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Our friend, Andrew Allan From Settlebeck High School in Cumbria has created a replica Dredd Badge, inspired by the Judge Dredd Movie, to show his students the power of 3D printing. Here he shares his process of how he created this iconic movie prop using the Ultimaker 2 and Colorfabb’s Copperfill material.

Project Aim

To test, how well the Ultimaker 2 printed with Colourfabb Copperfill filament


Project Stage

Andrew started out with a close-up image of the actual screen prop (as displayed above), in this case, Dredd’s badge from the lastest film. Importing this into Adobe Illustrator allowed him to trace the design accurately. From there he exported the outlines as a .dwg file.

He then imported the .dwg file into Sketchup and filling the lines with faces giving the model a third dimension, he worked from photos of the original piece to match it as closely as possible.
Illustrator into Sketchup
Once Andrew was happy with the Sketchup drawing, he then exported an .stl file, and then imported it into Cura, allowing him to create a gcode file for the Ultimaker 2. He advised us to use Colorfabb’s recommended settings for Copperfill filament, because the temperature and build speeds are crucial. Andrew suggested that when loading the filament to make sure any trace of the previous filament you had in there is cleared out of the nozzle, and also when removing the filament to let the new filament run through for a while. A tip he shares is to consider keeping another nozzle for special materials you print, as he found the copper particles are quite abrasive.
“The magic of watching something you’ve created on a screen actually take shape in front of you still hasn’t worn off, and I have been known to sit for hours just watching the printer printing, especially when there’s nothing much on the telly!”
As usual the Ultimaker 2 printed flawlessly
Once printed Andrew spent quite a lot of time sanding and polishing to achieve a nice finish. He started out with rough wet & dry paper where the shiny particles start to appear, moving onto a finer grade.
Finer grades of paper to sand the model down.
This particular piece has some quite fiddly areas to reach with the abrasives, but I sourced some foam sticks with various grades of abrasive on each side which model aircraft builders use to shape balsa pieces.
He Soaked a piece of steel wool with Brasso and when over the whole model. Then Andrew used Brasso with a cloth to complete the final polish of the badge.
“I didn’t want the piece to look too perfect, as the screen prop from which I drew my inspiration looks rather battered and well-worn, so I wasn’t too fussy about dents, or making grooves in the piece to get that look.”
Metal Polish in Progess
The finished badge using Colorfabb Copperfill on the Ultimaker 2
The badge is displayed on a bit of aluminium chequer-plate sprayed black.

Project Reflection

“It has proved a great demonstration piece for our 3D printing, both to students for inspiration, and for visitors, many of whom can’t believe it’s not actually metal! We find that making items like this for display and to demonstrate are very useful, they really open peoples’ minds up to the many possibilities. One thing about making objects such as this that I really enjoy is the mixture of CADCAM technology and finishing the piece off by hand, adding individuality to something which comes off the build plate pretty much perfect. Old and new techniques merging.”

Andrew Allan told us the next project he want to work on with a 3D printer is to create a full-size Judge’s Helmet

Thank you to Andrew Allan, a technician at Settlebeck High School in Cumbria, who has kindly shared the details of this Design Project with the CREATE Education Project.
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