3D printed figure with "action figure" like articulation

Posted by hauke 
Hello everyone!

I recently got into 3D printing and I was wondering how far I could take the functionality of my models. This is my first attempt at a figure with proper “action figure” articulation. It worked out pretty well. It basically works like a snap together model kit. It has about 30 points of articulation. I had to do some sandpapering in order to make everything fit together but that is something one should expect when 3D printing. The figure holds firmly together and all the joints have a nice range of motion. The seam lines are a little bit big but I believe that has more to do with the resolution of my printer then the 3D file. The figure is about 7 inches tall. It has a couple of swapable hands and the weapons can be stored on the back of the figure. The figure is called Dan Generiko and he is a hero in an apocalyptic world where genetically enhanced humans wage war against humans who have given up their natural bodies for robotic ones. Dan protects the ordinary humans who are caught in the middle of the fighting of the two factions.

- Hauke





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MSW
That's very cool! What program did you use to model your design?
Very, very cool stuff, man.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/19/2013 11:10PM by gingaio.
Thanks! I use Softimage for modeling and netfabb for preparing the file for 3D printing.

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Sanjeev (Admin)
Very ambitious undertaking! I'm sure there were a lot of failed parts from trying to get the joint bits' tolerances just right...

Are you using an FDM printer? And are the joints friction-based? I'd be a little afraid of ABS plastic "polishing out" friction joints after a while.
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Sanjeev
Very ambitious undertaking! I'm sure there were a lot of failed parts from trying to get the joint bits' tolerances just right...

Are you using an FDM printer? And are the joints friction-based? I'd be a little afraid of ABS plastic "polishing out" friction joints after a while.

Yes I use a FDM printer. There was some reprinting of failed parts but the figure worked out suprisingly well in the first place. The only thing that really needed replacing were the hand and ankle joints. All other corrections were simply based on my decision to switch from a figure that needs gluing to one that can be snapped together. For that some of the plugs on the arms had to be adapted.
I gave the joints a little bit of tolerance to avoit polishing. That makes them less tight then those of a proper action figure but as long as it is good enough for posing the figure I am allright with it.
The figure is not perfect yet but for my first try at something this complex I am quite happy with the outcome.

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My 3D printed action figures: [www.hauke-scheer.de]
That's badass.
That's brilliant! May I ask what FDM printer you are using? Any recommendations? I'm just relying on Shapeways at the moment but I'm hoping to invest in a good printer next year....kind of waiting to see if the FormLab-1 laser sintering will be what it's worth or not, too.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Bry, I thought the Form-1 was SLA, not SLS?

I'm real curious how that's gonna turn out!
I used a Mojo from Stratasys.

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My 3D printed action figures: [www.hauke-scheer.de]
No I think you're right Sanjeev, my bad. Should be interesting! I hear they are taking their sweet time getting the intial batch out to their Kickstarter backers.

Really impressive results on that Mojo. Thanks, Hauke. I also need to order a Mecha Whale once I have more funds on hand (I've shared stuff on him around some of the groups I'm on, I really dig him!). :)
Thanks! I hope you are going to enjoy the Mechawhale once you get him.

----------------------------------------------------
Wanna see whales in giant mechsuits protect mankind against evil aliens?
Check out: [mechawhales.com]

Collectible figures available from: [www.deepfriedfigures.com]

My 3D printed action figures: [www.hauke-scheer.de]
I have updated my 3D printed action figure. I thought the design of the first version was a little bit plain. Now the figure wears a more interesting armor and also has a second helmeted head. This also makes him look more futuristic then the previous version. Since the first figure was never able to hold his rifle too well I gave the new version two small guns instead. Those fit pretty well and allow a lot of poses. They also fit into the new backpack.



Here is the updated construction rendering of the 3D printed action figure. It can now move the head up and down as well as to the sides. The abs can move right and left now in addition to being able to tilt to the side. The feet can also tilt to the sides now allowing for some nicer poses. The new joints bring the total points of articulation to 34. I did not do any sanding on the joints this time. Therefore this figure has much tighter joints. It can even balance on one leg.



I did not want the parts of the old figure go to waste. So I made a new head for the old body to make a new character. Now Dan Generiko has somebody to fight with. :-) I made one new accessory for this figure: A hand holding the ripped off head of a cyborg drone. This adds a sci-fi element to the character and also shows that he is an evil guy.



