Weekly Roundup: Ten 3D Printable Articulated Toy Robots


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3dp_ten3dpthings_toyrobots_bannerThis week I was looking for a cool toy to 3D print for my nephew and settled on looking for a fun robot action figure. I knew that there were already several great designs, but I ended up coming across so many great options that I had to share the ten best. So this week it’s all about articulated and jointed robot action figures, and boy do I have a ton of great options for you. From projects that are perfect for novices and beginners, to much more complicated projects for experts, I found a robot figure kit for just about every skill level. While several of the models I chose will probably look much better painted once they have been assembled, most of these great models can be printed in the filament color of your choice and look fine. 

Here are Ten 3D Printable Articulated Toy Robots:



Jointed Robot by Shira

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

Spanish 3D model designer Sonia Verdú is no stranger to 3DPrint.com, her Robotica robot doll is one of the most popular 3D models on Thingiverse and went viral when she first uploaded it nearly two years ago now. However I think this fun, retro-styled robot design was eclipsed by the more popular Robotica and is worth a second look.

This robot figure has a similarly impressive range of motion, not to mention a simple, straightforward design that makes it easy to print and assemble. Rather than plastic joints, this robot doll is held together with a piece of elastic cord, granting it a level of articulation that is pretty hard to beat.


Here is some video of Verdú assembling her jointed robot:



Tin Head by Daniel Schunemann

Found on: MyMiniFactory
Cost: Free

Tin Head is a highly poseable robot action figure with almost 60 individual parts and 20 points of articulation. That gives him a huge range of movement, and allows him to be posed in a ton of great positions.

While the designer suggests that the parts can be sized up or down, it is probably going to work better if you stick to making him larger. A lot of the parts will need some supports, and a few of them will need some rafting to print correctly. Naturally that means a lot of post processing work, and you can either alternate the color filament used, or paint the parts before assembly. This probably isn’t a project for beginners, but it should be simple enough for someone with experience 3D printing.




IBOT Vr2.0 – The Simple Robot Model Kit by Lewj

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

The iBot robot model kit is a simple-to-print project that packs in quite a few surprises. The arms and legs have several ball joints and pivot points so he can be posed in a ton of ways, and he even has a secret compartment hidden in his body for things like coins or other small objects. The iBot would actually make a pretty cool gift box.

The designer of the iBot recommends supports and rafting when printing, but while looking at the individual STL files it doesn’t look like it will need much of either. The robot can be printed in any material, however the designer suggests standard PLA.




Iron Jack by Daniel Schunemann

Found on: MyMiniFactory
Cost: Free

Iron Jack is the big brother of Tin Head and they both share the same basic design and range of motion. Most of his parts can also be swapped with the parts from Tin Head to build your own, unique robot action figure.

Iron Jack differs from his sibling-bot in a few ways; first he has a ton more robotic details that really make him more interesting and fun to make. It is also worth taking the time to properly prost process Iron Jack and paint him, although he will also look great if you print his parts in alternating filament colors.




OpenSCAD Voltron, Defender of the Thingiverse by MakerBlock

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

The incredible 17-inch tall, fully articulated Voltron model is pretty complicated, with over 150 individual STL files that need to be printed separately — it is probably too complicated for a lot of us. Thankfully there is another option, this less detailed but still fun poseable Voltron figure that was designed entirely in OpenSCAD. While this is by no means the same as the other highly detailed replica it is still a fun model to print. It’s also really impressive that this model was made entirely in OpenSCAD.

It should go without saying that each lion should be printed in corresponding colors, but there is no reason that you can’t print everything in the same filament and then paint the model. Despite being such a simple model it does have a surprising range of movement, and most of the parts can be printed support-free. No glue will be needed to assemble Voltron as everything should snap together, but you may need to do some filing to get everything to fit properly.




Bionic Robot by MyMiniFactory

Found on: MyMiniFactory
Cost: Free

This great four-legged robot figure was designed by the Modio3D team, who were purchased by Autodesk and turned into the Tinkerplay team. It stands as a pretty impressive testament to how detailed 3D models designed in the easy to use 3D modelling program can be. For a program designed to be used by beginners and novices, it is capable of an ton of detail.

The individual parts have been arraigned on two different plates so each one can be printed in a different color, or you can print each part individually and make him your own. The parts were designed support-free, so this should be a pretty easy project for all skill levels.




Cupcake Transformer by sideburn

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

The original Cupcake 3D printer from MakerBot is the machine that is often credited for starting the whole desktop 3D printer craze, and kicking off the 3D printing revolution. What better way to pay tribute to the Cupcake than turning it into a transformable robot?

The transforming Cupcake parts are all simple to print and shouldn’t be difficult, however the model does need a few screws to hold everything together. Thankfully there is a link to full assembly and printing instructions. The model can be printed in standard PLA, although it might be a fun nod to the original Cupcake to print this with a wood filament.




GMC by MyMiniFactory

Found on: MyMiniFactory
Cost: Free

This GMC mech figure is probably the most complicated build on this list, at least in terms of 3D printing and post-processing. The parts all have complex geometries, so lots of supports will be needed and a lot of post-processing work is going to have to be done. But it is really hard to argue with the final results.

The STL files have been assembled in four different plates that were designed for a 10 x 10 inch printing bed, so if your printer is smaller be prepared to separate those plates. This model is probably better served being painted, not only will it help bring out some of the cool details, but it will help disguise any stepping or striation on the individual parts.



Transforming Viking by Jooxoe3i

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

The video game Starcraft 2 is one of the most revered PC games of all time, and still played all over the world. There are a ton of great spaceships and character designs in the game, but the Viking is probably one of the most iconic. And it isn’t hard to see why, everyone loves a spaceship that transforms into an assault mech.

This great 3D printable version is fully transformable between both modes, and all of the limbs have a pretty wide range of movement. The parts will print without any supports, and most of them can be snapped together. There are a few steps for some of the joints however, but the designer has included assembly instructions to make everything easier.




BeQui, Jointed Robot by bqLabs

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

The BeQui robot was also designed by Sonia Verdú (for bqLabs) and shares a lot in common with his cousin the Jointed Robot model that kicked off our list. However BeQui has several differences that are pretty noticeable. The limbs have all been redesigned, making him much more poseable, and he can even be used to hold up a smartphone.

However with the new design came parts that are a little more complicated to print and assemble. The first Jointed Robot should be a warm-up for taking on this more complicated project. But the end result will be worth the extra effort, and BeQui will be a much more polished version.


Check out this video of BeQui being assembled:

Thanks again for reading, I hope that I found you a fun 3D printing project to spend your weekend on. If you have made, or will make, any of these great models please feel free to share your makes with me, I love to see what you’re working on. You can find me on Twitter @SJGrunewald or you can always email me and say hi.

Have a good weekend and happy 3D printing!

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