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Batsignal (From movie: The Dark Knight Rises, 2012)

by Arquit3D Aug 6, 2017
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Nice model! What is the size in 100% scale? Thanks!!

Thanks! The base should be around 20x20 cm (about 8") and 25 cm high (or 10"). You can see in one of the pictures 1$ bill, 1€ and a canadian loonie for reference.

Hello! Why the STL are so low poly? On photos the model is smooth but stl files are low poly the neet lots of polishing to be done... why not make them hi poly instead?

It makes the files much larger, and a pain to upload here.... Just import into Blender, apply a subdivision of 5 or so and your done.

Comments deleted.

Hello Friend!
First of all - im sorry if i have offended you in anyway.. but i honestly dont understand why you feel offended, it was just a question. I wasnt demanding anything. Wasnt writing bad words to you. Just a question.

Secondly - why make things extra difficult when you can make them good from the beginnig. It still need sanding,(even in high poly) but not as much to hide polygons. It looks strange because making round parts dont need much effort or drawing polygon by polygon. Its a circle with border and cut outs. 3 of 4 rings are "copy\paste". I have redrawn all circle parts in 2 hours including front cover and rear cover.

Thirdly - i repeat - i didnt demand fixing or anything. Also this model is great in general and i as a modeler understand the amount of work that has been put in creating it.. I didnt find premium version of your bat light that would understand why this free model in low poly in some places. And i also personaly think that if you post such not easy work for everyone to use for free you shouldnt point to people that "you dont appreciate that this was given for free. use what you set or get lost!". (except for people that demand and offend your work)

If you regret not being payed for work - dont post it for free, sell it for bucks.

Once again - thank you for great work done, but some methonds and construction methods used feel odd to me. All could be done easier and in less separate parts.
I actualy have redrawn it about 75%.

For everyone showing up after August 2018, take into account that the comments below refer to a previous version of the STL files. Most of the comments have been taken into account for the updated files, but feel free to share your thoughts as well.

After much time, I finally finished my bat signal! Figured I would add my comments and observations here.

If the files for parts A as one piece, and part B as on piece could be included, that would be great. Edge gluing is not very strong, and I would have preferred printing as one piece. (I added another part under part A, an additional thin plate, to reinforce the A assembly).

It may help to make a list of all fasteners needed early on, get them, and then apply aging/weathering to all at once. Keeping them organized and labeled. Seemed like as I went along, I continued to find new places where I needed/wanted bolts and nuts, and had to go source them again.

I also ended up designing and adding reinforcing plates where F parts assemble to E. Wasn't sure I could trust them being glued at such a small surface. Would it be possible to model it with F parts as part of E?

Assembling the G pieces on top of F parts - again they seem like they would be very fragile as-is. I welded them on to the F pieces using a 3D pen.

Drilling through the G pieces for the bolts is critical; be very careful about alinging the drill so the holes are parallel.

Door N doesn't work as-is; need to trim off enough of the tab so it can be pushed into part I. But don't trim so much off that it won't stay in.

The hole in the side of the electrical panel for the switch needs to be cut out. Not just removing support material.

Note that parts L and K are not used. Replaced by parts KL, which are not shown in the image with all the parts laid out. This is not explained well, and can be confusing.

Parts H, I, and J all need to have a significant portion cut off so that they will fit into the recesses in the rings. This is noted in the "annex", but is not very clear. Adding pictures in this regard would be great.

The KL rings wouldn't fit very well over the M beams. I had to shave down the M beams gradually until the rings fit over.

The hole in one of the beams for the wire wasn't lined up right. Had to drill another hole at an angle.

I tried different thicknesses of acetate for the glass. 0.003 inch thick acetate is okay for the curved side pieces. 0.03 inch thick acetate is about perfect for the front lens. Stiff enough not to sag.

Fit the front "lens" BEFORE gluing on front ring. The instructions have this after, but I had a hell of a time getting thinner acetate to stay put, or to get thicker acetate sheet to flex into place. While trying to do this, the front ring R broke off (where it had been glued). After that it was much easier to fit the side curved windows and the front lens. The front circular one can fit right into a groove in part R.

I didn't use parts S; they didn't seem to fit very well on the front ring (R).

It would be nice to know how to make the projected shadow as distinct as possible. Arquit showed a pic in the comments that makes it look like a reasonably distinct shadow... and said the smaller the LED the better. But what size? Does it matter if the LED is on a PCB or not? Does it matter where the LED sits relative to the opening in the reflector (part Q)? I also painted the reflector in mine a gloss silver paint, thinking it would help to reflect as much light as possible. But now I think this may have a negative effect by reflecting more light from different positions on the reflector.