Here are the two 3D printed action figures in action. Once they were brothers in arms but when Spike-Head turned evil and started enslaving helpless dwellers of the wasteland Dan Generiko had to stop him. They still wear partial outfits of the unit they served in together. At least that is my cheap explanation why the use a lot of the same parts. :-)



- Hauke

----------------------------------------------------
Wanna see whales in giant mechsuits protect mankind against evil aliens?
Check out: [mechawhales.com]

Collectible figures available from: [www.deepfriedfigures.com]

My 3D printed action figures: [www.hauke-scheer.de]
These are amazing. They look like factory prototypes, and I would absolutely buy them. The parts count looks pretty crazy... how long does it actually take you to print everything to assemble one?

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
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Prometheum5
These are amazing. They look like factory prototypes, and I would absolutely buy them. The parts count looks pretty crazy... how long does it actually take you to print everything to assemble one?

Thanks a lot! Up close they are still rough but I am quite happy with them. Printing takes about 40 hours but I have to stretch it over a couple of days because my printer is not big enough to print everything in one go.

----------------------------------------------------
Wanna see whales in giant mechsuits protect mankind against evil aliens?
Check out: [mechawhales.com]

Collectible figures available from: [www.deepfriedfigures.com]

My 3D printed action figures: [www.hauke-scheer.de]
Sanjeev (Admin)
These look super-fun...and I dig the funny storyline and "Generiko" name! How big are these compared to, say, a MotUC figure?

Ben brings up an interesting point: what's the end game with this guy? Are you printing these figures up just for fun or are you going to try to sell them?
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Sanjeev
These look super-fun...and I dig the funny storyline and "Generiko" name! How big are these compared to, say, a MotUC figure?

Ben brings up an interesting point: what's the end game with this guy? Are you printing these figures up just for fun or are you going to try to sell them?

The figures are 17,5 cm tall. That makes them a couple of milimetres taller then a MOTUC figure. I have no current plans to sell them. They are just a proof of concept to show what is possible with a 3D printer. Maybe I will offer them through some of the printing services in the future.

----------------------------------------------------
Wanna see whales in giant mechsuits protect mankind against evil aliens?
Check out: [mechawhales.com]

Collectible figures available from: [www.deepfriedfigures.com]

My 3D printed action figures: [www.hauke-scheer.de]
Since many people wanted to see what a painted figure looks like. So I went ahead and painted one. Unfortunately once painted the build lines are much more visible on the figure. I had to put on quite a thick layer of paint to get rid of them. I may print the figure on a better printer one day and give it another paint job. The joints all still work as does the storage of the weapons. Although there is some paint scrapping once you remove the weapons a couple of times.



----------------------------------------------------
Wanna see whales in giant mechsuits protect mankind against evil aliens?
Check out: [mechawhales.com]

Collectible figures available from: [www.deepfriedfigures.com]

My 3D printed action figures: [www.hauke-scheer.de]
Sanjeev (Admin)
Nice paint work! Yeah, print lines are always a concern...but if Mojo prints in ABS, you could always do the acetone vapor bath (if you're brave!), and that'll put a glossy sheen on all your parts.
Thanks! That vapor bath thing is really cool but nothing I want to try in my appartment. :-) I might just print the figure on a better printer at some point. I had some stuff printed on Objet printers before and those are almost completly free of build lines. The only thing I am not sure of is if their resin would support the joints of the figure.

----------------------------------------------------
Wanna see whales in giant mechsuits protect mankind against evil aliens?
Check out: [mechawhales.com]

Collectible figures available from: [www.deepfriedfigures.com]

My 3D printed action figures: [www.hauke-scheer.de]
Sanjeev (Admin)
Objet is pretty strong, but nowhere near as tough as ABS. I doubt it would hold up well with your joints. :/

3D Systems' SLA machines are said to use better (stronger) photopolymers, but I don't know for certain. Those machines are way outta my price range anyway!
Thanks! I might check for printing services using those SLA machines.

