Design of the Week: Martian Helmet
This week’s selection is the realistic Martian Helmet by Kyle Eisele.
The helmet is a representation of the helmets used in the blockbuster film “The Martian”, where astronaut Mark Watney was marooned on the Red Planet. Items such as this are great targets for desktop 3D printing because they are a challenge to print, but yield an amazing result.
It’s not exactly clear how Eisele obtained the STL 3D model for the Martian Helmet. When asked on Reddit where to find the files, he responded:
“You can get the stl files or make your own! I tried both and it’s been a blast!”
He may have made them himself, or found theme elsewhere. They are definitely not on Thingiverse and the only 3D model I’ve managed to find in the various repositories that’s even close to this is the “Martian Helmet - After The Ship Crash” by Jessica Bailer on Sketchfab, but that is definitely not the same 3D model as used by Eisele.
If anyone has a clue where to find the 3D model for this object, please let everyone know in the comments below.
Eisele explains that the model had to be cut up (by him) into 15 pieces. He’s taken more than 100 hours to 3D print those pieces, with likely more to do on his small Tevo Tarantula desktop 3D printer.
Those hours were not the total effort required on this project. In addition to the 3D printing, Eisele had to finish the prints. This involved significant sanding and air brush painting.
The Martian Helmet is not entirely 3D printed. As you can see in the image at top, there is considerable detail on the sides of the helmet, where the orange color occupies countless small spots. Don’t be so amazed; Eisele managed to complete that part by using a CNC vinyl cutter to create a “sticker” that was applied to the sides of the helmet.
In addition, the very clear faceplate is also of interest, as such clear components are produced only with significant difficulty on common 3D printers. In this case Eisele managed to 3D print a mold over which he vacuum-formed the correct shape. That’s certainly a lot easier than 3D printing the visor.
I’m constantly amazed at the startling objects that can be built with 3D printing, particularly when combined with other making techniques. The Martian Helmet is an outstanding example of that phenomenon.