Welcome to our weekly collection of the best 3D printing projects, models and gizmos that the internet has to offer. I honestly never get tired of scouring the internet for amazing, unique or cool models to feature and I have now built up a collection of un-printed models that will probably take me years to go through. And this week’s list of models has only added ten more to my to do list.

As desktop 3D printers become more advanced and are capable of a much higher level of detail and printing resolution than ever before toy designers and makers are starting to produce some incredible figures. Especially figures of the articulated variety that can be posed in almost limitless positions. I’ve had a few of these models on my radar for a while, so with the holidays over and people dusting off newly received 3D printers I figured that that this was the perfect time to share some new and challenging 3D printing projects.

So this week I’ve made a list of Ten 3D Printable Things – The Coolest Articulated Action Figures & Models.


ARTICULATED JOINTED LIFE-SIZED HAND

3dp_ten3dpthings_handJointed Hand by bqLabs

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

So which one of us couldn’t use an extra hand around the house? This great 3D printable articulated hand has a million uses, and while 99% aren’t at all inappropriate I won’t lie to you, I primarily want one of these so I can mount it in my car window flying the bird. I feel as if it’s a 3D model made for driving in Los Angeles traffic.

Like several of the other great models on my list this week, the fingers on the Jointed Hand are held together with elastic cord, so it will move more naturally, and stick together even it it’s dropped. But that will, of course, increase the assembly time.

Here is some video of the hand in action and being assembled:


POSABLE WOMAN ACTION FIGURE

3dp_ten3dpthings_robotica_2Robot Woman “Robotica” by Shira

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

There are actually a ton of articulated action figures available on line, many of them of varying levels of quality. But I think one of the absolutely best sculpts that I’ve seen has been this Robotica figure. From the sci-fi inspired ‘robotic’ design to the really quite delicate and beautiful face, she’s a pretty stunning figure. And based on the dozens that have been made and uploaded, she seems to be printable on a wide variety of printers.

3dp_ten3dpthings_robotica_1Again, Robotica does require some elastic cord to hold all of her various body parts together, but the process of assembling her seems more time consuming than actually complicated. Just a suggestion for anyone looking to make their own, if you plan to paint it at all, do it before you string the parts together.

Here is some video of the assembly process:


POSABLE SENTINEL FROM THE MATRIX FILMS

3dp_ten3dpthings_sentinel_fullMatrix Sentinel by Reg Taylor

Found on: MyMiniFactory
Cost: Free

While it is probably better that we forget the second and third Matrix films ever happened, the first one remains a science fiction classic worth remembering. The creepy Sentinels that hunted our heroes in the ‘real’ world are also one of the coolest movie robots since the original Terminator.

3dp_ten3dpthings_sentinel_closeThis really amazing articulated model is ridiculously detailed and probably one of the coolest 3D printable movie models available on-line. For free at least. The creator does warn anyone looking to make their own that it’s a tricky build, and they’ll need a 3D printer that can produce models with fine details, but it looks like it will be more than worth the trouble.


OCTOPUS WITH EIGHT ARTICULATED TENTACLES

3dp_ten3dpthings_octopus_1Ball-Joint Articulated Octopus by Ellindsey

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

While this model has been around for a few years it is still one of the coolest printing projects around. I may be biased because I’m a big fan of octopods and octopus stuff in general, but the eight posable legs just open it up to all sorts of great poses and uses. I had only seen this model on the computer until last year’s Inside 3D Printing Conference Santa Clara where someone had one on display and it is even cooler in real life.

3dp_ten3dpthings_octopus_2While the original octopus head/body part is a cool sculpt on its own, another Thingiverse user decided that the model needed a better, more realistically sculpted head and I must admit it is a pretty great alternative that makes the original model look even cooler.


WIND-POWERED WALKING AUTOMATION MODEL

3dp_ten3dpthings_brabeastBrabeast by Gyrobot

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

The Brabeast – named for the curved legs that look like bra underwires – is a small-scale version of that giant wind-powered walking automation called the Strandbeest designed by artist Theo Jansen that inhumanly crawls along the beach. This smaller version doesn’t run on natural wind power, but the large propeller-like part on the front of it can be manually spun, causing the brabeast to amble along slowly. It can be moved faster by blowing on the propeller with a fan or even a hair dryer.

The model was designed to be printable without supports, but depending on the quality of your printer some of the parts may need to be glued together. It’s also a bit of a tricky model to assemble, but the designer posted some pretty detailed assembly instructions and tips on his Thingiverse page.

