3D Printing – Wolverine Prop Claws How to



The Process

So, you may be wondering how this project began? Well most of you don’t know this, but I do take on a limited number of commissions, but I can’t always talk about them. In this case, this client was kind enough to agree to the showcases of this project and even participated. So let get started.

EZStreetRick is a fellow YouTuber in my area, and he’s an avid wolverine fan, so we’ll me making him a set of custom Wolverine claws. He’s already gone ahead and chosen a file that he wants to use, but needs it to be made from a more durable material along with some minor modifications. I’m going to put a link in the description below to the original creators file on Thinginverse. Now for his final model, we needed to both combine the two meshes together and add a small hole so that he could sew these to the handle. For him, he found the provided handle grip to be cumbersome, so he’ll be replacing that with some foam to make it more comfortable.

I had two options for combining the meshes together. The first was to combine them as is, which requires a lot of merging and limits my ability to make changes latter. The second option, was to simply remodel the design so that I could make changes as I went and was the option I decided to go with. This allowed me to do a couple of things to make the printing a little easier to achieve. I added a small platform that would be flat when printed, but could be sanded down afterwards. Although this was a small change, it made a big difference when printing in an upward direction. With the final design approved, I could then begin my first test print, and it completed without any issues. This file, just barely fit into my printer, so I had been very careful when removing the build platform so that I didn’t accidentally puncture the FEP sheet. The nice thing about this however was that I could print the model in one single piece which required minimal post post-processing latter.

Before I began sanding, I first wanted to make sure that I had the correct spray paint for the job. Since durability was the main focal point, I went to the local automotive department and bought some car touch up paints for this. As always, I couldn’t resist getting some extra paints in the process. With the colour chosen, I could then begin the long process of sanding down the parts. After a couple of hours of sanding and cleaning, I was finally able to begin the painting process. I first began with a base coat of primer, and this is essential to prevent the paint from peeling. Once that was completed. I then began adding the main colour for the claws. Now you might think it was a simple as simply painting just the one colour, but you would be mistaken in this case. If you only use the one colour without any detailing, you often end up with something that looks quite bland and fake. For this reason, I began an experiment on a test piece with the final finish I wanted to achieve. In the end I used a very thick past which I could dry brush on slowly and this allowed me to get this more metal like texture and shading that you see here. Although the camera doesn’t pick up the difference nearly as well as it should, this really does make it look more like actual metal. To ensure that the finish would last longer, I used a UV coated finish that would help maintain the colour over time. So what did the customer think about the final piece? Well let’s go find out shall we!

Meeting up at one of the local malls, I was finally able to give him his new prized possession. Even after a full two weeks of drying, the piece still smelled like varnish, but he didn’t seem to mind at all.