Meet Jeff Lagant, one of the MyMiniFactory Studios All Stars. We sat down with Jeff to ask him a few questions about his work and design process.
(You can check out and download his awesome designs here)
Jeff! Tell us how old you are
I’m 25 years old.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small village in the north of France. I’m still living there.
So where did you learn 3D design?
I learned how to 3D design during my engineering classes in France. I started by learning how to use Catia during my DUT in Amiens Jules Verne University.
After that, I switched to Solidworks as I did my Masters in Product Design and Simulation at INSSET (Engineering school in St Quentin, France). It was a alternate diploma (1 week of school, 1 week of work) so I had the opportunity to learn and use those new skills directly in real working conditions.
Which software do you use?
As I said before, I started with Catia but now, I’m more familiar with Solidworks. Catia can do much more but Solidworks is more than enough to design for 3d printing. With the help of my awesome girlfriend (Esperia on MMF) I’m slowly learning how to use Z-Brush to complete my design skills. Learning how to use this particular software gives me the ability to adapt my design style and incorporate more organic shapes into my models.
When did you start designing for 3D printing?
About a year an a half ago, when I started to make my first 3D printed replica (M3 Predator from Mass Effect). It was a real try and error process to figure out the right way to design for 3D printing. My oldest designs are a mess as I was still trying to figure out how to create models that were easy to assemble but still structurally sound . Now, after more than 20 models, I have a pretty good method that I use in all of my designs. Saying that, I believe there is still so much for me to learn, improve and ultimately get better.
Where does your passion for designing and 3D printing come from?
I think it comes from my childhood and my obsession with Legos and Star Wars. I was constantly building and tinkering while growing up (original mechas, spaceships, weapons) that it left a permanent mark on me. An urge to pursue making things with my hands and designing my own products.
I’ve always liked to build Sci-Fi stuff.
Now I’m a grown man. So instead of leaving the kid inside me in the past, I just provided him with new skills (thanks to engineering classes) and new tools (thanks to 3D printing).
Also, I’ve always loved video games. So naturally, as soon as I got my 3d printer, I started making all my favourite objects, it’s an awesome feeling being able to take an iconic piece from a game and bring it to life and actually hold a piece in your hands, I believe this reinforces the bond and relationship shared with that particular game.
Seeing all the positive feedback I have on my work is a good motivator to keep making 3d printing models, the 3D printing community is amazing, always ready to respond positively with a new design or give valuable criticism for me to become better, there is always a new technique or skill I am able to learn from this great community.
What’s your biggest project ?
A year ago, I attempted the biggest design and 3D print I have even undertaken. The M98 Widow – from Mass Effect. I’ve even made a video about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHVYIUjS3Wk
It was my biggest project in terms of size but also in terms of new skills.
I’ve always sucked at electronics. But I’m slowly getting better (thanks to Arduino). It was my first project where I used integrated Leds. I’ve made all the calculations and soldering myself (not a big deal but I like to celebrate small victories!). In retrospect, I should have bought a premade kit as I saw later that it was way cheaper but hey, I got to learn how to make a basic circuit so it wasn’t all for nothing! haha
Is there any project you never managed to design/print?
Everything that is organic. Using only Solidworks, It’s almost impossible to design something “organic” like a realistic tree or a human heart for example.
I say almost because It could be done but you would need a lifetime to do it. It’s like mowing the lawn with a pair of scissors. It can be done but it’s clearly not the most efficient tool.
My girlfriend is currently training me on how to use Z-Brush. With this, I could design everything I want (given enough time, of course).
What are you working on at the moment ?
Right now, I have multiple projects:
– The F11D Blaster from Star Wars ep7
– The Rebel Pilot Helmet from Star Wars (Original Trilogy)
– The M76 Revenant from Mass Effect
– Potions, Status items from Pokemon
(Pics on my FB and Twitter pages)
What’s your process for creating a design?
I won’t go into much details on this because another fellow 3D modeller named Kirby Downey already made a whole (freakinly good) article about it: http://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2016/02/designing-for-3d-printing-with-cosplay-artist-kirby-downey.html?scid=socialTechBlog_20160217_58343956&adbid=10153924264454770&adbpl=fb&adbpr=12707004769
It was really fun when I read this article because It’s exactly the same techniques I’ve been using to 3d model. If only I started 3d printing a bit later and got to read this before I started to figure out everything on my own, that would have saved me a lot of time haha!
When was the first time you saw a 3D printer? Do you remember what went through your head?
I saw some Repraps Prusa I3 at an engineering convention and I thought it was a nifty piece of technology that could do wonders.
I remember thinking “Damn, That would be awesome to print a test product in a few hours just to see how it will look or see if it will work.”
Even though I’m mainly using it to make props in my personal time, I’ve used 3d printers a lot to prototype new products at work.
Do you own a 3D printer? If yes, which one?
I own an Ultimaker 2. Very good machine. Reliable, fast and precise.
I’m probably gonna invest in another machine soon. Probably a Delta printer (µDelta from Emotion Tech, based in France)
Where do you get your inspiration from?
If you’re talking about the models, of course video games.
I may try my hand at some original designs for spaceships in the future. I have lots of sketches that could make some cool 3d printed props.
If you’re talking about people:
In the 3D Printing area: Kirby Downey, Ricardo Salomao, Simone Fontana, Daniel Lilygreen and Lloyd Roberts were designers that inspired me to make models and “join the gang” of 3D printed modellers.
In the prop making area; Bill Doran from Punished Props.
Do you use social media to promote your work? What’s your relationship with your followers?
Yes, I have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/StarJeff3d/
A Twitter account: https://twitter.com/StarJeff3D
An Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/starjeff3dworkshop/
I have a really nice relationship with my followers.
A lot of good feedback on my work and that makes me really proud and it motivates me to continue pushing my skills and abilities.
A lot of people are asking me what will my next project be? Have I plan to make that particular model? What printer do I use? What paint? etc
Basically lots of questions about 3d printing, 3d modelling and post processing.
I always try to find time to respond to everyone, by private message or publicly (depending on how they contacted me in the first place)
I’m very open to sharing my experience and It’s my genuine pleasure to help them by giving them tips and tricks on how to get started or how to get better.
Check out and download all of Jeff’s models here: