19 Nov

Link’s Master Sword – Part 1

I am not skilled at 3D modeling. At least not yet. Luckily for me, we live in an age where many people far more talented than myself are creating things and sharing them online. This is where we will begin with the Master Sword.

I started by searching for existing models of the sword that I could print. Preferably, these models will be free as well. I managed to find a really great model of the hilt by Thingiverse user flameblade. It doesn’t have a blade though.

Back to searching I went, and I was finding sword models with good blades, but the handles just didn’t strike me as much as flameblade’s. So let’s take the more difficult route and combine two things that I like: flameblade’s hilt with the blade from this model by Thingiverse user davidlikes.

I didn’t capture enough screenshots of this process. I’ll get better at it, I swear. To make a long story short, I took the full sword model into blender and deleted the hilt to get just the blade. I exported that as an STL, then took that and the hilt into 123D Design. Finally, I scaled both the blade and the hilt based on dimensions that I found online, and exported them as a single STL file.

3D model

Now we’ve got a big, great looking Master Sword 3D model.

The problem now is that it is too big to print. This thing is almost 41 inches from the bottom of the hilt to the tip of the blade. The Printrbot has a print area of 6″ x 6″ x 6″. The Rostock Max has a relatively spacious 11″ diameter and 14″ height. Time to cut this model into a million little pieces. Or at least 12.

I won’t show the individual cuts here, but I’ll explain them from the handle to the blade.

Handle: I cut this apart from the wide part of the hilt right before it flairs out. I intended to print this in 1 piece, but that print would take over 10 hours. I get about 6 hours of printing time after work, and more on the weekends. We’ll do this in 2 pieces.

Hilt: This is the most complicated part. To keep the details without a buttload of support material, we need to keep the bottom flat. I cut the rest of the hilt in half horizontally and then along the Z axis. to get 4 parts. I would have stuck to 2, but this piece is about 1 foot wide and doesn’t fit on the Rostock’s print bed.

Blade: I originally cut this into 3 pieces, making use of the tall build area on the Rostock. These would fit laying flat, but in my experience, long flat things with any sort of curves print poorly. I want this to look good, so we’re going vertical. Each of the 3 cuts was going to be around 12 hours of printing, so I cut each of those in half to get a total of 6 pieces.

To sum up, we’ll have 2 handle pieces, 4 hilt top pieces, and 6 blade pieces.

And now for the exciting part: the first 3D printed piece!

Master Sword Hilt 1

I printed it in grey PLA. The color doesn’t really matter, since we’ll be spray painting this later.

This print finished, and I printed the other part of this half. Then I used super glue to glue the two pieces together. The Plastiweld dried too fast for me to use it on these parts.

Master Sword Hilt 1 finished

The blue tape is tagging the piece. I’m not sure yet if it will really matter, but I figured that it is better to be cautious and make sure everything is lined up properly. This will matter mostly for lining up the blade.

Next time, we’ll finish the other half of the hilt top and sand it all to perfection.

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