3D Printing Ecto Goggles

Attempt 1.0

As a child born in the 80’s Ghostbusters was my childhood. From Ecto Cooler Hi-C to the Kenner Firehouse and the VHS tapes that were on repeat constantly. So when I found a Ghostbusters Adult costume at a Goodwill for $6.99 I had to buy it but then I quickly realized I felt incomplete without a Proton Pack, PKE Meter, Ghost Trap, & Ecto Goggles. So I did what any geek with a 3D printer and a desire to make a movie prop would do I turned to Thingiverse and this is what happened next.

Printing

After some searching I decided to start with the Ecto Goggles (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:616432) as there was some good makes posted by others in the community and I thought I could accomplish build completion before Halloween.

The print process was fairly straight forward. I loaded the objects into Cura, my slicer of choice, and I had to start by scaling the models by 10 (1,000%). I sliced and printed the base first and oriented it so that the widest portion in width and height was at the bottom. That side happened to be the side that goes against your face with the forehead and nose groove. These were my settings:

Ecto Goggle Base Print Settings

  • Infill: 15%
  • Supports: Yes
  • Overhang Angle: 55%
  • Filament: TIANSE PETG White
  • Hotend Temp: 235C (Should have been 240C, I’ll explain…)
  • Bed Temp: 60C
  • Speed: 60mm/s (Should have been 40mm/s)
  • Build Plate Adhesion: Brim

The results of these settings worked but in hindsight they were not ideal. The 60mm/s print speed caused a layer shift in the first attempt so I had to scrap and start over after already putting in a few hours.

The second attempt finished but there was some layer separation. I attempted to mend the separated layers with some success using a lighter (notice the burn marks). In hindsight I should’ve slowed the print to 40mm/s which has been the most stable for my printer and I should’ve increased the heat (to 240C) to better adhere the layers together.

The smaller parts were then printed with similar settings but without supports as they weren’t needed. In hindsight I should’ve also removed the build plate adhesion setting as it made the small parts a pain to clean up.

Once the print was finished I removed the supports (not pictured) and sanded everything smooth in preparation for painting.

Painting

I was running up against the clock for Halloween so I got impatient and I skipped primer and went straight to acrylic paints. That was a mistake. Without primer the acrylic paint looks ok under normal lighting but in dark areas with the LED’s on it’s obvious that there’s areas that didn’t get full coverage.

If I were to paint this again I would probably also make sure to paint the inside of the lenses before assembly and I would also look into a reflective silver paint for them as well. Additionally some research on painting techniques are likely in order. However the next one I make I’m sending to a local artist I know for a better paint job then I could do if I learned painting for the next 10 years.

Electrical

For adding portable power to this build my initial thought was to use a 5V battery that I have for charging cell phones to power this Adafruit Trinket and in turn some LEDs but alas the battery pack had some “smart” circuitry in it that detected it wasn’t connected to a phone and shut off shortly after turning it on. I instead settled on a more basic and reliable 9 volt battery setup.

Few things in life evoke the satisfaction of a toggle switch with a good throw and a satisfying click. It’s something I hope doesn’t get lost in time with the universal application of lifeless capacitive touch screens with vibration feedback. Which is why when I found this switch (complete with an engraved off/on plate) at my local Lowes not only was I compelled to add it to my build I had to make it the switch that made the lights work too.

I actually visited a local electronics shop to pick up some LEDs but in my inexperience with LEDs I ended up buying some really under-powered lights that didn’t output much light at all. So instead I borrowed some leftover LEDs from an Adafruit Windows 10 IOT core kit. I wanted both lenses to be lit up with green but I fried one of the LEDs in testing. As it turns out resistors are important. I wired a Red led, Green led, & about a 500ohm resistor in a series circuit with a 9v battery in a battery pack. The 9v battery pack also has a switch that I just left on but I suppose it can be used to turn the lights off as well from the source.

I drilled holes for the switch and Red LED in areas that seemed to make some sense in the Goggle placement. The switch had screws to hold itself in place while the LEDs and battery pack I attached to the build with Epoxy. It’s probably worth noting at this point that everything else in the build was adhered together with super glue. For the wiring I wanted to do something quick (and I didn’t want to do any soldering) so I twisted the wires together and wrapped the connections with white duct tape.

All The Comforts

With the build printed, sanded, painted, assembled, & wired the last order of business was making this prop wearable for Halloween. I needed something to attach it to my head and I also needed something to soften the prop so that it wasn’t just a bunch of hard plastic and wires pressed against my skull. So I went to Michael’s craft store and picked up a black foam sheet and an elastic band. The elastic band I attached with some more epoxy. Then the foam sheet I cut to size but I didn’t want it permanently attached in case I needed to fix wiring or replace the battery so I was happy to remember that I had some circular Velcro stickers in a craft box that I attached to the corners,

Ugly little spud isn’t he?

Overall I was quite pleased with how this build turned out but I’m calling it a 1.0 because I plan to revisit this with lessons I learned and make a better version with help from a real artist. I’d also like to take this moment to thank the 3D printing community, Thingiverse, GBFans.com, and the Author of this 3D model. Without those things coming together I would’ve never attempted a build like this and totally geeked out with my inner 80’s child.

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