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TOPIC: 3-D Printers for Puppets?

3-D Printers for Puppets? 1 month 1 week ago #548

  • Dieter Wagner
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Marc, I picked up the Solidoodle 4 when it was on sale 2 weeks ago. Now it's even $100 cheaper since they just announced their new line of printers. Just my luck...hahaha. Stop Motion Magazine said they have a Solidoodle in the office and love it.

I've read mixed reviews, but it seems if i put some time into it I can get some really nice prints. The goal is to use the Acetone vapor method to smooth the mold prints enough to use. Fingers crossed!

I also placed an order with you today. I decided to order the wire animation table top and try to build my own box for it, before buying an assembled one. Fingers crossed on that too! :)
Last Edit: 1 month 1 week ago by Dieter Wagner.
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3-D Printers for Puppets? 1 month 1 week ago #549

  • Marc Spess
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Thanks for the order, I'm going to check out that Solidoodle printer! I have an affinity for the Form 1 formlabs.com/products/form-1-plus/ It makes some very nice prints. Please do post some photos of your results. Ron Cole is always talking about making molds directly from 3-d printers, I think he'd like to see how it works out too.
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3-D Printers for Puppets? 1 month 5 days ago #556

  • Jason Rodgers
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This kind of technology is pretty amazing. The stuff you could make for your puppets would open up a lot of possibilities. The only thing that sort of doesn't make me get into it is obviously the price (although it appears that is changing) but also the possibility of not being happy with the final product it creates/materials. I guess too having to be able to model in 3D exactly what I want is daunting as well.
Last Edit: 1 month 4 days ago by Jason Rodgers.
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3-D Printers for Puppets? 3 weeks 1 day ago #570

  • Dieter Wagner
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Small updates on my progress of using a 3d printer to make puppet parts. I've found some great free tools for making models ready to print. I have ok modeling skills in Maya, but there isn't an easy way to get a clean model ready to print. So i've been using a script in maya to export an .stl file. Then from there I import that into Autodesk's MeshMixer, which is sort of a sculpting tool for models that will be 3d printed. If fixes mesh issues and you can also refine your models there. I was able to fix the hair line and beard line with the pinch brush, I added ears, and I made eye sockets.

I had a printer error before the print was done, but here is what it was looking like. This is printed at 200 micron quality, so it was only about 1hr40min print.
Link to video
I think with the acetone vapor method to smooth the print before painting, it should turn out well.
Last Edit: 3 weeks 1 day ago by Dieter Wagner.
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3-D Printers for Puppets? 3 weeks 1 day ago #571

  • Marc Spess
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Hey that doesn't look too bad. I believe in ZBrush there's a plug-in that comes with it called Dynamesh. I'm pretty sure that is what you'd use in that program to fix mesh issues. From what I can tell yours looks pretty good as a print from Maya. Could you post some digital screen shots?

The only issue with acetone is you probably have to time it so each replacement mouth is in there for the same amount of time. If one melts a little too much it might not register properly. If you are making replacements of course ;)
Last Edit: 3 weeks 20 hours ago by Marc Spess.
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3-D Printers for Puppets? 3 weeks 16 hours ago #574

  • Dieter Wagner
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Hey Marc, I don't own Zbrush, but I'm sure a great Zbrush artist could bust out print ready meshes very easily. The stl export I have for Maya is kind of a hack, so bringing it into MeshMixer cleans it up nice for 3d printing. That's what MeshMixer is made for, producing print ready mesh. It also has basic sculpting tools. I'm not great at digital sculpting, or real sculpting, but it allowed me to make my mesh more appealing and add some great details.

The first pic is the versions I made in Maya. Then in meshmixer I made a slot for square tubing to fit on my armature. I added an neck area so the neck goes into the head slightly. I tried making a boolean cut to fit in eyeballs, but decided to just sculpt the eye shape and paint it. I also added a slot for the magnet I'll be using for the mouths.




For the mouths, I am still using flat replacement mouths like my previous short. This time they will be made of plastic with a small bit of metal on the back so it will stick to the front of the mouth area.
Last Edit: 3 weeks 16 hours ago by Dieter Wagner.
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