Using a Lulzbot TAZ 3D printer, the Xenomorph suit is being 3D printed by mixing two materials, one rigid and the second flexible, so the suit will remain firm and hold its shape while still being flexible enough to allow the wearer a full range of natural movement.
XRobots’ James Bruton has been building sci-fi props and costumes for years using every medium that you can imagine. His latest project is a costume based on an Alien Xenomorph suit but with a cool steampunk edge. If you’re unfamiliar with Bruton he is a maker, cosplay designer and helps run the non-profit Southampton Makespace, which is of course part of the 3DHubs 3D printer network. You can see all of his various projects on Xrobots.co.uk as well as on his YouTube channel, and he’s made a lot of really cool stuff. Thankfully he documents each project every step of the way so you can get a very clear understanding of how his projects were constructed and his methodology for creating them.
This isn’t Bruton’s first Alien suit, he previously constructed a suit by sculpting the parts in clay, creating plaster molds and then casting the parts in latex rubber. While he was happy with the results of his first suit he found it to be messy and time consuming to construct. Additionally the head was extremely heavy and the bodysuit was made of more liquid latex, so it was quite difficult to move around and uncomfortable.
His new Xenomorph project will be constructed in small, individual 3D printed parts that can be easily fit together. By designing his suit in pieces not only can he build it to a size specific for himself, but he can put in closures and connectors so each piece can fit together seamlessly. The parts themselves will be 3D printed by mixing standard black ABS and the new flexible filament material NinjaFlex.
Thanks to his LulzBot Taz with dual extruders, Bruton is able to create hybrid parts made of both materials. This allows him to make joints and connectors that when combined are firmer than NinjaFlex on its own but can be made more flexible than standard ABS. You can learn about the process of creating hybrid 3D printed objects in part one of his Xenomorph series:
The Xenomorph suit is being designed in Autodesk123D, and the first part of his build is the massive 3D printed alien hand. He built it by individually 3D printing each joint of the fingers, connecting them with bolts and then attaching them to a simple black glove. Once put together you can really see how large the hand is, and how imposing it’s going to be once the entire costume is completed.
Take a look at how he constructed it in part two of the series:
The third part of his series focused on an insectoid looking gauntlet and arm piece that will be printed with tabs that will attach directly to the hand. Once the entire arm is put together you can really see how large it is, and how imposing it is going to be once the entire costume is completed.
Bruton details how he combined the two materials for the arm piece in part three of the build series:
As you can see the suit is still a work in progress, but you can follow that progress on the Xenomorph Suit project page at Xrobots.co.uk. If you want to try to build your own, Bruton makes all of his 3D models available on his downloads page for a very nominal fee. And if you have a few hours to kill you can follow all of his build projects on his pretty amazing YouTube channel. But be careful, you will literally lose hours of your life by clicking that link as Bruton’s videos are like a master class on how to create 3D props and costumes. Don’t say that I didn’t warn you.