3D printed gauntlets

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Melissa Ng Throws Down the (3D Printed) Design Gauntlet « Fabbaloo

By Sarah Goehrke on January 17th, 2019 in Design

Tags: art, design, fashion, interview, lumecluster, melissa ng, mold, molding

A look at how the Phoenix Gauntlet can be taken apart and offer more styling options [Image: Lumecluster]

Melissa Ng’s stunning Phoenix Gauntlets are inspired by 15th century armor and brought to new fashionable life with 3D printed jacket molds.

Not 3D printed themselves, the articulated gauntlets took their form with molds created through a hefty prototyping process that relied on 3D printing.

“Hundreds of hours have gone into prototyping on my Form 2 and Taz 6 3D printers,” Ng explains on her Lumecluster blog. She “had to go through multiple redesigns of my gauntlet 3D models countless times” and “hoarded way too many potential gauntlet glove styles.” Through it all, Ng says, she “made more molds than I would have ever liked. Even 3D printed support jackets on my Taz 6 to speed up the mold making process since there were so many gauntlet parts.”

When last we caught up with Ng about her endeavors at Lumecluster, she shared a look at how her work has been developing — and how it had caught the eye of Adam Savage of Mythbusters and now Tested fame. Since then, she has met Savage several times and recently appeared in a Tested video highlighting the Phoenix gauntlets:

The flexible, surprisingly wearable bits of armor show splendidly (including when Savage has to run to get a sword to feel the full effect). In her chat with Savage, Ng discusses some of the process of creating the gauntlets.

For a bit more detail, I turned to the creator herself: how did 3D printing help the Phoenix gauntlets come to be?

Early prototyping stages of the Phoenix Gauntlet S/M/L size options. 3D printed on the Form 2 using durable resin. [Image: Lumecluster]

She had, she explained, a goal “to save time and money on mold making and silicone usage (keeping it at 8mm-10mm or less)…especially since there are so many parts to a gauntlet.” One of the most-touted benefits of 3D printing is part consolidation — which greatly helped Ng out as she worked on the molds for this modular design. The articulated gauntlet has 33 individual parts, she explained, but master copies of the pieces for molding were condensed into just 10, making casting and molding more efficient.

“All of the parts had risers and flashing designed right into the 3D print, which saved me a lot of time, money, and labor. In the end, there were a total of ten 1-part molds to make a single gauntlet. Symmetrical parts (i.e. carpels, finger tips, finger joints, cuffs) reduced the number of required molds to make a pair of gauntlets,” she tells me.

The cuff, which can be worn separately from the main glove part, took a three-part 3D printed mold support jacket, as shown in her design:

[Image: Lumecluster]

In her own words, the design considerations were many:

  • Gauntlet cuff is 1.5mm thick with risers and 0.2mm flashing designed right into it and printed on the Form 2 printer (standard clear resin) on lowest resolution setting. Needed only a few sprays of Tamiya, some sanding, and a gloss clear coat to smooth it out.

  • Cuff is put right side up because there was a downward angled flap / pegs and I needed the rubber to get in there. The model was designed to float inside the support jackets to allow silicone to flow all around it. I also wanted to minimize any seam lines.

  • Since 0.2 flashing is 3D printed with the gauntlet cuff, it made cutting open and taking the original cuff out of the mold relatively easy.

  • Cored mold support jacket was 3D printed on the Taz 6 (PLA filament) with a 2.5mm wall thickness (except for the upper portions) and was 3D modeled to be 8mm-10mm away from the cuff.

  • The 3D printed gauntlet cuff was placed inside the 3-part 3D printed mold support jacket (so it was floating inside), Dragon Skin 20 silicone was poured until the mold support jacket, and the entire thing was pressure cast.

Another consideration for the process was mess. Because Ng works in an office space where she also does work for her other company, working with 3D printing was also “an attempt to solve my problem and save time and money… In this case, 3D printing sped up my mold making process and saved me a lot of time to focus on other areas I enjoy more in design and business.

She fully explains the design inspiration and process in her blog (and a bit more on Savage’s podcast), and shares some beautiful photos from a shoot with photographer Yiaz Yang.

