If you are a 3D printing addict like me, then you more than likely have heard of a woman named Louise Driggers. Driggers, from Richmond, Texas, has become somewhat of a sensation among those individuals who enjoy 3D printing unique, highly detailed objects. Her designs, which are found on various 3D printing repository sites like YouMagine and Thingiverse, bring together everything that is right with 3D printable models. Some of her more popular designs include things such as the Scarab Beetle Box, Aria the Dragon, and The Tudor Rose Box.
Driggers’ latest design though, may just take the cake. It is for a fully articulated ball-jointed doll that she calls ‘Froggy‘. Froggy is made up of an astounding 42 separate 3D printed parts, many of which print without the need of support.
“[Froggy] is my first ball-jointed doll,” Driggers explains. “I have always been fascinated by these but shocked at the prices they command. When the excellent Sonia Verdu uploaded her beautiful Robotica, it inspired me to make my own doll for 3D printing. Whilst Froggy is not a derivation of any of her work, I should give Sonia credit, because if I hadn’t had her work to refer to, it would have taken much longer to design this frog.”
Driggers originally made her first prototype of the articulated frog back in February. After taking her doll to Chicago where she had her two nieces fully inspect it and provide her with feedback, she decided to make some changes. The original “Froggy” was designed to be more like a real frog, but she decided to modify the design to make it posable more like a human being. This latest iteration is able to stand by himself, sit up, and bend and twist his head similar to how a human head moves.
When we say fully articulate, we mean it! Froggy has joints that are movable, which even includes his fingers. Even the eye balls are able to be moved, thanks to a challenge presented to Driggers by her mother.
Driggers recommends printing all of the parts with a layer height of .2mm and an infill of 5%. She suggests using a cold print bed with a little Elmer’s glue applied to help the parts stick. Once all of the parts are printed out, they need to be assembled via a process that can take a little bit of time. This process includes stringing the doll so that he can more easily be moved and posed.
“How you string this doll will depend on what you want to do with him,” Driggers explains. “If you want the frog to hold a pose and not be ‘floppy’, then the tighter you will need to string him. Bear in mind though, if you string him too tight, he’ll simply ‘kick’ and won’t be able to hold his limbs straight. It boils down to practice and you may end up restringing your doll a number of times before you reach a point where you are happy. I’m not an experienced doll maker, so this is the best advice I can offer.”
More details on the stringing process can be found on Driggers’ website, where she also includes some diagrams for better understanding.