Got access to a 3D printer (and a couple of tools)? Want to print your own gunpla stand and customize it for a (theoretically) better price? Then this instructable is for you!
- 3D printer
- x1 10-32 screw, At least ~0.4 inches, 0.5 inch length recommended, Type does not matter
- 10-32 tap tool
- 1.75mm filament (separate from the filament the printer is going to use)
- Sanding paper
- "Poking tool"
- Soldering iron (or any heating tool. Ex: The extruder of a hot glue gun)
Step 1: Step 1: 3D Printing
Proceed to this link, where you will find the STL files for the 3D printer. A STEP file has been provided if you are feeling creative and would like to add your own features and customization. Load them onto the 3D printer, and print.
My Print Settings:
- Printer: MakerGear M2
- Software: Simplify3D
- Supports enabled (~2.5mm resolution, 1 degree maximum overhang angle)
- 20% infill on everything except for GDS_gunplamount (80% infill)
- Raft enabled for GDS_armbase; I printed this part upward due to its design, so rafts are needed to prevent the piece from accidentally coming off, resulting in a spaghetti mess
- 1.75mm PLA filament
- 60C printer bed temperature, 210C extruder temperature
Note that these settings are what worked best for me, so it may be different for you depending on your preferences. However, what's important is that all the details are present and clear. Otherwise, you may have a hard time assembling everything.
Step 2: Step 2: Preparations for Assembly
The image shows the parts including the file names from which each part originated. Note that GDS_pin.STL is missing in this picture (to be honest, the pin is not as required).
Once you have everything, attempt to assemble everything according to the picture provided in the first step (hard to see, but GDS_armextend goes into GDS_armbase. If it appears to be a tight fit, use the sandpaper on the surfaces that make contact. In addition, run the "poking tool" into the small holes in GDS_base, GDS_armindex, and GDS_armbase; stop when you can run 1.75 mm filament through these holes without obstruction.
Step 3: Step 3: Assembly - Solder Welding
Mount GDS_armindex and GDS_armbase to GDS_base and run the 1.75mm filament through the holes. Use a cutting tool to cut off the extra length, but leave some out. The idea here is to use the filament as axles about which the armindex and armbase rotate.
Next is solder welding. Using a solder iron (or any heating tool), melt the filament where it sticks out until it has "welded" with the GDS_base. This secures our axles to the base while still allowing free movement of the armbase and armindex.
Only downside here is how ugly the welded areas look as well as "what if it breaks and you need to replace the part(s)". To answer the first one, use sand paper. For the second one, perhaps instead of using solder welding, adding a dab of hot glue to both sides of the filament -which is cut to length as opposed to sticking out of the base- will allow proper securing as well as easy disassembly when needed.
Step 4: Step 4: Screw
Use the 10-32 tap tool to create a 10-32 thread into the smaller of the two holes of the GDS_armextend part. The tap tool may be optional, as the filament may be soft enough for the screw to create its own thread as you screw it in (from my experiences in metalworking, tap tools are more for metal pieces than for plastic ones).
Once the thread has been created, mount GDS_gunplamount to the armextend part, screwing in the 10-32 screw through both parts. If the hole in the gunplamount piece appears to be a bit tight for the screw, try using a sanding tool (file), or even use force to shove the screw through that piece; that hole should be a thru-hole for 10-32 thread screws, so theoretically there's absolutely no reason for the screw to get stuck.
Step 4.3333333333: The pin
You may notice on the Thingiverse download that I provided a file called GDS_pin. This controls how much armextend extends from the armbase part. This part is optional, as you could take anything below 3mm in diameter and use that instead. For me, a small piece of wire works well.
Step 4.6666666666: Mount the gunpla
Reason I'm not making new steps for these is because it's hardly a step worth having its own... anyways, mount the gunpla to the stand using the GDS_gunplamount part. If it's tight or just can't fit, use sanding paper for the peg of the gunplamount part.
Step 5: Conclusion
- Extremely cost-efficient (~$3.00 at most)
- All together, you will have a display stand in less than two days of 3D printing and assembly
- Hang it on your wall (peg/nail head must be less than 5mm. Will change if that doesn't work out for most people)
- Requires tools that average gunpla hobbyists may not have access to, which would add to the cost needed to assemble this, although, even though I have not tried it myself, the tap tool and soldering iron is not really necessary and can be replaced with tools more common to people.
- The solder-welded areas decrease aesthetic points of the stand
Initially, I decided to make something like this because 1) back-heavy gunpla are a struggle, and 2) I had infinite access to high quality (and therefore expensive) 3D printers that it would actually be better for me to design and make my own gunpla stands as opposed to purchasing them online. However, not everyone may have access to quality tools as I have. Nevertheless, this was a cool project to work on, and my gunpla that keep falling over definitely benefit from it ;).
NOTE: Changes will be coming every once in a while, so stay tuned!