Major FanArt is a model from artist Ismael Panadero, that I test printed as part of his online sales campaign. Over the years, Major from Ghost in the Shell has been drawn by various artists. Back in 2017 Ghost in the Shell, featuring Scarlett Johansson as Major, was released.
This 3D printable fanart model captures the essence of her likeness and the movie’s visual style. The model can be acquired via Facebook groups or contacting the artist Ismael Panadero directly. Typically purchasing 3D files via Facebook or Discord groups is done through PayPal or a project website that accepts PayPal payments. I have purchased over two dozen projects this way, and have received all of them successfully.
Like my first web article featuring He-Mans Skeletor, I printed Major Fanart at 100% as-modelled-scaled. The file is released at 1:6 scale, which creates approximately 300 mm or 12-inch standing figures.
Major FanArt 3D Printable Model
I was asked to test print this model which includes Major and her round base. The package consists of cut and keyed parts for easier printing, assembly and painting. Therefore, the current version of the bundle includes eight (8) STL files. Here is a quick breakdown of the components.
- Figure – 7 pieces: Head, Right Arm, Left Arm, Torso, Hip, Left Leg & Right Leg
- Base – 1 simple looking yet complex base
All eight pieces were successfully printed on my FDM printers without any mesh issues. Indeed, a resin printer would be ideal for printing Major’s head. However, I continue to tweak my slicer settings to improve my FDM printed heads.
The artist has recreated Scarlett Johansson’s likeness and outfit details with outstanding results. If you happen to think the model is to plain-looking, consider re-watching the 2017 Ghost in the Shell movie like I did while writing this article.
It was my first pre-sale test print for a 3D artist. Although I had a generous deadline, I tried to print the model as quickly as possible to help the sales process. Having bought many 3D models via various Facebook groups, I know time is essential in keeping buyers’ interest and artists’ delivery promises. Even though I printed multiple body versions and heads within the time frame, rushing resulted in less than ideal quality.
Regardless of my deadlines or the reason for printing a particular model, I always have personal goals for the project. Here are this model’s goals:
- Complete test prints and write for the artist on time – Success!
- Print model at 100% as-published scale – Success!
- Create parts that need minimal post-printing processing (i.e. sanding and repair work) – Mixed results
- Minimise the plastic used to create this set – Satisfied
- Share my insights and printer settings – Artist used my photos for his final sales update & You are reading this!
In an effort to complete the sample prints quicker than usual, I increased my overall print speed in Cura. Higher print speed and a loose print bed mirror resulted in parts with visible Z-Banding and minor layer shifts. Most of the pieces were printed at the same time overnight, so they all have the same visible defects. Since printing the sample parts for Major, I’ve reduced my print speeds and tightened my custom mirror clamps for my original Ender 5.
Hardware and Software
As with my last project, I limited the final version of my prints to just two of my five FDM printers. 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. Both printers still have their stock hotend and cooling setups.
While slicing Major FanArt, I limited my self to Cura 4.3 and 4.4. I still love Cura’s experimental tree support option and the (free) price tag. Therefore I used the newest 4.4 version of Cura with my Kossel delta. Cura version 4.3 was used for my Ender 5. Future projects will be moved to Cura 4.4.1 or newer since I fixed my profiles for both machines.
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.
For this project of Ghost in the Shell Major Kira, I used the rolls that were still in my printers from my last project He-Man’s Skeletor.
- Grey: CC3D PLA Max Grey @ 220° C – Looking back this was probably too hot
I have used CC3D PLA Max for several projects. I found it accidentally while researching filaments for a printer modification project. The PLA Max is available in several colours including Grey, Red, Blue, Black, Yellow, White, Purple, Orange and Green. CC3D Max’s first layers always go down smooth. I recommend it for print-ability and quality.
Slicing, Printing and Scaling
Now for the good stuff you were looking for, my experiences and tips for printing the Major FanArt model from Ismael Panadero. As I mentioned above, I used Cura 4.3 and 4.4. I 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, I spend extra time orientating and studying the slicer previews of each piece. Hopefully, my time and experiments will help you print this and other figures and dioramas.
