it still involves skill

anonymous asked:

One thing I'm not sure about with 3D printed stuff, is how is that judged or should it be judged for craftsmanship? What questions should a judge ask? Is it more or less work, etc?

This is a great question! When I first started getting into 3D printing it is something I thought about a lot. 

How 3D Printing Fits In

Cosplay already is a huge amalgamation of skills. We’re here styling wigs (sometimes that alone is an understatement), doing makeup, sewing, crafting, working with electronics, engineering all sorts of structures and contraptions, we’re woodworking, painting both digitally and traditionally, modeling, writing skits and acting in them. Cosplay judges already have it rough! How do you compare a brilliantly sewn ballgown to a brilliantly crafted suit of armor when the skills, tools and techniques behind making them are so  different? 

In that craziness, I think 3D printing is able to fit right in. 3D modeling? Cosplayers have been using models for pepakura crafting. Machine precision? Vinyl cutting and laser cutting for cosplay are rare but not unheard of. Plastic pieces? Worbla, wonderflex, PETG … we’re no strangers to thermoplastics. And from there the filling, sanding, priming and painting is similar to just about any other armor or prop. 

3D printing is tool that can help with the creation of costumes, and I think 3D printed props can be judged alongside others. However it is important to remember this is a tool and not a magical solution or an impossible skill.


Cheating at cosplay competitions isn’t something new. There have been cosplayers caught passing off commissioned/bought costumes as their own work and there are cosplayers who were called out for winning awards with commissioned costumes. Unfortunately, 3D printing offers new avenues for cheating:

  • Props, accessories and other models are offered for free on a variety of sites and communities. There are also models for sale, models could be commissioned and even printed pieces could be sold as part of kits. How do you tell if someone modeled their own piece or if they downloaded it?
  • Even though pieces can be downloaded, cosplayers may still add their own additions. At what point does it become their own work?
  • How much value should be put into the initial modeling vs. finishing the object. How does painting a nerf gun compare to making a gun from scratch?

  • If judges are uninformed about 3D printing, it will be easier to pass off someone else’s modeling work as your own.

What Should Judges Ask?

  • Did you model it yourself or download a model?
    Modeling it yourself is like drafting a sewing pattern or designing a pepakura file. Downloading is like using a commercial pattern or downloading the pep file and working from it.

  • What program did you use or how did you construct it?
    If they modeled it they should be able to tell you what program or programs they used in designing it. They may be able to give you examples of challenges they faced or how they solved some design problem. They may be able to show you modeling progress pictures. 

  • Did you modify a file? How much and why?
    If they downloaded a model, they may still have made a significant contribution to it through modification. Similar to altering a sewing pattern. With modeling, their contribution could also be to solve problems: smoothing out a really choppy game rip or fixing an impossible object/broken geometry. 

  • Did you print it yourself or through a service?
    Setting up a print is pretty quick and relatively easy, but there is still skill involved in problem solving errors and choosing the best settings. A comparison might be getting a wig that is already the right length for your style vs. getting a wig that is too long and needs to be cut before you can style.  There is a little bit more knowledge and skill involved in cutting the wig to the right length first. If you are unsure about their answer try asking them about the printer they used, the print settings or the infill % used. 

  • What material did you choose and why?
    There are different printing materials although ABS and PLA are the most common. Asking the cosplayer what material they printed with, and why, can give you information about their involvement in the printing side of things. PLA is the easier to use material and it smells a lot less, but it also is less heat resistant than ABS. ABS is more heat resistant, perfect if your prop will be sitting in the sun, but it smells terrible when printing and is more tempermental. Other materials include resins, wood filament (looks, smells and feels like wood), copper filament which is heavy and metallic, nylon and even carbon fiber! 

  • How did you prep your piece and paint it?
    3D printing gets you a prop, but few pieces will be perfect right out of the printer. Home printers are usually fairly small and most prints will be in multiple pieces that have to be glued together. From there, there is filling, sanding, priming, sanding and painting once the base is smooth — much like making armor or props from other materials. Judge these finishing steps the same way you would other projects. 

  • Why did you choose 3D printing over another method?
    Understanding why they went with 3D printing might help you with your overall assessment of their pieces. 