Wow, what a nice input CrashcupMN!
Sorry for the delay first of all. Crazy live being busy all time.
I have to agree with you in most of the points. Thanks a lot.
Definitively I have to get again into it and redo a lot of pieces, and publish a definitive version. I think it will push up its popularity

Regarding the LED, I think I linked the original piece I bought from Aliexpress. Anyway, it was something like this: https://tinyurl.com/ycbqtlfp
I remember it was about 1/4'', 3/8'' as much (about 6 mm diameter max) and the power was 1 W. Maybe the idea of making the reflector silver was good at the beggining, but as you said, it can work against the shadow. Maybe mine is not as reflective as I thought originally.
For glueing, I used acetone, as I printed in ABS. Didn't took into account the use of PLA so I have to agree than using standard glue could not be enough for some parts. As an alternative you can use epoxy, but of course makes it expensive when printing as a single piece could be enough. I'll have that into account when uploading new files.

By the way, despite all problems, the final result looks awesome! Congrats.

Thanks a lot again.

any recommendations for the led, regulator and heat sink?

I tried some LEDs like the ones suggested in the instructions, but they were pretty weak. Here's what I ended up with:

Cree LED

Heatsink - this has a couple of holes to mount the standard size star-shaped PCB

Regulator - this is rated for 3A output max, and the Cree LED pulls about 2.1 or 2.2

I wanted a really bright LED for the sake of projecting the bat symbol. I had my doubts about how good this would show up, but I figured the brighter the better. Now that I got this assembled enough to try the beam/shadow, it's disappointing. I guess that's why Arquit3D didn't include any pictures of the project beam/shadow. (and in retrospect, I shouldn't have expected much, because the the light is going to hit the edges of the bat at hundreds of different angles. That won't project a sharp outline... except an inch in front of it.)
So, one thing to keep in mind is that if you really can't project an image like in the movies, and you're building it just for the model itself, the brightness of the light isn't that important.

Sorry for the lack of updates/answers. I really have to look for some time to update even the files.
About the LED, be careful man, it's plastic, and even with the heatsink, you can catch it in fire if you put some much power on that light.
According to the shadow, the smaller the LED (size, not power) the sharper it is going to be. Take that in mind. If you want to see a picture of the shadow projected into a wall (aprox 5 feet away) check my instagram (arquit3d), february 27, 2017. It was not painted but it was the preassembly with all pieces in place.
Let me check if I can include something really quick as well. Night, the wall is like 10' away at least. Sorry for the bad quality, its what I have on hand right now.

That's not too bad. Way better than mine looks. I'll have to try mine again tonight after dark on a blank wall.

Another question for anyone who has made this: Have you been able to get an actual shadow of the bat symbol by shining it on the ceiling or a nearby wall? I'm trying different LEDs, and I'll use a high-output type. But I still am doubtful that it will be able to make a good bat shadow on a wall. It seems like the light will probably scatter too much, shining past the bat on the front lens from many different angles, making a blurry shadow, if any.
What have you found after building it?

Anyone know how the cover (N) should fit into the electrical box(I)? I assume the end of the cover with the longer tab fits into the slot on one end of the box. But then there doesn't seem to be nearly enough room to snap the short tab in. What am I missing here?

I ended up shaving the tab off with an x-acto, plus a bit of the edge of that side, so that mine would fit in place.

Ask me how to get the blue poster for printing after finish the project? because I´m printing the pieces :P.
Thank you!!! And good job!

The poster is a PDF file in a different folder (images) from what you downloaded.

Part KL1 has a feature that overlaps with the same feature on part I. It looks like either i have to do a lot of cutting off the feature on Part I or just simply reprint KL2 and use in its place. Is that what you did on your existing model?

Here's my mod. Cutting the edge off I (gently and small nibbles at a time to prevent excess fracturing)

I also had to notch the edge of KL1 because this overlaps with the hole in part M and part I. My wire wouldn't fit part M so I made a new one that allowed the wires to fit.

I also had to nearly trim off all of the "ear" features on H, I and J that overlap with KL1-4 since there's about 1.5-2mm overlap on both sides.

Aww, jeez, I haven't gotten to that part yet. Already have trimmed off a bunch of plastic on several parts.

