Aug 29, 2016 | By Tess

For thousands of years, dolls have been used as toys and playthings for young generations (fun fact: the earliest known toy doll can be dated back to 100 AD), though they have changed significantly over the years. From clay and wood dolls, to porcelain, to plastic, tracing the history of the enduring toy is incredibly interesting, and today we might just have a glimpse into the future of dolls and dollmaking thanks to 3D printing technologies.

More specifically, Japanese dollmaker RML has introduced a new system through which customers can design their own fantasy doll’s face with extreme precision and have it 3D printed for a customized 3D printed doll. In addition to the customized facial features for the fantasy dolls, RML manufactures them as ball-jointed dolls, meaning they can be easily moved and made to hold positions thanks to articulated ball and socket joints.

RML’s dolls, which look like anime figures come to life, are impressive as is, but now with the new customization feature, are being taken to the next level. Through their recently launched (and free to use) RML 3D Facemaker program, customers can choose how exactly they want their 3D printed fantasy doll to look like through a number of adjustable parameters. From skin color, to face shape, to feature sizes, and even to accessories, RML’s clients can create any kind of doll they want—even a lookalike!

The anime-style ball-jointed dolls (aka BJD dolls), a phenomenon predominant in Japan, South Korea, and China, are also available in a wide range of sizes, from as small as 10cm in height to as large as 1 meter. So whether you’re a BJD doll collector or an eager child, the possibilities are virtually limitless.

Should you use RML’s 3D Facemaker program, you’ll be given the option of customizing a wide range of your doll’s features (really, it’s impressively extensive) and once satisfied with the design you can select the “creation code” button, which will automatically generate a 3D printable file for the face model. This code is then sent to RML’s factory, where the 3D printing will begin. As the company explains, the face is first printed from a nylon material and then polished and colored by hand by a team of experts. The results, I must admit, are flawless.

In addition to the customizable 3D printed faces, customers can also choose from a range of 3D printable clothing and accessories from RML’s online shop, which can either be ordered or printed at home. If ordered, the doll clothes are 3D printed out of a flexible acrylic acid and are made to specifically fit RML’s custom ball-jointed dolls.




Posted in 3D Design



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