3D Printed Armor: 11 Best STLs You Can Download & Print
At 3DSourced we’ve covered everything 3D printing and 3D since 2017. Our team has interviewed the most innovative 3D printing experts, tested and reviewed more than 20 of the most popular 3D printers and 3D scanners to give our honest recommendations, and written more than 500 3D printing guides over the last 5 years.
There’s something about suits of armor that awaken a sense of both wonder and dread within us all. Who wore it? How well did it work? What and how many battles has this set seen?
Any fan of history or fantasy will likely be able to answer these questions, and anyone of action will want to know what it was like to wear. Unfortunately, museums don’t exactly let you try things on, but 3D printing armor is the next best thing.
3D printing armor sets and pieces can be a lengthy and detailed process, especially if you actually do plan on wearing them. Here we’ll look at some of the coolest and most detailed 3D printed suits of armor and other protective wear from the historically accurate to the fantastical.
Can You 3D Print Armor?
3D printing wearable armor is very doable, though not quite as easy as printing for display. But by making sure all pieces are to your size and well sanded down, anyone can 3D print their own suits of armor.
Historical armor is the kind you’d see in movies like Braveheart. There are so many different kinds of battle suits used throughout history, each one different based on country, culture, and status.
Here are our top picks for 3D printed armor reminiscent of what was once worn on real-life battlefields.
Celtic Wolf Cuirass
- Download: Snorri
- Price: Free
The Cuirass is an early form of padded armor designed to be easy to wear while protecting the torso. Traced back as early as the 5th century BC, the cuirass has been used by dozens of armies from all over the world throughout history, from Japan to Ireland.
The cuirass is typically designed to mimic what was considered the ideal physique for a warrior at the time. This was likely done as an intimidation technique to make the men appear to be at the peak of physical ability, thus frightening opponents.
I’ve specifically chosen the Celtic Wolf cuirass not simply because it looks cool, but also because the designer has been kind enough to upload two printable versions of this armor. One as a single piece, and another as six separate prints which can be joined together to complete the look.
So no matter how limited in power your printer may be, you should have no trouble 3D printing this simple yet gorgeous armor.
- Download: CASTELO
- Price: ~$40
While this fully wearable 3D printed armor set is based on Katsumoto’s armor from the fictional movie The Last Samurai, it is by far the coolest version of samurai garb I could find that’s available for immediate download.
It is also arguably based on the garb believed to be worn by Saigo Takamori, a genuine nobleman and samurai known for leading a rebel faction against an unstable government, earning him the right to be described as one of the greatest heroes in modern Japanese history.
Unlike many other armor types, the protective gear worn by samurai is almost entirely unique to its country of origin. While variations have popped up here and there over time, it’s hard to mistake the striking and memorable image of a samurai warrior for anything else.
While seemingly pricey for a set of files, this suit is fully wearable, highly detailed, and even includes the mempo, one of the different kinds of mask worn with such armor that protects the face below the eyes. Needless to say, this armor is well worth the price and is fantastic for any fan of Japanese history, or even just the movie.
- Download: 3DArtCollective
- Price: $16.80
The Romans were no strangers to fun, and gladiatorial combat was easily the height of entertainment in those ancient times. Facing off against peers and beasts, as well as a means of execution, gladiators came from all creeds and walks of life.
While many were slaves, some actually volunteered to risk everything for the fame, fortune, and status that victory in the arena could bestow.
Gladiator suits are great armor sets to 3D print as they come in separate pieces by default, making them fairly easy to print. They were also held on by simple straps, meaning assembly is also a quick process that anyone can do.
These files are well decorated with nice details and a horned helmet reminiscent of the champion fighters. Just be sure to scale it to the right size before printing and you should be good to go.
- Download: Galaxy5Armory
- Price: Free
Helmets are arguably the most recognizable part of any suit of armor. The protective headgear is often where the most amount of creative freedom was taken in design.
Since humans are naturally predisposed to look into the face of other people and creatures, helmets were often designed to be frightening as an intimidation technique while also protecting the wearer.
This custom Spartan helmet should be easily recognizable to just about anyone. This ancient and well-used style of armor has been traced to Romans, gladiators, Spartans, and many other countries and armies throughout history.
The model is free and can be scaled however you like or decorated and altered to suit the style or era you’re looking to homage.
- Download: rusalim80
- Price: $13.99
Long before the Pokémon or Naruto antagonist of the same name, Kabuto referred to a type of helmet worn by Japanese warriors as early as the 5th century. While often associated with samurai, you history buffs will know that they actually predate the samurai class of fighter by as many as 200 years.
Students of history will know that this style of helmet as a major symbol of Japanese military history, while fans of the fictitious will know that the Kabuto was one of the most important influences of Darth Vader’s headgear from Star Wars.
Whatever your tastes, this is an excellently detailed piece of 3D printed armor that can be worn or used as decoration. The files are already scaled to fit an average adult’s head, so you hopefully won’t need to do any tweaking before you get to printing.
Throughout all kinds of fantasy, action, and sci-fi films and videogames, there are so many different armor sets and pieces made famous by the fictional characters who wore them.
From The Legend of Zelda to Dragon Ball Z, here are some of the coolest 3D printed armor projects straight from your favorite franchises.
Hollow Knight Armor
- Download: Swoquik
- Price: Free
Recent years have been kind to independent videogames companies, and few are as memorable as 2017 hit Hollow Knight. The bug-based metroidvania featured a nameless knight who, as you’d expect, wore a unique set of armor.