Photos by Yiaz Yang showcase fantasy and modern stylings for the Phoenix Gauntlet:

Ng’s dedicated research to create a new fantasy-inspired design featuring elements and functionality from 15th century gothic armor brings 3D printing and traditional molding together to create something wholly new. The Phoenix Gauntlets throw a gauntlet for other designers: look what’s possible.

Via Lumecluster

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Sarah Goehrke is a Special Correspondent for Fabbaloo, via a partnership with Additive Integrity LLC. Focused on the 3D printing industry since 2014, she strives to bring grounded and on-the-ground insights to the 3D printing industry. Sarah served as Fabbaloo's Managing Editor from 2018-2021 and remains active in the industry through Women in 3D Printing and other work.

View all of Sarah Goehrke's posts.

3D file Right gauntlet・3D printing template to download・Cults

Left glove

13.64 €

Keyboard Gauntlet + Greeblies

2.65 €

Gauntlet Power Coupler + Greeblies

3. 56 €

Electronically ready whip cord


Shin Armor [CMF]


Codpiece Armor [FBH]

9,98 €

Chest armor [CMF]

17.31 €

Mando heavy knee armor

12.73 €

Kwikdraw Thigh Armor [CMF]

19.14 €

Mandalorian gloves M1

26.47 €

Knee Armor [DD]

12.73 €

Collar armor [CMF]

9,98 €

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3D printed fingers used to evaluate the performance of fingerprint scanners


Although attempts to hack biometric identification systems using 3D printed models are mostly associated with criminal activity, a team of scientists at the University of Michigan, led by Professor Anil Jain, creates artificial fingerprints purely for research purposes.

The task of the group is to develop methods for testing and evaluating the performance of commercial fingerprint scanners. Since the use of real “fingers” as standard references is not practical, for an accurate comparative analysis of various models of biometric sensors, the researchers decided to resort to additive technologies by creating 3D printed gloves with fingerprint patterns on all fingers.

“Like any other optical instrument, fingerprint scanners require calibration, but there is no standard method yet. For the first time, we have created full-fledged 3D targets for setting up fingerprint scanners. Although this was not the aim of the project, our research concluded that 3D printed imitators with fingerprints could potentially allow intruders to open safes, contaminate crime scenes with false evidence, or illegally cross border control, ”says Professor Jain.

The models shown consist of six parts - a glove and five fingertips with artificial fingerprints. For production, advanced Stratasys Objet350 Connex 3D printers are used, so there is no need to worry about the widespread use of this method in the criminal environment, because the cost of such installations is hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Best results obtained with TangoPlus FLX9 elastic and translucent material30. Two black counterparts, the TangoBlackPlus FLX980 and FLX9840-DM, were also tested but were less effective with red and blue light emitters and combination scanners. The bulk of the support materials after printing was removed manually, the residues were dissolved in an alkaline solution, after which the printed parts were glued together into a single whole. Flexible tips are designed for testing contact scanners, and for working with contactless identifiers, the elastic glove is supplemented with “fingers” made of hard, matte RGD8520-DM, which provides the best contrast of the three-dimensional pattern.

“This technique will test the resistance of commercial scanners to fraud attempts. We have demonstrated the vulnerability and functional limitations of existing fingerprint scanning systems, and now it's up to manufacturers. They will be responsible for designing trick-resistant sensors capable of distinguishing real human skin from 3D printed materials.

A tried and tested method doesn't fool all the fingerprint sensors in a row - at least not yet. For example, the Touch ID system used on the iPhone and iPad uses capacitor scanners: the touch of a finger causes the microcapacitors in the array to selectively short, forming a pattern. For the successful deception of such devices, not only the volume, but also the electrical conductivity of the imprint is important.

Nevertheless, the results obtained will benefit manufacturers of biometric identifiers. “We are very pleased with the results of this work, which has revealed the weaknesses of the process, which will improve the accuracy of identifiers. The FBI, CIA, military departments and manufacturers will be interested in the project,” said Nicola Poulter, one of the authors of the study and head of the Security Technologies Group at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The team's full report can be downloaded from this link.

Learn more