Experimental pieces.

  1. #1

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    Experimental pieces.

    Since weight is an issue for most costumes, I decided on an experiment.

    I just happen to have a few yards of carbon fibre hanging around (from previous motorcycle related projects) so I pulled a few molds and ghetto rigged a vac forming setup and pulled my first carbon armour piece. This piece is not flawless, and I would not show it raw, but the big savings will be weights, where the standard chest diamond in resin weighs 23 grams, this carbon piece barely tips the scale at 5 grams, if there is on average even just a 50% weight reduction I feel as though this is a win.

    I have a chest piece in the vac now, will post pics of how it turns out and then a weight comparison there as well.


  2. #2

    Re: Experimental pieces.

    Pretty neat...but as far as i know most makers vac form the center diamond these days, and the rest of the armor actually (save the helmet). I dont see it being much lighter than ABS or HIPS, and it would be more costly, but it is pretty cool...that said, id be curious to see that chest piece..would probably look sweet for a custom mando.
    Last edited by Darth Voorhees; Nov 21, 2013 at 5:26 PM.

  3. #3
    Jc27's Avatar
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    Re: Experimental pieces.

    How much more resilient would the carbon fiber be compared to the abs? I think the cod and kidney and maybe the back take the most abuse, I wonder how the CF would work for those.
    As for a custom mando, CF would look bad ***.

  4. #4

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    Re: Experimental pieces.

    For resiliency I would have to say it would depend greatly on the type of epoxy used. There are some mirror coats that they use to cover bar tables and those super high gloss wood burl clocks, if that were to be used I would say it would take quite a beating. I am using System 3 Cold Cure, it is strong and flexible, but does not have the same type of resiliency as the mirror coat.

    Oddly the cod, kidney and back plate are three pieces I cant cast, or havent figured how to cast yet. I will likely try the cod piece, but for now I am just focusing on the chest, abdominal and shoulders. I could likely laminate carbon over an existing cod or even the back piece, but that would take a serious whack of carbon.

  5. #5
    formerly Woodman woodman's Avatar
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    Are these molds you're using your own armor sculpts?
    Quote Quote Posted from Android app

  6. #6

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    Re: Experimental pieces.

    woodman said: View Post
    Are these molds you're using your own armor sculpts?
    Now by my own sculpts do you mean did I utilize a screen reference to size and define my own armour size and shape, no. I used an print out of WoF armour template, traced onto some unrolled 3" PVC pipe, cut it, formed it, and then when I was happy with the end product and felt it accurately represented the shape of Fetts armour pieces, yet still fit me I then pulled some molds of the armour pieces I made, from there I vacuum bagged the carbon fiber into the molds, and have come up with these pieces.

    I am pretty excited when I got home from work this AM I popped 2 more pieces from their molds and they turned out great! The only issue I was the mold release wax did not prevent the PVA from bonding with the shellac I used to seal the mold with (both are alcohol based) and when I pulled the parts, some of the mold surface came with the part; so I do have some minor repair work to do to the molds.

  7. #7

    Re: Experimental pieces.

    Interesting idea T90, I wonder how a full chest would turn out?

  8. #8

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    Re: Experimental pieces.

    Well, here are some more weights

    Ab plate PVC - 142 grams
    Ab plate carbon - 68 grams

    right chest piece PVC - 112 grams
    right chest piece carbon - 42 grams

    The weight saving is quite substantial, which would definitely eliminate heavy armour pieces from dragging your flight suit down.

  9. #9
    Jc27's Avatar
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    Re: Experimental pieces.

    That is a big difference in weight. You may be on to something T.

  10. #10
    High Speed Low Drag Fett 4 Real's Avatar
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    Re: Experimental pieces.

    Jc27 said: View Post
    That is a big difference in weight. You may be on to something T.
    He's comparing his PVC stuff which is probably VERY thick to a essentially FG piece. Of course its lighter. Most people have Vac formed Polystyrene...MUCH lighter then PVC. The Vest weighs more then the plates without the magnets on them...If youre worried about a few lbs from armor maybe loose a few off the belly.

  11. #11

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    Re: Experimental pieces.

    I'm showing my ignorance but, how comparable is carbon fiber to ABS workability-wise and roughly how much is the cost difference?

  12. #12

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    Re: Experimental pieces.

    True enough, vac formed polystyrene would be quite light, and my PVC is only 3" sewer pipe, so not a sched 40 or anything.

    These were made just for fun to play with some carbon layup work. There were some lessons to be learned over the last few days with regards to molds, release agents, sealants etc. I am happy with how the pieces have turned out and the last shoulder guard should be popping out of the mold this afternoon.



    And as for losing a few lbs from the belly, man, it's winter up here, -22 celcius, I need all the stored energy I can hang onto for my job, its cold outside!

  13. #13

    Re: Experimental pieces.

    That looks pretty awesome man

  14. #14

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    Re: Experimental pieces.

    Kaden21811 said: View Post
    I'm showing my ignorance but, how comparable is carbon fiber to ABS workability-wise and roughly how much is the cost difference?
    Valid question, workability wise I would say ABS benefits are it is shapeable, and re-shapeable just add heat, it is relatively cheap and easy to get.

    Carbon fibre is not as readily available in decent cloth weaves and when you can get some it is not cheap. Working with carbon fibre is similar to working with fiberglass cloth in the sense that you can drape it over a shape, or lay it in a mold, epoxy it up and 12-24 hrs later you have a decent part which is extremely light, strong and has decent flexibility. Once the part is set there is no changing it like you can with ABS. After the CF part is cured you can sand it, shape it, polish it, paint it, add more layers or laminate more parts to it.

    Aesthetically when a CF piece is left raw and just polished there is not a lot that can beat it in the looks department in my opinion.

  15. #15

    Re: Experimental pieces.

    They do look pretty cool. A custom mando in carbon fiber would look pretty bad ***.

  16. #16

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    Re: Experimental pieces.

    All done for now. I will need to work on a way to do the collar piece as well as possibly the cod, the only problem is I don't think I will be able to do these pieces solid carbon instead they would have to be laminated over an existing piece, and I am not sure I want to do that.

    Weight of all chest, ab and shoulder parts

    PVC:

    CF:


    Fitment:

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