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3d printed chainmail - future of LARP or unpractical?

Igthorn

Registered User
Validated User
Hi guys,

i just stumpled upon a Instagram video about 3d printed chainmail.

Looked pretty good for my point of view. But i figure the costs and even the printing time may too extensive.

What do you think will there be a practical use for it?

Does somebody know how much material costs there are for a full chainmail armour?
 

WandererBeta

Registered User
Validated User
Cost wise it is definitely cheaper to 3d print, I'm not sure where you'd get the material for a full suit of metal chainmail for less than $20/kilogram, which is about the average price for the filament of a 3d printer.

Time wise will depend on the type of printer and how good you are at making chainmail, also how large of a suit you are making. But for most people I'm pretty certain that the 3d printer will again be faster.

The biggest cost for the 3d print is going to be the printer itself but you can get a decent printer for around $250 and then spend maybe $50 on upgrades and 3d print some others and you'll be matching the quality of a significantly higher priced printer. Which is probably more expensive than if you where going to make a single suit of chainmail but if you have the printer you will probably start using it for other parts of your costume.
 

Dropkicker

Part Time Dilettante
Validated User
Cost wise it is definitely cheaper to 3d print, I'm not sure where you'd get the material for a full suit of metal chainmail for less than $20/kilogram, which is about the average price for the filament of a 3d printer.
I have a dim recollection from way too long ago of folks in the SCA who did their own chainmail using the kind of springs you find on doors. make of that what you will.
 

Starry Notions

She who wonders
Validated User
16-gauge annealed Steel wire can be found for about $15 for 3.5 pounds in small bundles, about ten bucks a kg, or in very large rolls of fencing bailing wire for roughly $1 USD a pound, at the cost of having to buy a large lot of farm supplies. Some shops sell large spoils of bailing wire for closer to the $4/kg mark.

It’s been a while since I tried though, and that tractor supply store never did call me back when they got the large wire spool in...
 

Arethusa

Sophipygian
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I have a dim recollection from way too long ago of folks in the SCA who did their own chainmail using the kind of springs you find on doors. make of that what you will.
I have a recollection, also dim, of someone telling me they made chain mail out of army and / or navy pot scrubbers.
 

ChalkLine

Rogue Conformist
Validated User
Weta Workshops used black or silver plastic pipe to make chainmail for many of the orcs in The Lord of the Rings. The pipes are cut into rings and then split. Glue can be used to seal the rings if they tend to tear out in some places.

Aluminium rings for mail are fairly cheap these days
 

Theron

The Best Legionnaire
Validated User
I have a dim recollection from way too long ago of folks in the SCA who did their own chainmail using the kind of springs you find on doors. make of that what you will.
That doesn't work well, but when working with round-wire butted rings, it's common practice to wind it into coils on a mandrel. The coils look a lot like door springs, but they're a different kind of steel and don't tend to spring back.
 

Knaight

Registered User
Validated User
That definitely looks like a cheaper, faster, less labor intensive option - that said, I also wouldn't trust any of the plastics commonly used in 3D printing not to get broken in a lot of LARPs; certainly not any I'd be interested in (which, granted, is the most stick-jock heavy stuff available where I don't have to buy actual armor for something like the SCA). If you're in it for something besides fighting and don't do much it would probably work great.
 
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