Hey Asmblrs -
Just got a phone call from a production executive working on a hollywood movie - They urgently need a custom belt buckle made - Lamborghini logo, the text “Austin Bull Run 2022” encircling it.
Deadline: Friday evening. Budget: “You tell me”
““But yes this will definitely be a camera close-up shot so let’s keep that in mind”
Seems like a job for a resin printer and some gold foiling
Took the liberty of sketching up some mock-ups. Not sure I have the time to make them though. Although if they’re really desperate and have a blank check…
I could absolutely get that printed in resin for you. Could have it printed tonight. Say… Idk $300, so $150 for me and $150 for the guy who designed it?
It would be grey high strength resin. I could paint it with model paints but I don’t have the gold foil
Here’s a mini I printed recently just to give you an idea of the details you get
I have gold leaf - both real and imitation. I’ll sell it for use, but don’t want to apply it myself
I have never tried applying it so it would be a bit of a shot in the dark for me.
It’s a tricky shot in the dark. It’s fiddly, and annoying to be perfectly frank.
@HannaKessler Let me know if you get in touch with the producer and want the file. I’ve never personally done the foiling, but I’ve seen it done and it doesnt seem too hard to do. I wish I could, but I’m super busy for the next three days. You can always print multiple copies and try it a few times, I’m not sure how much @stepho has to sell, but Amazon can get you 100 sheets for $8.99 by 11am tomorrow. You need some sort of special glue too, but not sure what exactly.
I just designed the file on a flat plane, not with the sort of curve that belt buckles usually have. If it’s important, I could try to modify it. It also doesn’t have any real belt buckle hardware obviously, it’s just a flat back, but it could just be glued to a real one haha
Yeah basically just waiting to hear back from @mnd2pex
@HannaKessler I went ahead and made a version that has a slight curve to it. If nothing comes of this, I’ll just consider it CAD practice
Yeah love how the guy just ghosts haha. Oh well. Guess it’s not really that urgent
We got onto a chat group with the client yesterday, where we could understand the requirements more & brainstorm ideas
@Jordanva2 put together this design, which the customer is happy with
She prototyped this
Customer shared this for inspiration
The client is hoping for a legit, quality look/feeling belt buckle (that’s a fun challenge)
Last night, Jordan & Andres experimented with cutting the plate out of metal
I’m curious in how to create that traditional buckle form/look (the shot the customer shared). How is that typically made? I don’t have a buckle handy, but it seems that where there is color on a belt (eg eagle), there is an inset in the metal face, and some colored resin (?).
Nice! The prototyping is cool. Can’t help but feel like a 3D print would be a bit easier , but you do lose that feeling of weight and temperature in your hand. Let us know if you want a backup option!
I don’t know how they’re mass produced, but for a one-off I’m guessing that it’s hand carved. With brass/copper inlaid into another type of metal, or maybe created separately and soldered on. But I’m just making that up lol so I’m not sure. For mass production I imagine casting is the only real option
These design mockups are great @gordoa40.
@HannaKessler impressed with that resin and the level of detail you can achieve. PS have you considered doing a workshop or class on that? So cool
Since they are hoping for a real-deal heavy steel buckle - who do we know who can make something like that. Someone out there is making custom belt buckles as their day job
There’s definetly some locals that could carve that. You can ask Tandy leather if they know anyone. Or you can buy belt buckle blanks from them and just adhere the 3d resin inlay pieces nicely to that
@mnd2pex since it’s a one off, I think the easiest and cheapest option would be to print in resin (or even FDM), and try to cast in aluminum, then paint/gild. I think that would be sufficient, though it would be late.
edit: scratch that, the easiest/cheapest option would be what @EricP suggested, just adhere the resin to a metal blank to give it the functionality and feel of a real belt buckle. Could add some steel plate to give it more weight too, perhaps. But for solid metal, I think plaster or sand casting could work (may be hard to get the metal to flow into the small lettering), but you’d lose some detail and it may be hard to get a good surface finish.
Sounds like going to Tandy might be a fun field trip today…
May just be adding noise to this conversation but has anyone considered acid etching a brass plate and filling with enamel paint? Would leave you a solid feeling buckle, as it’s solid metal.
Called Tandy, they get their buckles in bulk. They suggested Austin Custom Dies. Spoke with them, but it didn’t seem to be what they can take on. Other thought we had - custom jewelers who can make large custom chains (think: musicians with gold name chains & inset diamonds). Any other ideas/leads?