This armor has been recreated with a dark, almost Donnie Darko-esque twist. It’s fully wearable, completely free, and insanely cool to look at.
As realistic takes on cartoonish imagery become ever more popular, this 3D printed armor suit fits in well with modern-day looks, and is sure to turn some heads at your next convention or costume party.
Unfortunately, the sword and miscellanies accessories featured in the photos are not included with these files, but the designer has been kind enough to link to them separately so you can complete the look to whatever range you like.
- Download: Aguilar Workshop
- Price: Free
While Master Chief’s armor may be the most famous to come out of the Halo franchise, it’s hard to compete with the Rakshasa armor, an unlockable set from Halo Infinite’s multiplayer mode.
This 3D printed armor suit was designed to be game-accurate in more than just aesthetics. In the lore of the game, it was designed to be comfortable enough to wear for extended periods, and the creator has promised this as it’s a comfortable fit provided you scale it to match your height and body type.
As well as extensive instructions, the free files also include video tutorials for fitting, printing, and assembly. So even if you’re a newcomer to 3D printing suits of armor, you’ll have all the guidance you’ll need in an easy-to-understand step-by-step format.
- Download: fito-pin
- Price: $14.00
Dragon Ball has been a benchmark for quality anime. As one of the most famous franchises in the world, it has countless characters throughout its many chapters and seasons, many of whom have their own look.
Yet of all the dozens of clothing and armor styles worn throughout the series, few are as immediately recognizable as the classic Saiyan armor. In this case, this fully wearable 3D printed Saiyan armor is based on the shoulderless variant worn by Vegeta throughout the epic Freeza Saga and beyond.
It’s easy to adjust, print, and paint, and is a fantastic piece of 3D printed armor that anyone can enjoy. Perfect for cosplay, you can even alter the files to look battle-damaged depending on which part of the epic saga you’re wanting to recreate.
- Download: BStar3Dart
- Price: $38.00
The epic fantasy franchise The Elder Scrolls pits players against many intimidating and ferocious opponents. From muggers and highwaymen to demons and giant spiders, there’s no shortage of threats lying in wait throughout Tamriel.
Of all these ill-willed antagonists, the most fearsome of all is arguably the Daedra, inhabitants of Oblivion and effectively the franchise’s version of demons and dark gods.
This 3D printed armor helmet is inspired by the standard armor the more humanoid of these demonic foot soldiers wear.
The files include all parts of the helmet, which are naturally printed separately. Despite how intimidating it may look to print, it can be done on any printer with a build area of 300x300x400mm or more.
At a push, this armor piece can still be 3D printed on a smaller machine. For example, a Creality Ender 3, which has a build area of 220x220x250.
Of course, to get the kind of look you can see in the pictures, you’ll need to be prepared to do a lot of post-processing. I recommend starting with a grey filament and painting it to seem worn and charred, as it would look surrounded by the flames of Oblivion.
Be very careful if you decide to 3D print this suit of armor, however, as the pieces are quite sharp. I recommend taking safety precautions and being particularly careful if you plan on wearing it in crowded spaces like conventions or anywhere there are likely to be lots of people or small children.
- Download: moesizzlac
- Price: Free
Star Wars has an even more varied wardrobe than Dragon Ball Z. With each faction, class, and protagonist sporting their own different kinds of suits into battle. Of them all, Mandalorian armor – popularized by Boba Fett in the original trilogy – has become a very popular choice of outfit thanks to its resurgence in the TV show of the same name.
Mandalorian armor comes in over 12 different styles if you include fan-made versions, but this print is one of the coolest around. Not only are the files free, but they even include the seldom-used jetpack that really completes the ensemble.
Another reason I chose this version is that it doesn’t include the helmet. While this may sound like a detriment, it actually means you can choose from one of the many other kinds of Mandalorian helmets to 3D print separately to get the exact look you want.
Fierce Deity Armor
- Download: MLBDESIGN
- Price: $15.60
Despite being an action/adventure game, The Legend of Zelda series is known more for tunics than armor. In fact, very few characters in the games seem to wear armor at all outside of the antagonists. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some cool examples of protective gear within the franchise.
And so I feel compelled to end our top picks for fictitious 3D printed armor with a nod to my favorite videogame of all time, Majora’s Mask. Though this armor set is actually based on the touched-up version seen in one of the latest games in the franchise, the well-celebrated Breath of the Wild.
As a simple breastplate, you will need to complete the rest of the look yourself, but that’s half the fun of cosplay. It’s a fantastic piece that feels as rewarding to print and wear as it did to receive in its original game, which you basically had to 100% to get.
Bonus: Maximilian Armor Scan
- Download: tbuser
- Price: Free
Unless you’ve discovered time travel, you likely don’t have much use for wearable armor outside of costume parties, cosplay, or LARPing.
While you can use any of the armor sets we’ve spoken about already as decorations, if you’re looking for 3D printed armor purely as display pieces, then you won’t want to go through the effort of making any of the wearable pieces we’ve looked at so far.
The file here is a full 3D scan of the armor named after Maximilian I. While he held many titles in his lifetime, he is mainly known for his reign as Holy Roman Emperor from 1508 to 1519.
The armor itself is from early 16th century Germany and while it came in a few different styles, this one is arguably the coolest looking.
The scan was taken from the Reading Public Museum in Pennsylvania and is admittedly a bit of a fixer-upper. But anyone looking for a scan of one of the few known full sets of Maximilian-style armor but can’t make it to the museum themselves should look no further than here.