Jan 20, 2016 | By Benedict

The current trend for Star Wars themed 3D prints shows no signs of subsiding—the latest addition to the pile being a realistically articulated Stormtrooper figurine made using Autodesk Tinkerplay and Blender. The pint-sized Imperial soldier may look a little short for a Stormtrooper, but clever implementation of ball-and-socket joints gives the 3D printed toy a great deal of flexibility and realism. With the impressive 3D printed character now off to battle the Resistance, we can barely resist 3D printing our own!

Talented maker [mchau2] has posted the fantastic 3D printed Stormtrooper design on Instructables, alongside a quick tutorial for building a figure using Autodesk Tinkerplay, a free app on which users of all ages can design, customize and 3D print fun characters. Be warned though: The 3D printable files for the Stormtrooper garb will only be online a little while longer, so get them quick if you don’t feel like going through the design process yourself.

Inspired by Lego Bionicle, a series of plastic toys which made excellent use of ball-and-socket joints, [mchau2] wanted to make an action figure with similarly realistic articulations. Hoping to give the finished 3D print as a Christmas present to his photographer girlfriend, the maker naturally settled on something Star Wars related. The iconic Stromtrooper, kitted out in one of the coolest bad buy uniforms in movie history, seemed the perfect choice.

Unlike many 3D printed figures, this Stormtrooper design starts with the bare bones—literally. Using Tinkerplay, the maker made a simple skeleton and body design from the library of default body parts, before mapping the more complex uniform elements onto the design using Blender. Although 3D printable versions of iconic characters like the Stormtrooper are available to download from various fan sites, this maker wanted to model everything himself. Using Blender, he was able to rig the 3D uniform onto his Tinkerplay-made human character, so that everything would fit together once printed.

Initial test prints were relatively unsuccessful, with the maker having to use an unreliable public 3D printer at his university library. A six-hour limit on printing restricted the maker to a tiny 3D print, which resulted in a low-resolution product with unattractive layer sliding. Luckily, after some realignment and added detail, the maker was allowed to use the public 3D printer for ten hours, allowing him a larger print.

To assemble the many pieces of the 3D printed Stormtrooper, the maker had to use a little padding and glue, since there were small gaps between the figure’s body and uniform. The final result is a fully flexible figure, able to strike a wider variety of poses than many store-bought alternatives. Looks like these really are the droids 3D printed Stormtroopers we’ve been looking for!



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Rodshakker Vids wrote at 1/21/2016 3:51:33 AM:

Very Cool Stuff, I need make a tutorial

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