I think you did an amazing job on this!
What program did you design this in?
I originally downloaded this before you included the PDF assembly instructions. Did most of the parts get changed or stay the same when you added the instructions? Below questions are referring to the possibly older design?

I had trouble with fitting N into I. I removed the 3 support pieces in the groove on both sides, but I'm not sure how to get N to clip in on both sides. The fit looks too tight without using a screwdriver to force the parts to flex to close. Was that adjusted in the newer model?

Did you get that cover to fit? I ended up doing as someone else suggested and I gradually shaved down the smaller tab, until I could push the long tab in one end, then push down on the end with the smaller tab until it would click in. I can still get that out with a screwdriver (wouldn't want to take it out and in a lot though, something would wear and become loose).
Basically I carefully snuck up on the right fit by shaving of a little at a time with an xacto knife.

Yes, for the electrical cover, I shaved the side with the small tab down until everything fit.

For installing the acetate in the front, I took the top ring, reprinted only the top 1/8" and used the screw holes to fasten it in front of the original ring. So it's not quite canon per the original design, but "it works"!

Cool! The shadow is actually pretty good. Can't wait to get mine done. Been working on it in bits in between house addition work and other things. If I spend too much time on this, my wife can get a bit testy. :-p

3 Watt just isn't bright enough.. have to kill all the lights and it's still a bit faint. At some point, I'm going to look at how I can make a functional radial heat sink fit and look good, and go to a 20 or 50+ watt..

I got this for a heatsink:

The heatsink fits great with a Cree "Xlamp" I bought - high output LED on a star PCB. It sucks up 3A at 3.3V, so I guess that's 9.9W.
20 or 50 Watt?! Wooooo didn't know there was such a thing, but I'm not that knowledgeable about LEDs. The Cree was 7 bucks. Can't imagine what a 50W LED would cost.

Not super cheap.. Venturing in the $20-30 for Cree XLamp on Ebay. Super-bright! There's examples for a 100w flashlight mod on Inventibles. My friend built one. It's insane! But maybe far too large to build into this assembly without major changes.
Thanks for the heat sink recommendation!

I love the finish on it looks amazing! :D

If you don't mind me asking which paints did you use for the metal finish??

Hi Wesleybrian,
I used standard (actually very cheap ones) acrylic paints. I bought a cheap kit containing about 20 colors and one of them was this glossy grey I used. After a few coats of paint over the primer, I slightly sanded the surface to remove paint strokes and then applied several coats of glossy finish, that was all.
Thanks by the compliments!

your Batsignal are awesome and I print the splitted pieces A + B. When I glue them together its not full flat. Can you upload the pieces A + B without splitting? I have a printvolume by 30x30cm and can print A + B in one piece.

I did the same thing. I also realized that most printers have 214x214 beds with 200x200 print area, and I was able to print the base in one piece on my 200x200. Just barely!

Hey Monky, thanks for your nice words. I'll try to upload them as soon as I can. I have to look for the old files and get the new stls but definitively I can get them. I'll let you know when I upload them. Thanks again.

Hi Arquit, I'm still working on this... printing one part every so often. Too many other things to do. But I am getting closer.

Would you have any tips on finishing? That's what really makes your build shine, excellent job on the paint! I assume that the bottom-most part, the A1-A4 parts, is supposed to be concrete? And all the other parts are meant to be old, weathered steel? Do you have names of colors you used? Did you use any special techniques, like painting a lighter color like light gray, then a coat of darker gray over that, and then rub off some of the darker color on corners? To make it look naturally worn?

On the fasteners, did you rust them naturally (or natural, but accelerated) and let the rust color run down onto the other painted parts? Or did you paint them a rusty color?

Also, is it hard to find an LED and heatsink that fit well into part O? And did you do attempt to polish the reflector, Q, at all to reflect more of the light?

Thanks again, I'm looking forward to getting all the parts done and starting assembly!

