase a product that would start a conversation.

So here we have it, after months of printing, sanding, polishing, plating, dyeing and painting we have created a First Century Roman helmet using nothing but 3D printing.

metal 3d printed gold

The entire skeleton of the helmet is 3D printed in seven different parts of 316 stainless steel. The parts then underwent a lengthy finishing process consisting of manual and electro polishing. After the metal parts had passed surface quality control (nothing less then a sparkle was acceptable), they then underwent a plating procedure consisting of copper, nickel, chrome and 24 carat gold

Features such as the gems and stones were 3D printed using plastic SLA materials called Somos Watershed XC11122 and Somos Evolve . Each piece was then dyed, painted and finished to resemble a realistic historical representation of artifacts found in First Century BC. The detailing of each piece was tedious as the objective was to mimic the grain and finish of real precious gems and stones.

sla 3d print clear coat
3d printed sla finishing

The inner liner of the helmet was printed in Somos Evolve, which was then finished using dye and paint. A subtractive colour removal technique was used during this process to mimic the finish of real crocodile leather.

The red “mohawk” hair was printed using a special in house secret that allows for vertical substructures to print without the use of additional support. After printing the tiny fibers, we hand-dyed and plasticized them with a molecular lubricant, finished with a clear coat.After all the parts were complete it was time for assembly. The majority of the parts were designed to press fit into the helmet’s shell and the remaining parts were attached using a special metal adhesive.

3d printed hair dye
3d printed roman helmet

This project has claimed 1st place at AMUG’s Additive Manufacturing technical competition for advanced finishing. We hope this projects can spark interest in the 3D printing online community and enlighten 3D enthusiasts on the potentials of metal and plastic 3D printing.

metal 3d printed helmet

Full video of the entire 3D printing build process: