Costume Creativity with 3D Printing for Halloween

by Brian Johnson

Who doesn’t love a good scare?

I absolutely love Halloween!  My enthusiasm comes from memories of my father dressing up as something scary and trying to give the kids (and sometimes parents) a little scare. We’ll save how I find pure joy in scaring people, even if I am the one that gets scared, for another time. Unfortunately, I now live in an area that doesn’t see trick-or-treaters so we don’t get to decorate the yard and house to their fullest. However, I am still inclined to make a costume, glue things to my face and change my skin and hair color to get ready for the day at work or a party.

The Idea

Though I typically go for more of the scary side of costumes, this year we decided on a pirate theme.  A scary pirate of course. This theme was inspired by the last season of Black Sails, the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie and our trip to Cuba to see all the Spanish colonial forts and castles. I’ve watched several videos on making the hat and jacket required to pull off the authentic look. I already have the shirt, boots and pants needed not to mention the facial hair. What I lacked were the things that make a pirate…..his weapons!

It’s all in the details.

To start, I ventured through Halloween costume shops looking for a sword, flintlock gun, and a hook. I found some decent flintlocks to carry but the swords and hooks available were the typical blow mold, lightweight and not very convincing.   So I thought to myself, “I could custom design one for myself and 3D print it on the Fortus 250”. It’s at this moment I realize the wonderful luxury that I have working for a Stratasys reseller and having access to a Fortus 250. #winning

Let’s start designing.

First I took measurements of my hand and transferred those into SOLIDWORKS to start designing the fit of the hook.

Once I figured out the angle and ID of my loosely clenched fist; I printed the first prototype. I didn’t put any detail in the prototype as it was purely created to check the fit and dimensions of the hook over my hand and wrist. Plus, I didn’t want to waste any material.

After checking the measurements and making adjustments to the SOLIDWORKS model, I created the finished version and printed it. I think it turned out great. The last step in the process is to give it a light sanding and paint it to look like shiny metal. I have some work ahead of me!

If you are looking to print this hook for yourself, you can find the hook file on This is also where I downloaded the file set for the sword I will be using as well.

Have a safe and happy Halloween.

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About Brian Johnson

Brian is an Application Engineer for GoEngineer and has been a SOLIDWORKS user since 1999. The first half of his career was in the automotive and RV industries covering a wide spectrum of manufacturing processes and design from plastic injection, sheet metal, roll forming. He also spent a couple of years as a CNC programmer on precision routers, punch presses and lasers. The latter half of his career was in the oilfield technology as an equipment designer and CAD/PLM administrator. Brian is very dedicated to simplification and learning day to day operations. He is familiar with Lean Six Sigma and knowledgeable of both ASME welding and GD&T standards.

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