Hi CrashcupMN, first things first, thanks for your words, but I did nothing no one else is able to do with some patience and time, so good luck with it. Can't wait to see other peoples creations, it's a very satisfying feeling to see other people from around the globe enjoy and build the same model I created in my own computer. Mind-blowing!
Lets move to your points. As you said, the bottom section I supossed it to be concrete, and sincerely is the part I'm most dissapointed with. Almost the rest of the model is old rusty steel, iron, or whatever metal it could be. I didn't use any special color tone. I painted all parts with graphite grey, with standard spray paint, and then applied several layers of acrylic paints, black for dirt, white and silver for highlights, brown, orange and yellow for rusty trails, and some shades of green in the concrete to simulate some kind of this typical fungus growing in porous surfaces. Not really specific colors, just the ones that came with my 20 colors kit.
For the technique, after the graphite base, I applied the rest of the colors with dry brush techniques or similar. For the black on steel, I diluted the paint slightly with water and after applying, I removed the excess and a little bit more with and old sock until I reached the desired tone, no more secret than that. If you don't have any experience, I suggest you to try first in a failed print, probably you have some around. It is exactly what I did before starting. For all screws, I painted them in advance with brown and applied some orange highlights for rust. Easy peasy. Screw them in a piece of cardboard and paint all of them at a time, so all of them they look almost the same.
For the reflector, just glossy grey acrylic paint (from the cheap kit as well) and several coats of glossy spray finish.
For the heatsinks, I bought these ones (2 pin ones):
And the LEDs look that the ones I bought are not available anymore, but just look for 1W SMD LED, they are round with opposed terminals. Small, powerful and cheap.

If you need any more help please just ask, and please share the results when you are done!! I'm willing to see it.
Thanks again.

Yep, 20mm seems to be a common size. I need to decide on power. I'd like it to be as bright as possible, but I'm questioning whether more than 1W would heat up enough to soften PLA. Maybe I'll buy some 3W or 5W and run it and measure heatsink temp.

And.. .wow! This thing is HUGE! I didn't fully realize how big it is until I started printing the main round parts like Q.

I tested with a 1.2w in the housing facing upwards, sitting on the desk in open air. That seemed OK. but with a sheet of paper over it(The LED was blinding), the temperature rose in about 15 minutes that kind of worried me. I won't fully know until I get it assembled.

I'm guessing worse-case, I can modify the piece the LED is mounted to, and route out the back of "O" to expose some kind of heat sink.

That looks very bright :) Do you you mind if I ask... for that particular LED, what lumen output it's rated for?

I hacked apart a spare module for a sign backlight. It's 117 Lumens at 7000k CCT but the dispersion is optimized for backlighting a sign face at roughly 10", so it seems to work very good with the reflector. I have an optic I may design in that came off this.. but it might not be necesary..

It'd be cool to make a script for this with a rasp pi or something so that when a friend gets online (gaming) and needs your help it turns on lol

That is a really cool idea!
If you or someone else can create the proper code I can upload it to the project files.

Don't you have any picture of the shadow it generates?

I just realized. Check my instagram @arquit3d
There is a picture from Feb 27th that shows the shadow on the wall. The model was not yet finished by that time but the shadow is no different now.

Just the ones I uploaded. Nothing in a real foggy night. I'd be happy to upload it to the main project page if someone takes a real good one!

The supports on some pieces are extremely difficult for me to get off while keeping the model in good condition.
Is there any way you could upload them without the supports please?

I can try to upload them but I'll have to create the files from the original file. Just give me some time and I'll see what I can do.
Thanks for the suggestion btw.

If you have to remake them then don't worry about it. I can just cut/sand them. :)

Thanks so much for this Arquit3d. This is not only a cool idea/design but also the most professional set of files, instruction and photos that I have seen on Thingiverse.
For everyone else who is posting criticism and trying to get Arquit3D to modify files to suit you... Part of 3D printing is trial and error and modifying the files to suit your needs and your printer. The projects on Thingiverse are just a base to get you started. If a part is too small/too big try scaling it and printing again or sanding or using some different print settings. It is not the responsibility of the uploader to make it work perfectly for you. They have just made a project that they thought would be worth sharing with everyone. Just be grateful for what has been provided and figure out how to get it working for yourself from there.

Thank you for the nice words and the inspirational text zimmy! I think you really catched the idea behind thungiverse and the 3d printing world.


Could you please upload a wiring diagram? I am good with printing, sanding, painting, etc. but I am terrible at wiring.
Do I need to make a PCB or is it just a simple LED?

Hi, check the recently uploaded PDF file, I hope it contains everything you may need. Thanks for your patience.

Thank you very much for the extremely detailed and professional guide.

Why not complete the project and upload the U, V, W files? And, some assembly instructions would increase adoption

You know, busy life man. U, V and W files are not critical for assembly anyway.
You can always tip in order to increase motivation ;)

Parts F, J, & M do not fit the model. Do you have alternative files?

