Jun 7, 2015 | By Simon

For those that have a background in industrial design, mechanical engineering, 3D concept art or are otherwise rock-star 3D modelers, one of best parts about owning a 3D printer is having the ability to create professional-quality product designs that are specific to one’s own liking.  While the internet and various 3D model sharing platforms such as Thingiverse are awash with multiple downloadable models, there can still be a lot left to be desired - depending on what somebody is actually looking for.  More recently, this came in the form of a counter-culture articulated toy.  

In pursuit of creating an alternative to Barbies and GI-Joe action figures that have seemingly taken over the children’s toy industry, 3D designers Eva Sbaraini and Marco Autilio have created a fully-articulated 3D printable playset that is based on the iconic Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.    

Starting with an existing 10-point articulated figure design that was previously created by the two using a combination of Zbrush and Rhino CAD software, they further customized the figure in Zbrush to make it more recognizable as the Mexican painter.  In total, the articulated doll includes a three-part ‘klick fit’ body that prints entirely without supports and includes a highly-detailed head design.  Additionally, an outfit was designed based on Kahlo’s highly-recognizable choice of garments.  The outfit is printed using flexible filament that was also designed to be support-free for both ease of printing as well as a high-quality finish.  

In addition to the design of the articulated doll itself, Autilio created an entire playset which is based on scenes and objects that are depicted in Kahlo’s paintings. Included amongst the optional accessories are Kahlo’s bed, chair and various ornaments that are designed in scale with the doll itself.  To create these 3D models Autilio used multiple pieces of reference material including Kahlo’s actual paintings of the objects including ‘The Dream (The Bed)’ (1940).


“Kahlo is an inspirational figure for a number of reasons, she was not only a talented painter, but also a revolutionary woman who transcended illness to live an incredibly colorful life,” adds Sbaraini.   “I was inspired to create this by modern movements such as ‘A Mighty Girl’, alongside the popular culture of collectable figurines, and body-positive toys for young children, both girls and boys.”

To ensure that the most amount of people possible will be able to enjoy the doll and playset, the designers have decided to make the entire platform free and open source as a downloadable 3D printing file over on My Mini Factory.  

“This design not only disrupts what is commonly available as a plaything for children, but also the accessibility of it to the consumer. It’s common now for schools to have these desktop 3D printing machines, as well as hack-spaces, extra-curricula clubs, and individual home-users,” added Autilio.  

“[While] the doll can still be bought from the [My Mini Factory] shop in a traditional method, I’m keen to see the number of those who download the design as well.”



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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