Here is a (loud) video of Brabeast out for a walk:


ARTICULATED LIFE-SIZED FACEHUGGER FROM ALIEN

3dp_ten3dpthings_facehugger_1Articulated Facehugger by bolsoncerrado

Found on: MyMiniFactory
Cost: Free

There is probably no movie monster creepier and more squick-inducing than the slimy, flesh-colored facehugger from the Alien series of movies. The gross spider-like creature isn’t actually a monster, but is essentially an egg delivery mechanism that grabs onto its unlucky victim’s face. Once firmly attached, it shoves a long proboscis into their mouth and deposits an egg, which eventually becomes an alien monster that bursts out of the victim’s chest.

Ever since the first Alien movie the Facehugger has been nightmare fuel for just about everyone who’s seen the movie. So of course someone made a life-sized articulated version that is way more realistic than I’m really comfortable with. Thankfully, there seems to be no egg-laying proboscis appendage in sight.

3dp_ten3dpthings_facehugger_2Now, just a warning, as tempted as you may be to position this guy within face range of a sleeping friend or enemy, that’s a good way to get yourself dead. However, if you do play this evil prank make sure that you get it on video so we can all see how it goes down.


EDWARD SCISSORHANDS GLOVES

3dp_ten3dpthings_edward_scissorhands_2Edward Scissorhands Articulated Glove Assemblies by Lael Lee

Found on: MyMiniFactory
Cost: Free

This classic Tim Burton and Johnny Depp movie may be twenty-six – yes, twenty-six – years old this year, but it is still an all-time classic movie. The surreal goth fantasy remains one of Burton’s best movies ever made, and is probably the last time that Johnny Depp wasn’t just playing a cleaner Johnny Depp.

3dp_ten3dpthings_edward_scissorhands_1Of course the unique character design makes Edward a natural cosplay subject, and these amazing scissorhand gloves are pretty spectacular. As with any cosplay project, the 3D printing is only the first step and it needs a lot more work to finish. The 3D printed parts include the finger blades, the hand plates, some bracers that cover the wearer’s forearms and some mechanical swingarms that connect everything together. You’ll still have to find a pair of gloves to wear with them and some leather or elastic cord to hold all of the various parts together. But the finished product seems like it is more than worth the effort.


CODSWORTH ROBOTIC BUTLER FROM FALLOUT 4

3dp_ten3dpthings_codsworth_1Articulated Codsworth from Fallout 4 by aaskedall

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

If you’ve been playing the new Bethesda video game Fallout 4 then first I would like to say I’m sorry about all of the relationships that have probably been ruined due to your addiction to the game. And secondly, can you believe that the game gave a silly, British-accented robotic butler with octopus arms such an emotional backstory?? Stop making me feel things, Bethesda!

3dp_ten3dpthings_codsworth_2Now you get to have your own Codsworth, not life-sized unfortunately, and he’s a pretty great model. The design is top notch, and he looks identical to the game version, right down to his arm attachments.


SCARY PALM-SIZED BABY

3dp_ten3dpthings_babyRealistic Articulated Miniature Babydoll by jazmy

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

First of all, I’d like to point out that this is an extremely well-designed model that clearly took quite a bit of time and talent to create. But it also is really creepy and horrifying. Especially with those dead, vacant baby eyes staring at you. It’s as if they were just waiting for the right moment to come to life and steal your soul. An even meaner prank than the facehugger would be to print a dozen of these and surround a sleeping friend (or enemy) with them. What a thing to wake up to!


POSABLE JOINTED DRAGON FIGURE

3dp_ten3dpthings_dragon_1Braq Jointed Dragon by bqLabs

Found on: MyMiniFactory
Cost: Free

I couldn’t make a list about 3D printable articulated models without including something as cool as Braq the dragon. The figure is incredibly posable, with the straps holding together both sets of legs, his tail and head, and his wings, he can be posed into just about any position that you want.

The legs, tail, head and body are all completely movable thanks to the hidden joints, and the wings are also posable at the joints attaching them to Braq’s back, but also the wings themselves can be spread open, or fold down into place on his back. The designer also created an alternate head-sculpt that has a fully articulated lower jaw.

3dp_ten3dpthings_dragon_2As you can see from the assembly video, the finished dragon is HUGE and has a ton of individual parts that all need to be connected. This is probably not a project for a beginner, like at all, but the completed dragon really is amazing. Just as with a lot of these projects, and especially considering the complexity of the assembly process, you’re going to want to paint all of Braq’s individual parts before you piece him together.

3dp_ten3dpthings_dragon_3Here is a video of the entire assembly process:


That’s all for now, and if you make any of these great projects please do share them with me! You can tweet me @SJGrunewald with the hashtag #Ten3DPrintableThings. Have a good week everyone, and happy 3D printing!

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