What should cosplayers do to be prepared for judging?

  • Document your progress so you can show the work put into it and provide it is your work. Take screenshots through the modeling process, take a picture of the print as it looks off the printer and show the settings you chose when setting up your print.  

  • Give credit where it is due. If you built off another person’s work or used another person’s model: tell the judges. 

  • Be willing to explain your process and what it means, your judges may have no knowledge of 3D printing. Remember, you have a short amount of time to “sell” them your costume as the best. Letting them know where you spent your time, what skills were used and what challenges you faced will help them understand what went into the costume you are wearing. Tell them you spent hours sculpting in mudbox and creatively sliced your piece to fit on a tiny printer the same way you would tell them you spent hours beading and made your own lace. 

Is 3D printing More or Less Work?

The first thing I 3D printed for cosplay was my Rosalina brooch. I turned to 3D printing because I was having trouble getting crisp lines and a proper star shape. To do it,  I drew a vector drawing in illustrator and brought that into a 3D program. Then through extruding, beveling and subtracting I was able to create the shapes I wanted. For me, it was easier to create the shape digitally but it also involved applying my vector skills/knowledge and learning 3d modeling skills/knowledge. It is hard to say if that is more or less work than using the same vector as a stencil to use with the worbla/foam. In this scenario it is a means to an end.

Another piece that I used in cosplay was my Lucoa horns. These were originally designed by diogok but I came up with a peg system to attach them to the hat and Kevin did the modeling for me. Downloading the file was definitely less work, even though we made modifications. In this scenario, 3D printing saved time and work by building off existing models and just having to paint the final piece. 

So it largely depends on the work put into the piece compared to other methods. There are going to be things that are easier to do in 3D printing and there are going to be things that are easier with other materials. The best thing to do as a judge is asking questions to find out how involved the cosplayer was with their work. As a cosplayer, the best thing to do is explain how much work you put into a piece, what the challenges were, and why you chose to 3D print over other methods. 

Duckie / Admin

We’re answering your 3D Printing questions this week. Ask your question here.

fall is strange

Football games, candy apples, and piles of leaves: Mike and El fall-ing more in love with each other in autumn.

(read on ao3)


El knew it was the beginning of the fall season when football games started once again.

The cheerleaders would wear their uniforms to school and the boys would wear their football jerseys, turning the halls and classrooms into a sea of white and green. Lucas was among one the jersey wearing football players, deciding to join junior year and easily making the varsity team. That sent Mike, El, and Dustin to the bleachers near the football field to support their friend.

Keep reading

I have nothing to contribute to Jonerys week but I CAN tell you that Modern AU!Dany is the director of a non-profit organization aimed at helping women and children escape poverty and trafficking. Modern AU!Jon is like…. idk a high school PE teacher? who also sometimes (along with Ayra and Gendry) teaches self-defense classes/coaches kids sports for Danny’s non-profit.

Spy's Personality

Okay, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Myers Briggs types of the Mercs, and I just couldn’t seem to think of one for Spy. That is, until I watched Expiration Date and it all kind of fell into place. So, I know a lot of people will disagree with me, but bear with me, okay?

I think Spy’s an INFP. 

Notice he has all of these charecteristics of INFPs:

  • the ability to deeply study a person and completely understand them.
  • Brilliant acting. 
  • Alarming knowledge about everyone and everything around him.
  • Calm in terrifying situations, but overreacts to things that woul barely faze most people.
  • Very private, but very open at the same time. (There is literaly nothing known about Spy, he ven hides his face, and yet he’ll randomly tell people about bodies he’s disposed of in the middle of the night.)
  • Retreating into themselves when they get their feelings hurt. 
  • Needing considerable amounts of alone time, but still being social. 
  • Perfect lying skills. 
  • Getting emotionally involved with everything they do. 
  • Caring a lot about aesthetics and appearance. 
  • INFPs are naturally very intelligent and intellectual, without even trying. They have a fondness for manners, books, and traveling that all make them seem very ‘gentlemanly’, even if they’re not. 
  • INFPs are loquacious as frick. Spy can’t say, “Scout drew me banging the eiffel tower”, no, he says “Here you have drawn me having sexual congress with the Eiffel Tower.”

