Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

The Secret of Successful He-Mans Skeletor 3D Printable Model

Big Bad Blue Legend Returns in 3D.

He-Mans Skeletor has been re-imagined many times since he first appeared in 1981. The 3D printable model presented here, was inspired by the Mattel & Filmation’s He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) Saturday morning cartoon I grew up watching. My original 1980’s He-Man toys are long gone, and I never attempted to reacquire them. Now that I have several 3D printers, I can produce as many childhood and adult collectables as I desire. This particular model will soon be available from ZSculptors.com and is HUGE by default. Continue reading if you’d like more info on this model and how I just barely managed to print it at 100% scale on my collection of 3D printers.

He-Mans Skeletor 3D Printable Model

I was allowed to test print this diorama which includes Skeletor, his companion and mount Panthor and a considerably larger rock base. The package consists of cut and keyed parts for easier printing, assembly and painting. The current version of the bundle includes eighteen (18) STL files. Here is a quick breakdown of the components.

  • Rock Base – 3 large pieces with an incorporated oval base – (Important sizing info below)
  • Panthor – 9 parts which include his body, horns, saddle and stirrups
  • Skeletor – 5 cut sections for his legs, upper torso, left arm, right arm and his head
  • Staff – Skeletor’s magical weapon is also included as a single printable file

Looking at the 3D files in a viewer does not give justice to the quality the artist has incorporated into this design. The rocks are textured, Panthor’s fur looks realistic, and Skeletor is full of details. Although I have not completed many printable models, I was quite impressed with the overall design, print-ability and cut lines. Below I have provided more details about how I printed this diorama’s many parts. All of my 3D printers are FDM style and have 220×220 or smaller beds. This did not stop me from printing at 100% scale. I’ll outline my solutions later in this article. Skeletor’s head is best suited for a resin printer, yet it prints quite well with an FDM printer at 0.07 to 0.1 layer heights.

If I had to give He-Mans Skeletor design an arbitrary rating, it would 9.0 out of 10.

Printing Goals

Although I’ve owned and experimented with my 3D printer(s) for six months, I have not completed any multi-part 3D figures yet. This is a result of failed prints, material issues, machine breakdowns, user errors, real-life distractions and a desire for a correctly printed statue. With all that keeping me from finishing a large multi-piece assembly, I set a few goals for this diorama and article:

  • Print model at 100% as-published scale – Success!
  • Create parts that need minimal post-printing processing (i.e. sanding and repair work) – Acceptable results
  • Minimize the plastic used to create this set – Satisfied
  • Share my insights and printer settings – You are reading this.

Since I’m writing this article, I succeed in completing this project. Although my parts did not always come out perfect, the required sanding required before priming is minimal. Keeping plastic usage and waste to a minimum was difficult. However, my sliced gcode files are as efficient as I could make them. As far as sharing experiences, well, that’s mostly what this article is about. Hopefully, you’ll keep reading.

Hardware and Software

Although I have a small collection of 3D printers, I limited the final version of my prints to just two of them. I used my first printer an original Ender 5 from Creality and my newest printer a Kossel Plus from Anycubic. The Ender 5 is heavily modified, and the Kossel is stock except for updated firmware and a glass print bed.

When it comes to slicing software, I limited myself to just three programs. I used Simplify3D, which is a paid program and two free versions of Cura from Ultimaker. Simplify3D was used initially to test print a few pieces. All of the final printed parts were sliced using Cura because I love the experimental tree support option and the price tag. I used the newest 4.4 version of Cura with my Kossel delta. Cura version 4.3 was used for my Ender 5 to postpone creating a bug-free profile from scratch.

Both slicing programs have their strengths and weaknesses. Cura is still free, offers tree supports and frequently receives updates. If you are new to 3D printing and your printer came with an older version of Cura, I strongly suggest you update to the latest version.

Filaments

For this project of He-Mans Skeletor, I knew I was going to need a few rolls of plastic to complete all of the pieces. At the same time, I’m not set up to properly paint my 3D creations YET. So I opted to use some rolls I had on hand and purchased two more colours that were well priced the week I wanted them. BONUS!

