Fan Football Helmet

Cornell Football Helmet
Bedford Football Helmet


I have played football my entire life and always been a huge fan of the sport. I always wished I could keep a helmet from one of the schools that I played for, so I decided to model my own. I have played for three different schools, but wanted some fan gear specifically for my public high school and college.

I used this image to model the face mask of the helmet and based the general shape on the images of Cornell and Bedford football helmets above. The joint piece where the decals snap on was based on the original hinge design we used earlier in the class.


I began by creating a sphere that was roughly the size I wanted the main body of the helmet to be. I then created a plane and a sketch of a rectangle and used that to slice off the bottom of the sphere. I then imported that image onto a canvas and created a sketch on the front of the sphere. I extruded the sketch and created a new body and then removed the segments from the sphere body that needed to be taken out using cut extrusions.

I then needed to create the detachable decal side plates. To make it so the plates would be able to attach and detach, I used a ball joint that was based on the original hinge tutorial that we had looked at in class. I added pads to the inside of the helmet and attached a sphere on a post. I then created another sphere that is 1mm bigger and does not fully enclose. I used a sketch to create the profile of the hinge, the two spheres and post, and then used the revolve command. Once the hinge was created, it was just a matter of slicing off the plates from the main body and correctly lining up the post and catch parts between the pad and plate.

After the base structure of the plates was complete, I just needed to add the decals that I wanted. I made a “C” for Cornell and the number 79, my football number there, for one set of plates. I did a “B” for Bedford and a 64 for the other set.

The body of the helmet printed out fine, but the plates did not on the first try. On the first print, I had the plates so that the decal was facing up and the half-sphere joint connector was on the bottom. The decals looked really good, but the joint connector did not work because the support had filled it in. The half-sphere was far too small to precisely extract the support pieces, so I needed to reprint. The second time, I had the decal on the print bed and the half-sphere was on the top side. Printing this way allowed the connector to work much better, but the decal had quite a bit of support that needed to be cut out so that doesn’t look quite as good.

Functionality first. I was very happy to see my plate connectors working correctly at the end of this process.

Printer Settings:

  • Layer Height: 0.2mm
  • Support turned on
  • No additional adhesion (brim for plates)
  • Time for print: 11 hours for body, 1 hour per pair of plates
  • Type of filament: eSun PLA
  • Filament amount: Roughly 100g (Plates are about 10g, main helmet 80g)
  • Infill: 20%

Thingiverse Link:

Technical Drawing PDF:

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