Making 3DMG Props – The Beginning

What the heck is 3DMG you may ask?

3DMG stands for 3-Dimensional Maneuver Gear. Still in the dark?

Both of my daughters are into Cosplay. What is Cosplay? According to Wikipedia, Cosplay is “short for “costume play” … a performance art in which participants wear costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea.”

Cosplay is usually based on Japanese Manga (comic books) and Anime (animated videos.) People who are into Cosplay also attend conventions to see other people. There is one coming up in April called Anime Detour.

3DMG comes from an Anime called “Attack on Titan”. It’s a set of equipment that allows the protagonists to fly around, using cables, grappling hooks and jet assist. It also includes swords with replaceable blades that are stored in large scabbards that have air (fuel?) tanks on top of them for the jet.

My older daughter wanted to make a set of 3DMG props in time for the Anime Detour convention. That’s 30 days from now.

Just to give you an idea, here is the tutorial that she sent me.

And this is a video – at about 1:00 you can watch them use the gear.

More fun below the fold.

There are 3 main pieces to this 3DMG stuff and it’s surprisingly well thought out. The parts work together and in an alternate universe, or somewhere with low gravity, it might actually work.

  1. The jet motor/cable reels. This mounts on the back of the user and has the two cable reels for the grappling hook system, the jet assist motor and the devices that shoot the grappling hooks.
  2. The scabbards. The scabbards are large, long boxes that hold spare blades for the swords. Apparently the swords break off in the titans when fighting, and you just eject the remains and lock on another one. There is also a large air/fuel tank on the top of the scabbards that run the jets.
  3. The swords. The sword handles have two triggers, a lever and a hat-switch on the top. And a tanto style blade.

There are lots of photos of peoples interpretation of this gear. Some makes sense, some does not. It’s fun to look at this stuff with an engineers brain and figure out how the animators thought it would work.

Stefanie and I are trying to stay true to the design, and make it look like it might actually work, mostly.

We are building most of the parts from 1/8″ hardboard, 1/4″ plywood and some PVC. I think it’s going to turn out pretty cool.

We are basing the motor off this build that was 3D printed:


The swords and scabbards are based off these beautiful renders she found:

shingeki_no_kyojin_blades_by_alldra-d6bs5c0sm shingeki_no_kyojin_blades_by_alldra-d6bs5oi-sm shingeki_no_kyojin_supply_by_alldra-d6c8s8m-sm

shingeki_no_kyojin_supply_by_alldra-d6c8rug-smWe started this weekend and so far we have the reels and motors started, and the scabbard parts cut out.

Of course I’m using my ShapeOko for the detail work. Here are a few photos.

We needed to make lots of circles, so I made a circle cutting jig for my band saw.01-circles

We needed 16 little fins for the cable reels, so I made a quick router jig.


Here is an end plate for the cable reel after I cut it out on my ShapeOko. This was made from a piece of hardboard glued to a piece of plywood. The four little “ears” are just spacers to support the part.


Here are the fins glued to the back of the cable reel. The 1/4″ bolt will be used to attach the reels to the jet motor in the center. The washer and wing nut were an easy way to clamp the fins while the glue dried.


That’s as far as we got this weekend, but it’s a good start. I’m pretty sure we’ll get it built by April 4th. I think it will look pretty damned cool when it’s done.

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