  • Blue: SunLu PLA Blue @ 200°-210° C depending on overall print size and speed – Skeletor
  • Purple: CC3D PLA Max Purple @ 225° to promote smooth flow and layer adhesion – Panthor
  • Grey: CC3D PLA Max Grey @ 225° C – Rock Base
  • Light Purple: ToyBox PLA Grape @ 205°C – Skeletor’s Staff
  • Brown: ToyBox PLA Coffee @ 205°C – Stirrups
  • Glow-in-the-Dark White/Green: ToyBox PLA Pineapple @ 205° C – Skeletor’s head test print

I have purchased several rolls of SunLu PLA and PLA+ and have had great success with all the colours I’ve tried. The CC3D PLA Max I found accidentally when researching filaments for a printer modification project. I love how Max’s first layers always go down so smooth. I haven’t confirmed the strength that CC3D claims, but I can recommend it for print-ability. The three ToyBox filaments were purchased by my teacher-wife when she tried her first 3D printer at school. ToyBox’s filaments print nicely, and they have a good selection of colours, but they are only 250g rolls which are a bit overpriced.

Slicing, Printing and Scaling

Now for the good stuff you were looking for, my experiences and tips for printing the He-Mans Skeletor model from ZSculptors. As I mentioned above, I used Cura 4.3 and 4.4. I have re-sliced all the parts so I can show you the previews as seen in Cura. Since I am still relatively new to 3D printing figure statues, spent at around an hour orientating and studying the slicer previews of each piece. Hopefully, my time and experiments will help you print this and other dioramas.

Overall I printed at 100% scale using 0.20-0.28 layer heights with 0.4 wall widths and tree supports on my Ender5 and Kossel printer. Skeletor and Panthor were printed with identical wall thickness and infill settings. The rock bases were printed with thinner walls and less infill to reduce printing time and the amount of plastic required. Skeletor’s head was printed a 0.07 layer height for my final version.

Not every print was 100% successful or had clean support removals; however, I was satisfied with the print quality and strength of the parts. Skeletor’s head is printable on an FDM printer, but a resin printer would provide more details, especially on his teeth. I’m still experimenting with Skeletor’s face at 0.05 layer height with a custom cut and keyed face that separates from his skull and hood.

He-Mans Skeletor Rock Base – Scale Analysis Required BEFORE PRINTING

These are the first parts you need to load into your slicer, so you can determine the overall scale you can print this set at. If you are unable to print at 100%, identify your desired size and remember to re-scale every part when you slice them.

Load up Rock2.stl and after laying it flat, you’ll notices that it’s 227 x 140 x 116 mm. This part did not fit on my Ender5 no matter how much I tried to rotate it. To print at 100%, I cut and keyed the file using my trial version of Luban. I could have also manually sliced it using Tinkercad or other programs. I sliced it at approximately 45°, and I was able to get both parts onto my print bed. Depending on your printer’s maximum print volume, you will need to scale, cut or rotate the rock base pieces. The second-largest pieces were Rock1. Stl at 221 x 162 x 178 mm, which required a simple rotation for it to fit my print bed. The last part, Rock3.stl, is a mere 205 x 132 x 98, which I rotated to fit on the print bed better.

 

As you can see printing, the rock base is pretty straightforward. However, for this article, the revision of the base files could not be placed flat on the build surface without supports. Moving all three parts down -2.0 Z in your slicer would resolve this minor issue. The sculptor will probably fix this.

Slicer Settings

Here are some quick slicing settings used in Cura 4.3 for He-Mans Skeletor’s rock base on my original Ender 5:

  • 0.28 Layer Height & 0.4 Line Widths
  • 3 Walls & 5 Top/Bottom ZigZag Layers
  • 4% ZigZag Infill
  • 80.0 mm/s overall speed; Outer walls and supports at 40 mm/s; First layer and Brim at 20 mm/s
  • Brim with five lines and glue stick applied to print bed to ensure a flat bottom
  • Supports everywhere; 55° Overhang; 1 wall; 0.28 Z Distance & 0.8 XY Distance; Tree Supports with 50° Branch Angle
  • The three prints took me between 12 and 36 hours each using approximately 850 grams

He-Mans Skeletor’s Purple Panthor is Here

Panthor comes cut and keyed for easier assembly. Although he is not as large as the base, he is certainly not small. When I laid out the pieces for slicing, I focused on minimal supports. I used more walls and a higher infill percentage to make each piece and the sub-assembly stronger.

Panthor’s layouts were pretty straightforward except for his head and horns. The head was rotated to centre his face and angled to minimize supports inside of his mouth. Panthor’s curved horns are one of the last parts I printed. For simplicity, I wish I had attached them to the head in MeshMixer or 3DBuilder and printed all three pieces together.

