Highly Articulated and Modular Action Figure

This project was one of the projects that I signed up for the class for. Most of the design came from my own ideas that I’ve had for a long time and my biggest road block was actually getting the shoulder articulated in the way that I wanted and getting some of the armor to snap on properly was a challenge too. In the end all of it worked out after many tries and I ended up with one of my favorite things I have ever designed.

This project was a massive undertaking but was so enjoyable to me that I went so overboard with it. In total there are 26 points of articulation and 20 pieces of armor with every piece of armor snapping together around the skeleton. the Body armor, feet, and head were all printed using two colors to add extra details like the green eyes. The armor was made in the sculpting environment and if I would change anything in the future it would be to make the armor more square and boxy so that I could have a solid face on the bed to avoid the nasty looking surfaces of the armor.



The elbow and knee joints are both the same spanner joint and can be found here: http://3dprinting.illustratingmath.com/2018/10/29/hing-joint/, the only thing added to the arms and legs is the pivot joint in the shoulder and a peg on the lower arm/leg to align the armor and to keep it from moving.



The pivot joint in the shoulder was the biggest wall that I hit in this project and it took me just about 30 tries to get right, and it took a combination of design, material, and print settings.


This sketch was probably the sketch I looked at most during the project and this was the one I finalized and was able to get working. Some of the problems I was having was the diamond that was being rotated was too small compared to the hole and when I tried to make that smaller the entire joint would lock up. What kept happening was the clearance around the shaft was getting smaller too and it caused everything to fuse, so by making the shaft large but the clearance between the diamond and it’s cut out smaller along with printing at a 0.06mm layer height I was able to print it successfully and repeatedly.



The waist sketch is different but functions the same, this one worked first try oddly enough and only needed some slight tweaking to make it tighter when I shifted to a finer material.



This is section view of the upper half and how the joints are seated


This is the over all figure in fusion, most of the pieces where fairly basic with just the armor looking more complicated because of the nature of the sculpting tool but as you can see,

the skeleton is just a basic stick figure.


The basis for the skeleton was this sketch and everything else was modeled around that using the skeleton sketch to cut into the armor to make clearance.




After I got the sketch how I wanted it with all the proportions looking nice I started extruding them to fill them out in the same way the arm was done in the hinge joint documentation.




The ball joints were fairly hard to keep track of when making them because of ho many circles, lines, and dimensions I had in them, it was like looking into a bowl of spaghetti but once they were revolved it made much more sense. The flutes were added by creating a construction plane on the circle of the socket at the center point with the outer rim as the reference.




This is how I made the clearance for the armor, the process was the same for each piece. I took the skeleton’s sketch and offset it by 0.25mm and then cut that symmetrically on both sides of the skeleton targeting only the armor and ignoring the skeleton itself.




Finally the head, originally it was just going to be one piece but I decided to give it a little detail and decided to make some eyes for it so that they were more pronounced. It took me a little bit to figure out how to do this because the surface that made up the eyes initially was not flat.


To actually make the eyes I just made another body in the sketch environment  and just pulled it forward enough to be poking out of the socket, after it was mirrored into the other socket. The head itself started as a symmetrical quad-ball and I slowly shaped it to a vague head shape, after that I clicked on the center most faces on the side and alt-dragged them out slightly and then grabbed the corner and pulled it back and up to make the fins on the side of the head. After that creased the lines one face from the center line to create that flat crest, then it was expanded to make it more prominent. the face mask was made by creasing some of lines on the face and then pulling the newly created flat piece forward.



The armor can be any shape you like as long as the internals line up, to allow them to snap in any 2 parallel boxes are needed to be made and these will become the male and female portions of the snaps. the male portions need to be about 0.25mm smaller than the female slots and the male has to have something to catch in the female slot.




This project took an extremely long time to create and the STLs can be found here:

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