----------------------------------------------------
Wanna see whales in giant mechsuits protect mankind against evil aliens?
Check out: [mechawhales.com]

Collectible figures available from: [www.deepfriedfigures.com]

My 3D printed action figures: [www.hauke-scheer.de]


This is my latest attempt at a female action figure body.This female android was actually my first idea for a super articulated figure. But after some thinking I decided to start with a more muscular male character first since it would be easier to put the joints into a body that would not be so thin. I turned out to be right. The female figure works nice as well but is a lot less sturdy then the male figure. I actually had to glue some parts together to ensure stability while the male buck simply snaps together without any gluing. I also gave her less articulation in the hands since the joints would have turned out too small and fragile. However I gave her enhanced neck articulation and an additional joint in the ABS. She can now tilt her head to the side and can tilt the torso to the side even more. I since then made those additional joints for the male buck as well.

----------------------------------------------------
Wanna see whales in giant mechsuits protect mankind against evil aliens?
Check out: [mechawhales.com]

Collectible figures available from: [www.deepfriedfigures.com]

My 3D printed action figures: [www.hauke-scheer.de]
Wow, this is great. It's really awesome seeing the progression of work. Fantastic engineering to get all the articulation. Hopefully in a couple years we can all get relatively cheap printers that don't leave build lines. I'm hoping the Formlabs printer comes out with a version 2 with improvements from their first model.
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TedT
Wow, this is great. It's really awesome seeing the progression of work. Fantastic engineering to get all the articulation. Hopefully in a couple years we can all get relatively cheap printers that don't leave build lines. I'm hoping the Formlabs printer comes out with a version 2 with improvements from their first model.

Thanks! The Formlabs printer seems to be quite cool but as far as I know this technique only works with resin. So the use for action figures might be limited due to resin being less resistant then ABS.

----------------------------------------------------
Wanna see whales in giant mechsuits protect mankind against evil aliens?
Check out: [mechawhales.com]

Collectible figures available from: [www.deepfriedfigures.com]

My 3D printed action figures: [www.hauke-scheer.de]
Sanjeev (Admin)
Quote
TedT
Hopefully in a couple years we can all get relatively cheap printers that don't leave build lines...

You'd be surprised what folks are doing these days, Ted. ;)


This is the painted version of the 3D printed female android figure. As with the previous action hero, the rough surface does not allow a super smooth paintjob. Still she looks kinda cool. I actually prefer the creepy human head with the painted version since it adds a little bit of bright colors to the figure.

----------------------------------------------------
Wanna see whales in giant mechsuits protect mankind against evil aliens?
Check out: [mechawhales.com]

Collectible figures available from: [www.deepfriedfigures.com]

My 3D printed action figures: [www.hauke-scheer.de]


This is a project I did for a client. He wanted a proof of concept for an articulated male action figure body type that can be used for customizing. The figure is 8 inch tall and it is the first figure I did that uses ball joints for the head, ankles and wrists. The pins to hold the elbows and knees together are also a first. Because of them I do not need to separate the forearms and lower legs which left very visible seams on my previous figures. It is also the first time I did articulated toes.

----------------------------------------------------
Wanna see whales in giant mechsuits protect mankind against evil aliens?
Check out: [mechawhales.com]

Collectible figures available from: [www.deepfriedfigures.com]

My 3D printed action figures: [www.hauke-scheer.de]




Here is my latest 3D print. With my previous figures I wanted to see how far I could go with articulation. With this one I wanted to try out adding some functionality to a figure. So I made a figure that works both as a two-legged and a four-legged character. It can also open two panels on the back to reveal additional missile launchers and thrusters.

----------------------------------------------------
Wanna see whales in giant mechsuits protect mankind against evil aliens?
Check out: [mechawhales.com]

Collectible figures available from: [www.deepfriedfigures.com]

My 3D printed action figures: [www.hauke-scheer.de]


Here is another concept figure. It has fever joints then the others but is actually the most fun to pose. It is the first time I used a double jointed knee. I always thought double jointed knees and elbows looked weird but it does allow for a nice range of movement. I also gave this figure a split torso so the head, shoulder and pelvis joints are actually held in place by the two torso halfes rather then just plugged into the torso. A split torso with seams was another thing I thought might not look good but the seams can be hidden quite nicely. All in all I think this figure has the best ratio of articulation and sturdiness.



Here is a painted version of the alien cyborg. I am really happy how he turned out. The roughness of the print works quite well for the worn down bionics and the alien skin. The paintjob also does not get in the way of posing him. I hope to make more figures like him in the future.

