How are the Dolls Made?

A look inside 3D modeling and 3D printing

What is 3D Printing?

3D printing is a process used to create objects from various materials. The most common materials used for 3D printing are plastics. The plastics are coiled into spools called filament and these filaments come in hundreds of colors, finishes, materials, etc. There are various types of 3D printers. The one that I use, a FDM printer, heats the filament and deposits it through the nozzle in a small stream onto a surface called the print bed. The printer nozzle will continue to rise and deposit plastic until it has completed the print.

How do I 3D model a doll?

Mickey’s Mission Dolls are modeled using various softwares: Fusion 360 and Zbrush. Fusion 360 is used to create more geometric shapes, like glasses, and Zbrush is used to create more organic shapes, like the dolls themselves. If you would like to learn more about 3D modeling, visit my YouTube page (Mickey Nelson) for future videos on modeling tutorials.

How are the dolls built?

Currently, the doll is composed of 20 pieces and printed in a PLA filament. Once the pieces are printed, the dolls are hand assembled by either snapping, screwing, or gluing pieces together. The dolls eyes are also 3D printed, with a custom colored iris and layer of resin to create a glassy appearance. Once the doll is assembled, a wig is glued on and the face receive some paint. Then the doll is shipped to its new owner.