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3D Printing + Puppet Building = ?!?!?!?

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by WillyThePig, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. WillyThePig

    WillyThePig Well-Known Member

    Okay, here's some food for thought: with all this buzz about 3d printing, I've scraped together some cash and ordered myself one. I was wondering, does anyone have any ideas about how I could combine this with puppetry. Could i make parts for puppets that I can't just buy somewhere? All ideas are welcome!!
  2. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    A while back someone here wsa making noises about making custom puppet parts - "bear comedian eyes," "gofer glasses," and the like. Perhaps bits like those would be a good start.
  3. Muppetlab

    Muppetlab Well-Known Member

    Yea eyes, teeth, accessories (jewellery etc) are the parts that initially spring to mind..
  4. WillyThePig

    WillyThePig Well-Known Member

    I was thinking more along the lines of internal parts, mechanisms, etc.. but still great ideas
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  5. kumakami

    kumakami Well-Known Member

    kind of wanted to figure out how to design a 3d printed blink mechanism....just cause
  6. MelissaY1

    MelissaY1 Well-Known Member

    I've read that Jeff Dunham has used these new 3D printers to build some of his characters. I find the whole thing amazing.
  7. BuckyBits

    BuckyBits Active Member

  8. FelixLazara

    FelixLazara New Member

  9. Tioh

    Tioh Active Member



    Here are two 3d-printed puppet heads that I made (before the fur is glued on). I made the 3d-models with an old version of Lightwave Modeler (not the best tool for this task, but it does the job). Printed with PLA on my 3d-printer (a Makerbot 1 Dual clone). The parts were glued together with Plaast (http://www.plaast.de/). The inside of the mouth is made of felt and wonderflex.

    Each head took about 7 hours to build and weights under 100g.

    Some of my simpler models are on Thingiverse:
    Buck-Beaver likes this.
  10. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Very cool! Have you considered using Blender instead of Lightwave? There are a ton of tutorials available for doing 3D printing with Blender and it's free.
  11. Tioh

    Tioh Active Member

    Yes, I use Blender sometimes - but Blender got the same problems Lightwave does. Those programms are just not made to build models for 3d-printing. Both work great with simpler models (if you now how to do it right - most tutorials for Blender are useless for 3d-printing, because their only focus is to create models that look good - for 3d-printing you need a closed surface everywhere on the model).

    With complex models sometimes errors (like tiny holes in the mesh, overlapping polygones, 2 point polygones,...) appear that are not visible inside the modelling program - those can ruin you print.

    I know how to avoid most of these problems in Lightwave, but I do not have that much experience in Blender. I use the free version of Netfabb to fix the errors. If I need mechanical parts I use OpenSCAD.
  12. BYOPuppet

    BYOPuppet New Member

    Hey! Thought I'd join the conversation. I actually work at Shapeways and am looking to combine my two passions of puppetry and 3D printing. Shapeways uses industrial printers vs. the desktop printers that are out there. SLS actually offers you more freedom, design wise. I actually have a PrinterBot Jr. and have been using primarily Shapeways since there are more possibilities. Feel free to shoot me an email if there is something that you need and we can work out the details from there. Looking forward to hearing from you! And for those who are in the area, I'll be talking more about it at the NY Puppetry Guild Meeting in May.
  13. Tioh

    Tioh Active Member

    I have some models at Shapeways, but the puppet-head would be too expensive to print. I still have to find a way to optimize the model - making it cheaper. https://www.shapeways.com/designer/Tioh
  14. monkeyjb1988

    monkeyjb1988 Active Member

    Sorry for bumping the thread, but I just discovered 3D printed hand puppets and just thought this was so cool. It's definitely something I want to try and I'm glad I learned more about it here.

    Great work Tioh. Does the site allow donations? I want to try my hand with the bird head. Again, great and inspirational work :)
  15. Tioh

    Tioh Active Member

    Thanks. A lot has happened since I posted in this thread. I got better at making 3d-models for 3d-printing, tried a lot of different filaments (like Nylon, HIPS, PETG, Bendlay,...) and made many puppet head-bases.

    I released more 3d-models on Thingiverse: http://www.thingiverse.com/Tioh/designs/page:1

    I also managed to make a puppet head model optimized for the printers Shapeways uses - it's not cheap, my percentage on the prize is zero:
    Head: http://shpws.me/LaTo
    Lower jaw: http://shpws.me/LaTv
    Nose: http://shpws.me/KMBY

    Print the model and show me the finished puppet. I love to see what other people build with my head bases. A friend of mine is currently working on this bird:
  16. monkeyjb1988

    monkeyjb1988 Active Member

    Very cool puppets. I'll definitely will show you my results. Thanks. :)

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