I also set up a website for my 3D printed action figures you can see here: [www.hauke-scheer.de]

----------------------------------------------------
Wanna see whales in giant mechsuits protect mankind against evil aliens?
Check out: [mechawhales.com]

Collectible figures available from: [www.deepfriedfigures.com]

My 3D printed action figures: [www.hauke-scheer.de]
Sanjeev (Admin)
Very cool!
Thank you. I hope to make more unique characters like the last one now that I have a good handle on the general articulation.

----------------------------------------------------
Wanna see whales in giant mechsuits protect mankind against evil aliens?
Check out: [mechawhales.com]

Collectible figures available from: [www.deepfriedfigures.com]

My 3D printed action figures: [www.hauke-scheer.de]
Sanjeev (Admin)
Yup...that's the name of the game. I'm developing a 3D-printed toy line myself, and the idea is to make a functioning "mannequin" that has all the joints dialed in. Once that's straight, I can build features how ever I like on top of that skeleton.
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Sanjeev
Yup...that's the name of the game. I'm developing a 3D-printed toy line myself, and the idea is to make a functioning "mannequin" that has all the joints dialed in. Once that's straight, I can build features how ever I like on top of that skeleton.

That sounds cool. I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

----------------------------------------------------
Wanna see whales in giant mechsuits protect mankind against evil aliens?
Check out: [mechawhales.com]

Collectible figures available from: [www.deepfriedfigures.com]

My 3D printed action figures: [www.hauke-scheer.de]
Here are some more figures based on the Alien Cyborg body template. Having a template works quite well. It took only a little bit longer to make the 3 new ones then it took me to make the original figure. I also painted them and made a diorama for them. You can see the surface of the figures is still rough due to the printing but I think the look nice once printed.











Since all the figures based on the Alien Cyborg body use the same joints as template it is possible to swap parts. For example you can use an alien body on the tank part of the Human Tank character.



----------------------------------------------------
Wanna see whales in giant mechsuits protect mankind against evil aliens?
Check out: [mechawhales.com]

Collectible figures available from: [www.deepfriedfigures.com]

My 3D printed action figures: [www.hauke-scheer.de]
Sanjeev (Admin)
Awesome progress! Incidentally, the term for a generic action figure "body template" is a buck. Learned that from Matt Doughty years ago...amazing what you pick up just by hanging around creative types! Anyway, I just saw your Deep Sea Mercenary figure...it's killer! Is that also 3D printed and hand-painted??? Seems a steal for just $55
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Sanjeev
Awesome progress! Incidentally, the term for a generic action figure "body template" is a buck. Learned that from Matt Doughty years ago...amazing what you pick up just by hanging around creative types! Anyway, I just saw your Deep Sea Mercenary figure...it's killer! Is that also 3D printed and hand-painted??? Seems a steal for just $55

Thanks. I am going to use buck from now on. The Deep Sea Mercenary is a factory produced figure made from resin. It was made before I got into 3D printing. I am happy you like it.

----------------------------------------------------
Wanna see whales in giant mechsuits protect mankind against evil aliens?
Check out: [mechawhales.com]

Collectible figures available from: [www.deepfriedfigures.com]

My 3D printed action figures: [www.hauke-scheer.de]
I recently had to switch to a new 3D program since my old one will be discontinued in the next years. The new one is called Modo. It works quite well. The cool thing is that it has an in build sculpting tool that allows to make organic stuff like hair and fur much easier to be made then with polygon modeling. So far I made 3 figures.













----------------------------------------------------
Wanna see whales in giant mechsuits protect mankind against evil aliens?
Check out: [mechawhales.com]

Collectible figures available from: [www.deepfriedfigures.com]

My 3D printed action figures: [www.hauke-scheer.de]
Sanjeev (Admin)
Cool! How does Modo work...if not via polygons?
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Sanjeev
Cool! How does Modo work...if not via polygons?
It still uses Polygons but like Zbrush it can make a polygon mesh so dense you can use it for digital sculpting. So you get the best of both worlds traditional low poly modeling plus high density sculpting.

----------------------------------------------------
Wanna see whales in giant mechsuits protect mankind against evil aliens?
Check out: [mechawhales.com]

Collectible figures available from: [www.deepfriedfigures.com]

My 3D printed action figures: [www.hauke-scheer.de]
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