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Best Type of Articulating Action Figure Joints

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Hey everyone,

Something that I would like to do down the road is make some articulating toys. I wanted to know what shapes and configurations for joints has worked the best for you, using the Ultimaker/ FDM printing. Best practices when it comes to orientations on the build bed and other considerations.

Thank you for the insight, I'm sure everyone would love to hear about the success and failure stories around these types of designs :)

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There is no joint that is universally useful. There are ball joints that are pretty good for articulated figures, but that might have too many degrees of freedom. Hinges with dimples in them that allow for click-positioning. Yada yada.


Thanks danilius. I'm not necessarily looking for a universal joint. Just looking to learn and share ways that others have found success when designing such models. Best practices when going about this type of design challenge.

Thanks for commenting, please feel free to share more :)

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Here is a balljoint that I made a while back for a mech.


IMO, PLA doesn't hold very well onto itself for these types of joints and they tend to loose their grip over time relatively quickly.

But none the less this worked for me for a bit as long as you don't play with it TOO much.

A general rule of thumb for me is, create a separate part for the ball part of the ball joint. Reason being if it's going to break anywhere it's going to be there and you can take it out and replace a small part rather than a large piece.

Larger figures may be easier to make, but this piece in the render is quite small. The ball itself is roughly 0.5cm diameter.

Aaron's ronin is amazing by the way! Played with it in person. Very impressive.

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