The model was printed at 100% scale and around 1:6 scale. The body parts were printed using 0.12 layer heights, 0.4 wall widths and tree supports on my Ender 5 and Kossel printers. Lower quality settings were used for the base to save some time. Major’s head was printed at 0.08 layer height for my final version. Specific details are provided below.
Major FanArt Cybernetic Body Parts
Major’s 3D printable pieces come cut and keyed for easier printing and assembly. The majority of the cut lines follow the seams in Major’s cybernetic body, except for the cut made at the waist. Prints were made for all of the pieces as provided. Two combined bodies were test printed, with and without the legs. The combining was performed using AutoDesk’s MeshMixer, which is a free modelling program.
Major FanArt’s feet are not perfectly flat. As a result, I lowered both -0.20 Z below the print surface to accommodate this minor issue. Also, the initial combined body test with the torso and hips left excessive support scarring on the tops of the arms and neck. When I printed the combined body, I placed the feet on the build surface. The minimal scarring was all on the underside of the arms this time. Custom support blocks were used to print the hands upright. Therefore, stay tuned for future articles that show my improvements to this technique, which I’m using on every figure part now.
Here are some quick slicing settings used in Cura for Major FanArt on my Ender 5 and Kossel Plus:
- 0.12 Layer Height & 0.4 Line Widths
- 3 Walls & 10 Top/Bottom ZigZag Layers
- 5% 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 20 lines to ensure nothing would come from the print bed
- Supports everywhere; 60° Overhang; 1 wall; 0.20 Z Distance & 0.8 XY Distance; Tree Supports with 45° Branch Angle
- The print estimate was 25.5 hour for the large batch of parts
Major FanArt Human Simulated Higher Quality Head
Like most figureheads, this one would look best using a resin printer. However I don’t have one, so and I’ve tweaked my slicer settings to print it with high-quality settings on my FDM printers.
Here are some quick slicing settings used in Cura to print Major FanArt’s Head on my Ender 5:
- 0.08 Layer Height & 0.4 Line Widths
- 4 Walls & 15 Top/Bottom ZigZag Layers
- 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; 60° Overhang; 1 wall; 0.16 Z Distance & 0.8 XY Distance; Tree Supports with 60° Branch Angle
- This print took a long time, but patience is required when you don’t have a resin printer for figureheads
Additional Notes: Several revisions of Major’s head were printed testing various layout angles and slicer settings. As a result, the use of the custom support block under the entire head created the best print that was easily removed from the supports. Since printing Major’s head, I have continued to tweak this technique. It will be covered in future printing articles, since I am using for nearly every figure print now.
Major FanArt Base
Major’s base is key and ready for final assembly. Besides, I printed the base with lower quality settings to save some time. Although it may look plain, it’s more complex when you study it in your slicer or your hand.
Here are some quick slicing settings used in Cura for Major’s Base on my Kossel:
- 0.28 Layer Height & 0.4 Line Widths
- 3 Walls & 6 Top/Bottom ZigZag Layers
- 10% ZigZag Infill
- 100.0 mm/s overall speed; Outer walls at 50 mm/s; Infill at 80 mm/s; First layer and Brim at 20 mm/s
- The skirt used with four lines – Use brim if you have trouble with larger items sticking or curling up
- No Supports required
- If you followed my tips for printing the feet at -0.20 Z, you might need to file down the pegs on the base or cut off the top 0.20 within your slicer.
3D Printed Eye Candy
Here are my printed parts of Major FanArt. With the supports removed and zero or minimal sanding is done to create that test assembly photo above. Also, some parts were primed as a test and to improve picture quality. Enjoy
FYI: I used some very low adhesion double-sided thermal tape used for heatsinks to hold the model together for the pictures.
Thanks for coming. Check back and look for more model reviews and printing tips & techniques.