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3D Printed Masks for Theatre Production

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Posted · 3D Printed Masks for Theatre Production

I am a science teacher who has an Ultimaker 2+ 3-D printer for use in my classroom. I was asked by the costume committee for a school production of The Lion King whether we could use the 3-D printer to print masks for their production. I don't have any experience with type of project, so I was wondering if anyone has designed and printed masks with their printer and also whether anyone has experience with splicing different printed parts together (e.g., printing two masks pieces if the printer is not big enough to print it in one print and then gluing the pieces together). I'd appreciate any insight anyone has to offer!

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Posted · 3D Printed Masks for Theatre Production

I've got decent experience with glue-ing masks together. After this it's usually wise to also give the mask a treatment with some kind of filler (ABS slurry if you are printing with ABS or epoxy clay (I use milliput)).

I'm not a modeller myself, so I tend to use what's already out there. The advantage of printing is that you can also deform (to make it fit better) it a bit if you make it heat it up with a bit of water.

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Posted · 3D Printed Masks for Theatre Production

Depending on the amound of identical masks you need, another option might be to print one mask, glue that together, adapt it, and sand and post process as required for good surface quality and fit.

And then make a silicone mould for casting additional masks in any material (except silicone). Or make a plaster mask, seal that, and use that for casting in silicone. Or use the 3D-printed model to vacuum thermoform additional masks, if you have a vacuum thermoforming machine at your school. Once you have a good mould, casting usually goes faster than printing for big parts.

All these methods could be very educational, so you could do it in class, or on a free afternoon, with some of the kids.

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