And quite a few other things that I can’t think of now. Also, did you notice how much he obviously

And I know, you probably have your doubts, but I think I have answers to them. 

But Spy’s too mean to be an INFP!

Have you ever been on the badside of an INFP? For your own sake, I hope not. Although INFPs are the most caring and arguably kindest type, if you violate their beliefs, friends, or themselves to some extent, they will tear you down with a few words. INFPs know everything about everyone, and if they think you’re a bad person, they can be downright terrifying. An INFP can tell what you’re most sensitive about in a second and they’ll either use it to make you the best person you can be, or they’ll kill you with it. 

Most INFPs are awkward in a nice way, Spy carries himself like an ENTJ or some more confident type.

When INFPs get “the zone”, they are unbeatable, and they know it. So don’t think for one second that because Spy’s an INFP, he’s any less suave or confident. No, it probably makes him more so. 

INFPs hate fighting, why would Spy participate in battles?

What. INFPs love violence. Yeah, we don’t like unfair killing and if we think someone is being bullied we’ll be the first ones to step in, but INFPs aren’t afraid of fighting. Honestly, most INFPs are slightly bloodthirsty, but want everyone to be happy, anyway. 

INFPs are really innocent, that's something Spy’s obviously not. 

Most INFPs are the least innocent people you’ll ever know. They’re just usually sweet, and enthusiastic, and aren’t vulgar enough to discuss most things out loud. There’s a quote about INFPs that I think really applies here, “INFPs are born from and drawn to light and purity, but they have a fascination with the dark, and they’ll always have an arm outstretched to the twisted.”

Another thing I noticed is how much Spy actually cares about his team. For example, he spent two hours putting together a literal bucketlist for them, just so they’d feel accomplished before they died. He spent his last few hours helping a boy who hates his guts get his final wish. And the fact that he went out to fight the bread monster with a fricking revolver just so Scout could get so more time with Mrs. Pauling, when he could have easily taken a safer route and helped her, himself. INFPs out of all the types, are the ones who will start to care for a group of people they spend a lot of time with the fastest, and deepest. Even though he has a cold shell, Spy cares more about his team than himself. He knows everything about them, and yet he still cares for them all in their own separate ways. 

So, think what you want on the matter, but that’s my opinon and I’m sticking with it. 

I always love the idea of Feuilly as an architect. 

He pushes himself really hard, working 3 different jobs to put himself through college; filling every spare moment he has sketching, and reading, and photographing the city for inspiration. 

Growing up home was always something temporary. He passed through so many foster families and care centres that his life felt fleeting and unstable. He admired the old buildings in the city, the ones with plaques that proudly stated they’d been standing there for more than one hundred years. He yearned for that kind of permanence, and couldn’t help but admire the ingenuity it took to build them.

He still marvels at the skill involved; walking around the city with his neck craned to the sky, stunned by the sky scrapers and the cathedrals, the apartment buildings nestling their rooftops amongst the clouds. His portfolio is crammed full, just overflowing with so much creativity and passion that he secures himself a scholarship to stay on for a Masters Degree.

He wins an award for his final year project and lands himself a job at a prestigious architecture firm. He can’t stand how corporate it all is, but for the first time in his life he has disposable income. He’s working 60 hours a week as a low level designer for the firm, which is killing his junior colleagues, but it’s no skin off Feuilly’s back. 

He sticks it out for a few years whilst he works towards his chartership, thrilled that he can donate more money to local shelters and the care homes that supported him in his youth. He spends more time with Enjolras planning their meetings and organising rallies because he’s no longer as dirt tired as he used to be. 

Eventually the bureaucratic, classist, frat-bro nature of the firm grinds him down and he leaves; using the saving’s he’s hoarded for the past five years to start his own company. It’s a small venture to start with, but it soon grows. He takes on small, meaningful projects; designing new youth centres and transforming run down apartment complexes into something liveable but affordable. 

He invites kids from orphanages and foster homes around the city for work experience placements and encourages them to develop their education. Once he’s more financially stable he sets up a scholarship scheme which helps to fund places at college, because no one should have to work 3 jobs just to get an education. 

I just love the idea of Feuilly as an architect. Using his skills and intelligence to build homes and futures for others.