How to Make a Bobble Head with a 3D Printer

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Since we are now living in a more modernized generation, it cannot be denied that the technology used is continuously increasing. One of these technological advancements is 3D printing. Can you make a bobble head with a 3D printer? If so, how will you do that? In this article, we are going to provide some essential information in regards to that question. But, before we proceed, let us first define what a 3D printing is.

3D Printing – What is it?

3D printing is also known as additive manufacturing. It is a method of creating 3F solid objects that you can get from a numerical file. 

If you are going to create 3D printed objects, such as a bobble head, you need to perform the additive processes. In this process, the first thing you should do is to lay down some of the material layers. This should be done until the object is finally created. Every layer is a thinner version of each slice of your target object, in this manner, the bobble head.

3D printing has a wide difference when compared with subtractive manufacturing. When we say subtractive manufacturing, it is a process of hollowing or cutting the plastic or metal pieces with the use of a milling machine.

The 3D printing will allow you to develop complicated things with the use of few materials compared with the other old-versioned manufacturing processes.

How 3D Printing Works

For you to perform the 3D printing process, the first thing that you should have is your 3D model. You might consider creating one with yourself or downloading some 3D objects from a 3D repository. If you prefer creating one with yourself, you might consider using a 3D modeling software, haptic device, 3D app, or 3D scanner.

3D Printed Bobble Head – How to make One

Before you proceed to the process, it is important to capture your preferred model. You might consider your parent or loved one as your model in creating a bobble head. With the use of 123D Catch or any other 3D cameras, you can take some pictures of your preferred model.

Second, you should use a Meshmixer in cutting out or cleaning your captured model. This is important since a spring will be mounted at the bottom area of the head. Remember that you will only create a 3D printed bobble head and utilize an already printed body.

Step 1 – Capture Your 3D Model Head

One of the advantages that you can get when you use a desktop PC version of 123D Catch is that you can utilize your preferred camera. It only means that you are not required to use the app directly. 

With the use of a 123D Catch, taking a photo of your preferred 3D model can be done easily. Basically, taking a photo can be done through continuous shooting as the model is moving around. Take note that capturing a perfect model will take some time. It only means that you need to practice and undergo some redos. 

Step 2 – Importing of the Captured Head

In this step, you will now start to heal or clean your captured model. 

Step 3 – Clean Up Your Captured Model (Head)

Since we are going to create a 3D printed Bobble Head, we need the head area only. Thus, you need to remove the shoulders and the neck in the photo. To do this, you need to orbit, zoom, and pan your captured head model.

To have a perfectly-cleaned head, you need to perform the select and delete method. The main idea of the third step is to eliminate the parts that you will not need for the remaining steps.

Step 4 – Healing of the Mesh Holes

There are lots of devices that you can utilize in healing the mesh holes. One of these is Meshmixer. All you need to do is to identify the other problems in your mesh that are in need to be fixed immediately. 

Some healing of the mesh holes tools will enable you to identify issues of your mesh. But, worry no more because most of the devices will provide you with a one-click-fix.

Step 5 – Cutting Out the Cavity on the Bottom

In this step, you are now going to cut the cavity on the bottom area of your model. This is for the preparation of attaching the spring. Cutting the cavity must be done with a preferred balance in your mind. This is an important aspect, specifically when you are going to 3D print it. 

Step 6 – 3D Print Your Model in Color

In the sixth step, your 3D Bobble Head is now ready to be printed. To do this, you need to export your model. The 3D print in color is being accredited by different vendors. These include the Sculpteo and the iMaterialise and Shapeways. 

Step 7 – It is Time to Assemble

The following are the things that you need for assembling your model;

  • A glue gun
  • The 3D Printed head model
  • A 2/4 inch of spring. You can purchase it from the nearest hardware store in your area
  • Current bobblehead body

The first thing that you should do in assembling the model is measuring your preferred spring length. Make sure that the head will hover on the shoulders. This is important to avoid the bobble to hit the existing bobble body. 

The next thing that you should do is to apply some glue inside the head. This can be done with the use of a glue gun. After that, place the string inside of it. Also, put some amount of glue at the body’s neck and make sure that the spring is perfectly attached to it. Wait for some minutes until dry. 

The last thing that you should do is to showcase your artwork with your friends and other family members confidently and with a broad smile on your face. To create the best 3D bobblehead, make sure that you will follow the instructions mentioned above.

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