Wonder Woman Costume Comes to Life with 3D Printing, 3D Scanning, & 3D Design

Article by Kate Hedberg on Oct 30, 2018

For Halloween 2018, I decided to be Wonder Woman. It’s normal for me to go overboard for most costumes, and this year was no exception. This year, I decided to create a Wonder Woman costume as accurately as possible. I used SOLIDWORKS to design her armor and then 3D printed the results. I used SOLIDWORKS Visualize to render the parts and apply the appropriate textures that I would eventually end up painting.

The Tiara

To design the tiara, I started by measuring the circumference of my head with a fabric tape measure. I assumed that my head was slightly elliptical, so in SOLIDWORKS, I used a sweep along an elliptical path to create the majority of her headband. For the rest of the tiara, I used offsets from surface extrusions and cuts to add the distinctive front detailing. I left a gap in the back to tie it.

Wonder Woman Tiara CAD Design

Wonder Woman Tiara SOLIDWORKS Visualize


I similarly designed the armband, except that I assumed my arm was perfectly round (because I have perfect arms). Again, leaving a gap in the back so I could tie it on.

Wonder Woman Arm Band CAD Design

Wonder Woman Arm Band SOLIDWORKS Visualize

Wrist Guards

Next, I decided to tackle her bracers. These were notably more complex, so I roughly measured my forearms near the elbow and at the wrist. I assumed they were mostly elliptical cross-areas. Then, in SOLIDWORKS, I lofted those two profiles together with a 3D spline as a guide curve to make sure my huge muscles had enough room. 

Then I just used extruded cuts, offsets, split lines, and sweeps to finish off the details. I only modeled one of them, and then I mirrored the component in an assembly to get the opposite hand version. (Because, again, my arms are perfectly symmetrical.)

Wonder Woman Wrist Guards CAD Design

Wonder Woman Wrist Guards SOLIDWORKS Visualize


I then tackled her sword, named the "god killer", which was the most complated piece to model. I began with a sketch to get the proportions as close as I could. I had to compromise a little bit on how long I could get the blade because of build volume limits.

The blade was pretty simple. It has some swept cuts on it to define the shape, and I used a Lord of the Rings font to create the extruded cut text on it. The blade is about 19 inches long so it could be printed diagonally in our Stratasys Fortus 400 3D printer. (The Fortus 400 we have in our office has a build volume of 16 in. x 14 in. x 16 in.)

Wonder Woman Sword CAD Design

Wonder Woman Sword SOLIDWORKS Visualize

Handle Challenges

For the handle, I used a helical sweep that was circularly patterned to make it wrap around itself. The dragons (or snakes or dinosaurs or whatever they are) were created with a loft to give it a more animal-like shape. 

Then I used the deform tool in SOLIDWORKS to get the ridges made, and also did some base extrusions, extruded cuts, and fillets to get the detailing of their little dragon faces. The sword handle was the only part we printed on the Stratasys J750 because it was by far the most detailed piece I modeled.

3D Printed Wonder Woman Sword

To connect the blade and the handle, I modeled in a tiny pin the runs through the base of the blade where it meets the handle. 

Wonder Woman Sword Handle SOLIDWORKS Visualize

3D Scanning to the Rescue

At this point, I was in pretty deep, but I hadn’t figured out exactly how to model the body armor. Wonder woman’s armor is very form fitting, and I couldn’t quite figure out how to translate the shape of my torso into SOLIDWORKS accurately with just a fabric tape measure.

3D Scanned Wonder Woman Costume

I decided that my coworker would have to 3D scan my torso with a Creaform Handy Scan 3D scanner. We also decided to scan one of my legs while we were at it, so I could make sure the boots/greaves (shin protectors) fit perfectly as well.

I wore the tightest clothes I owned, and we put these little, sticky targets all over me. The targets help the scanner (picture above) understand where it is relative to those stickers.

After cleaning the scan up in Geomagic’s Design X software, we imported it as a graphics body into SOLIDWORKS.

3D Scanned Torso for Wonder Woman Costume

This allowed us to do some intersection curves at different planes to create a smooth, lofted body of … my body.

Wonder Woman Geomagic Design X


To create the armor, I did a series of offset surfaces in SOLIDWORKS, including sketch trimming and thickening to get the shapes I wanted. I separated it into four different parts for printing.

Wonder Woman Armor CAD Design

Wonder Woman Armor SOLIDWORKS Visualize

With the boots, I did a similar method used for the body armor but with fewer details. I left some openings so I could attach leather and elastic bands to keep them up.

Wonder Woman Boots CAD Design

Wonder Woman Boots SOLIDWORKS Visualize

For the last part, I used SOLIDWORKS to create a pattern to cut out fabric for the red body armor. This is a fairly complex design, so I used surfacing tools with the scan of my torso to get surface bodies of every piece of fabric. 

Wonder Woman Body Armor CAD Design

Wonder Woman Body Armor SOLIDWORKS

I put each one on the resulting surface bodies in its own part file, that way I was able to create a flattened surface. I put these flattened surfaces into part drawings and printed them so I could use them as a cutting guide.

Wonder Woman CostumeWonder Woman Costume by Kate Hedberg

Painting, Printing, and a Little Help from my Friends and Family

My cousin was kind enough to donate her skills to piece together the top. She also created the pattern for the skirt by hand. Throughout the entirety of October, my coworkers helped me 3D print the various components.

For the armband and tiara, we used our Stratasys Fortus 400 3D printer.

I spray painted them gold and did an antiquing technique with black and silver paint.

3D Printed Wonder Woman Tiara and Armband

3D Printed Wonder Woman Armband and Tiara

After we printed the body pieces on the Fortus 400, I sprayed painted them gold. I attached them using leather cording and used Velcro to make sure the shirt didn’t go anywhere.

The blade of the sword I painted with a steel spray paint. I did the handle in the same color of gold as the body armor.

3D Printed Wonder Woman Sword GoEngineer3D Printed Wonder Woman Sword Up Close3D Printed Wonder Woman Sword Painted

We printed the boots on the Fortus 400 and primed them before painting. (I taped off the middle extruded part so I could paint it gold.) Then I spray painted the rest of the boots with red glitter spray paint.

FDM 3D Printed Wonder Woman Boots

I used leather, Velcro, and elastic straps to make sure I could get in and out of the boots relatively quickly. Here it is, the final rendered picture of all the pieces together.

Custom Wonder Woman Costume Using SOLIDWORKS, 3D Printing, and 3D Scanning

Here’s the final picture of me in my overly elaborate outfit. 

Custom Made Wonder Woman Costume

I wonder what I’ll do next Halloween!

More Design Projects

Full Iron Man Helmet Project

A Modern Take on a Classic: 3D Printed Fender Telecaster

Creating a 3D Printed Race Medallion Hanger Using SOLIDWORKS

3D Printed Redesign of Corvette C4 Gas Pedal Mount


About Kate Hedberg

With industry experience creating electrical documentation in construction as well as oil and gas, Kate brings a ton of knowledge to SOLIDWORKS Electrical and PCB users. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and is ready to help you adopt these technologies to suit your application.

View all posts by Kate Hedberg