Friday, October 9, 2015

3D pen Halloween or Mardi Gras mask

    As I have said before the only real disadvantage of the 3-D pen is its precision, but it makes up for that in its versatility and scalability. Take for instance creating costumes or costume accessories. The pen is not limited by a print table size. I can create a mask or wardrobe accessory of any size. To offset its accuracy I use a form such as a cardboard mask in the photograph below.

The mask can be found in just about any craft or costume store. It is designed as a blank mask to be decorated but I have found that it works much better as a form. It is not plastic but pressed paper or cardboard which makes it perfect because it is heat resistant. The extruded plastic will stick to the paper which helps your work from moving around uncontrollably. The plastic mask I have found are usually far too thin and would melt. 
Using various artisan hash designs like those that you would use in sketching or drawings work very well for the 3-D pen. Here I have used circles for the bottom half and ?'s for the upper half. You may want to practice or try out different designs on paper with a pencil first. Practice making the same shapes until you are consistent with the size and shape you want. Keep in mind that the 3D pens work very similar to a welder on a micro scale. Practice using the pen forward and backwards or a back-and-forth motion when you are extruding filament. Using the pen in different directions will give you different thicknesses in the plastic that is extruded. Also keep in mind that as you are working, you need to periodically lift the mask off of its form using a artisan palette knife, painting knife spatula or thin flat blade screwdriver. The plastic will have a tendency to stick to the mask which is a good thing as it will keep your work in place, but if you wait until you are completed, your project will be extremely difficult to remove from the mask without breaking it. And if you should break any part of the mask just remember that can weld it back together with the 3-D pen. Be sure and save your blank form for repairs or modifications should you need to make changes at a later date.
    Once you have completed your mask you can now sand and paint it a different color or add any embellishments, such as beads jewels etc. I use embroidery floss or ribbon to hold the mask on, as this gives it a Victorian style or feel. This looks more professional and will fetch a higher price if it doesn't look like a kids toy with an elastic band.

It should be noted that these masks can be modified and updated at a later time. Being able to change or modify what you create is one of the things that appeals me, not to mention being able to make repairs to anything that is damaged. What this amounts to is a costume design that will not only last a long time but a design that you will never get bored with.
Modified and updated mask with added eyelashes and flower.

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