Here are some quick slicing settings used in Cura for Skeletor’s Panthor on my Ender 5 and Kossel Plus:

  • 0.2 Layer Height & 0.4 Line Widths
  • 4 Walls & 8 Top/Bottom ZigZag Layers
  • 5-10% ZigZag Infill
  • 60.0 mm/s overall speed; Outer walls and supports at 30 mm/s; First layer and Brim at 20 mm/s
  • Brim with ten lines to ensure supports did not dislodge from the print bed
  • Supports everywhere; 60° Overhang; 1 wall; 0.20 Z Distance & 0.8 XY Distance; Tree Supports with 50° Branch Angle
  • The three prints took me between 12 and 36 hours each using approximately 800 grams

Model Note: Panthor’s saddle was sculpted with fragile walls and some gaps between the cat and the saddle. This resulted in some internal non-removal supports, which did not affect the final prints. Unfortunately, my printed versions of the Panter_Torso1 and Panter_Chair files had some voids in the saddle. They almost look like battle damage on a pristine saddle. I do not see any way to fix this without waiting on an update or figuring out how to repair/re-sculpt thin-walled models.

Skeletor is still as blue as ever

He-Mans Skeletor also comes cut and keyed for easier assembly. As the main focus of the diorama, I spent some extra time laying out the Skeletor pieces. Every effort was taken to move the supports to the rear of the figure to hide imperfections and sanding marks. Each file was painstakingly rotated and reviewed inside of Cura to ensure maximum printed details and minimal distortions caused by the final “top” layer. After a few trial prints, I chose to join the torso and arms into one STL file using MeshMixer. As mentioned above, I’m still experimenting with Skeletor’s head for the more original painting and increased FDM printed details. Perhaps a future revision or separate painting article will show the results of my efforts.

The files I received included a one-piece magical staff. As a result, this requires some custom slicing and printing because Skeletor’s hand is formed into a closed circle to hold the staff. The simplest way to fix this is to make two copies inside of Cura and turn one upside down. Partially lower both pieces below the print bed, and you’ll automatically have two cut pieces to print. (This function can be performed automatically in other slicers).

Additionally, I needed to reduce the scale of the staff to about 95% to fit inside of his hand. I suggest that you decide how high up you want Skeletor holding his staff. Cut the part at that point. Then print the upper piece at 100% and the lower section at 95% scale.

When you are ready for final assembly, slide the smaller shaft into Skeletor’s hand and glue the two shaft pieces together. The thicker full-sized upper half won’t be able to slide down and will look like an authentic two-piece toy.

 Slicer Settings

Here are some quick slicing settings used in Cura to print He-Mans Skeletor on my Ender 5 and Kossel Plus:

  • 0.2 Layer Height & 0.4 Line Widths
  • 4 Walls & 8 Top/Bottom ZigZag Layers
  • 5-10% ZigZag Infill
  • 40 mm/s overall speed; Outer walls and supports at 20 mm/s; First layer and Brim at 20 mm/s
  • Brim with ten lines to ensure supports did not dislodge from the print bed
  • Supports everywhere; 55° Overhang; 1 wall; 0.20 Z Distance & 0.8 XY Distance; Tree Supports with 50° Branch Angle
  • The three prints took me between 8 and 12 hours each using approximately 225 grams

Additional Notes: Support removal varied on these large parts. Small tree supports branches popped off the detailed areas very cleanly. The large branches on the cut & key surfaces were more difficult and required some sanding before test fitting was possible. So please keep in mind your part’s results may vary, even on the same print. Additionally each printer and/or filament roll can provide different result with the exact same settings. So go ahead and use my settings as general guidelines and have fun tweaking your slicer’s settings.

3D Printed Eye Candy

Here are my printed parts of He-Mans Skeletor with the supports removed and zero or minimal sanding done to create that test assembly photo above. Enjoy

FYI: I used some very low adhesion double-sided thermal tape used for heatsinks to hold the model together for the picture. Enjoy.

P.S. Did I mention this print is HUGE?

Thanks for coming. Hopefully, I will be back with more reviews and new-to-a-hobby tips & guides.

Why not check out Eryone PETG – 3S’s – Shiny, Structural, Substantial. or Sonic the Hedgehog Diorama – Going Large

 

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply

      This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

      On Key

      Related Posts

      Eryone Silk PLA Filament Review

      Looking for a brand that can offer you uncommon filament blends and accessory parts for your 3D printers? Look no further than Eryone! One of

      inov3d
      Logo