The sheroes of the story are Remi and Noelle d’Arda. They are sisters and cosplayers from the Midwestern United States. Known in the cosplay community for their intricate and stunning costumes, they have been crafting and modeling their creations since 2011. Their journey is not just about dressing up; it’s about the art, the creation, and the possibilities that 3D printing technique has opened up for them.
“Noelle wanted to cosplay Aloy from the video game Horizon Zero Dawn. Aloy has a lot of armor pieces and other small, intricate accessories that could be best achieved via 3D printing.” This is how they originally began 3D modeling and 3D printing in 2018.
Rather than renting a printer or commissioning prints, they started to do their owning 3D printing. “So when we stumbled on a used 2016 Flashforge Creator Pro for a great price, we decided to jump in the deep end and bought it.” They said.
They started from small, learning how to model and print the pieces they needed, and this skill has become a cornerstone of their crafting process.
With 3D printing the sisters are able to create more elaborate, more accurate, and higher-quality props and accessories for the cosplays. 3D printed props/accessories are also made much lighter than resin-casting or fiberglassing, which makes them much easier to carry and/or attach to costumes.
They are self-taught when it comes to 3D modeling and printing, and it was pretty overwhelming at first. But, embracing the challenge, they started small and learned as much as they could via YouTube and experimenting on their own. This hands-on approach proved to be invaluable. Eventually, they worked their way up from printing simple models they found online, to designing their own models and printing much more elaborate pieces.
As their confidence grew, so did their appreciation for the technology. Over the next few months, they enjoyed the 3D printer so much and encountered so few problems that when they came upon another lightly used Creator Pro, they didn't hesitate; they bought that one too! Since then, these printers have been reliable workhorses and have helped raise the quality and increase the speed of their crafting.
Their hard work and dedication didn't go unnoticed. They’ve even had the opportunity to collaborate with other creators and professionals!
From Aloy's detailed armor and weapons to the Kaga and Akagi shoe models, and Arcade Riven Ult Sword model, their work portfolio is a testament to their printing skills. Each piece they create is not just a prop; it’s a work of art, meticulously designed by Noelle in Blender and brought to life through their 3D printers.
They 3D modeled her guns, headset, bracelets, and belt buckle, then printed them using ABS filament. they then sanded, primed, and airbrushed them with pearlescent paints.
They modeled and printed her headset, belt buckle, armor pieces, and glove accessory in ABS and PLA. Then sanded and finished them with auto detail paint.
These characters have such a unique shoe design that we chose to recreate it with 3D printing rather than try to find and alter existing shoes. This also allowed them to modify the shoes slightly for comfort and ease of wear. Each shoe was printed with ABS in four pieces, then glued together, sanded, primed, painted, and finished with an industrial-grade clear coat to protect them from getting scratched during wear.
One of the sisters’ current projects. They modeled and printed her armor, spear, and arrow quiver hardware in ABS and are working on getting them sanded, prepped, and painted.
They modeled and printed the belt buckles and Poké Balls in ABS. The belt buckles were sanded and painted, while the Poké Balls were printed in two colors and then finished via acetone vapor bath before we glued them together.
Headpiece and belt buckle. This is another of our current projects. The sisters modeled and printed them both in ABS. The headpiece was printed flat and then heat formed into shape, before painting.
Flashforge group is happy to have such excellent users as d’Arda sisters, and is happy to know that the dependable Flashforge Creator Pro 3D printers have worked as great tools helping the sisters to focus on their artistry of intricate costumes rather than technical hurdles.
The d’Arda sisters have harnessed the potential of 3D printing to redefine creativity and to craft awe-inspiring props and accessories. Remi and Noelle’s journey exemplifies the transformative impact of embracing technology, inspiring more fellow creators to venture into the world of 3D printing!
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