Hi ntrichar, thanks for coming by again for pointing up doubts/suggestions that someone else can also have.
As I mentioned already, I don't make a living of this. I recently got a new job and of course I have to put much more effort on it, leaving this hobbie aside for a while.
That said, as soon as I have some spare time I will update the files that need to be updated as well as try to put together an instructions file available for everyone to download.
About the pieces you mention, its highly possible that they need to be slightly adjusted (aka sand and cut away). However, I can tell you that the files are the original ones I used for myself so definitively they can be used with those modifications.
Thanks for your understanding and have a nice day.

The parts are way off. Did you use other files or just cut into these parts?
No one can pay you due to you're the model's license... But, if this really took you 6-months to complete, I think you would take more pride in your work and respond to the community.

Jesus, he gave you something awesome for free and your going to rag on him for it. Entitled much?

Hi, check the recently uploaded PDF file, I hope it contains everything you may need. Thanks for your patience.
Also check for the missing files.

Look ntrichar they obviously went through a lot of work trying to design this complex piece of lighting machinery in a way that it could be 3D printed not to mention trying to tolerance a project with so many parts is incredibly difficult and time consuming because of the way PLA can react to heat and how it can morph and warp on cooling so I think that Arquit3D is incredibly determined and deserves a ton of respect for even taking on such and audacious engineering challenge and to further produce a functioning product. I mean you no disrespect but, I don't exactly see any designs at all on your page so maybe you owe Arquit3D a bit more respect. Lets give credit where credit is due.

Thanks for the noce words!

By the way, I'm trying to answer to everyone, not instantly, but once every one or two weeks.
Thanks again.

awesome but way to many parts. could you make it in fewer parts possibly? if not than plans how the parts assemble. even a simple blowup of the parts in order in a pic to see how it will go.

Hi, I'm sorry but I have no time to reupload the files in a different way if its that what you mean. For the assembly help, I'm on it. Sorry for the delay. I hope I can upload the file in the coming weeks

Comments deleted.

Hello, congratulations on the work.
Would you like to get the plans for the assembly, could you make it available?

Assembly instructions uploaded. Hope you find them useful. Hours of work in here.

This is awesome! I'd like to make one for my nephew, but I could use some help. Any chance that you are going to include another file with some instructions as mentioned in other comments?

Hi CrashcupMN, sorry for the delay. I just uploaded the assembly instructions. Take a look at it and let me know if they are enough from your POV. Thanks!

Fantasic, thanks!

Hi CrashcupMN, thanks!
I'll find the time to get into it, but definitively I have to.
In the meantime, if you have any problem just send me a PM and I'll to help you with the assembly.

Hello. May i get the blueprints of the batsignal?

Still no U,V or W files? DO you think they're actually needed? I'd hate to start printing and get stuck at construction stage

Sorry, I have been really busy these last weeks. U, V and W files are completely not necessary for the model. They belong to the fake power box, located in the corner of the main base in the render. Actually I didn't printed them as they were really small and that's the reason why I forgot the upload them. Nevertheless I'll upload them as soon as I can for everyone interested.
Note as well that the pieces index image is a little bit outdated and some pieces were changed for better printing success. Also some parts require slight post-printing modifications to fit in the main model, but nothing that can't be solved with some sanding.
Good luck and enjoy!

Ah, I see. That free standing tower/power box. Yeah, agree probably unnecessary. Thanks for your quick reply

Are there assembly instructions for this somewhere? In addition is where something that lists how many of each part needs to be printed?

Hi elixirgraphics. Sorry for the late reply. Assembly instructions file just uploaded. About the parts needed, if i'm not wrong is one of each one. I make copies of some of them and numbered, so for example all A1, A2, A3 and A4 are identical, so you need four A's or one of each file if you downloaded all parts together.

Hi, great project, just one thing, where are the files U V W, do not I find them?

Thanks! I'm not sure what you mean, but if you mean textures, there are no textures at all.. otherwise, let me know what you mean with the UVW files.

I believe he is referring to these files: http://d.pr/i/AknWlM

They're not in the ZIP file.

My bad... really bad. I just replied to another comment about them. I'll upload them soon but they are not necessary for the main model.

exactly those are the missing files


So awesome all the way down to the great paint job.

Thanks a lot. Sanding was the most frustrating part, painting it the best!


Any chance of getting a step by step on how you wired up the Led? :)

Hey adrianq123, I just uploaded an assembly instructions file with some wiring details. If you need more info just let me know. Sorry for the delay by the way.

Sure! No problem. Maybe not with pictures but I'll include a scheme and some notes in an additional file.