Create Your Own Action Figures with a 3D Printer: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Have you ever wanted to create your own action figures but didn’t know where to start? With the rise of 3D printing technology, it’s now easier than ever to bring your imagination to life. Whether you’re a collector, a toy enthusiast, or just someone who loves to create, 3D printing allows you to make your own custom action figures with ease.

To make your own action figures with a 3D printer, you’ll need to have some basic knowledge of 3D modeling software and access to a 3D printer. You can either create your own 3D models from scratch using digital sculpting software or 3D scan a real-world object to use as a base for your figure. Once you have your model, you can use a 3D printer to bring it to life in physical form.

In this article, we’ll explore the steps you need to take to make your own action figures with a 3D printer. We’ll provide tips and tricks for creating your own 3D models, as well as resources for finding pre-made models online. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced 3D printing enthusiast, we’ll help you get started on your journey to creating your own custom action figures.

Choosing a 3D Printer

When it comes to making action figures with a 3D printer, choosing the right printer is crucial. There are many factors to consider, such as print quality, speed, and price. In this section, we will discuss some considerations for choosing a 3D printer and provide some recommended printers for creating action figures.

Considerations for Choosing a 3D Printer

Print Quality

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a 3D printer is print quality. The higher the quality of the print, the more detailed and accurate the final product will be. Look for printers with a high resolution and a good layer height.


Another important consideration is print speed. Some printers are faster than others, but keep in mind that faster printing may come at the expense of print quality. Consider how long you are willing to wait for a print to finish and balance that with the level of detail you want in your action figures.


3D printers can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Consider your budget and what features are most important to you when choosing a printer. Keep in mind that more expensive printers may offer higher quality prints and more advanced features, but there are also many affordable options that can produce great results.

Recommended 3D Printers for Action Figures

Here are some 3D printers that are recommended for creating action figures:

Printer Features Price
ANYCUBIC Photon High resolution, LCD screen, UV light source $259
Elegoo Mars High resolution, LCD screen, fast printing speed $249
Creality LD-002R High resolution, easy to use, affordable $199
QIDI TECH Shadow 6.0 Pro High resolution, large build volume, dual extruders $699
Phrozen Sonic Mini 4k High resolution, fast printing speed, 4K monochrome LCD screen $369

These printers offer a good balance of print quality, speed, and price, making them great options for creating action figures with a 3D printer.

Creating a 3D Model

Creating a 3D model is an essential step in making an action figure with a 3D printer. There are two ways to create a 3D model for your action figure: finding a 3D model online or customizing an existing 3D model.

Finding 3D Models for Action Figures

The easiest way to get started is to find a 3D model online. There are many websites that offer free or paid 3D models for download. Some popular sites include Thingiverse, MyMiniFactory, and CGTrader. When looking for a 3D model, make sure to find one that is 3D printer-ready and suitable for action figures.

Customizing 3D Models for Action Figures

If you can’t find a suitable 3D model online, you can create your own by customizing an existing 3D model. There are many software programs available for 3D modeling, including Blender, ZBrush, and Meshmixer. These programs allow you to modify an existing 3D model to fit your needs.

When customizing a 3D model, keep in mind the size and shape of your action figure. You may need to make adjustments to the model to ensure that it is printable and that it can be articulated. Additionally, you may want to add details such as clothing, weapons, or accessories to make your action figure more unique.

Overall, creating a 3D model is an essential step in making an action figure with a 3D printer. Whether you find a 3D model online or customize an existing one, make sure to take the time to create a high-quality model that will result in a great-looking action figure.

Preparing the Printer and Filament

Before you can start printing your own action figures, you need to prepare your 3D printer and filament. Here are some important steps to follow:

Calibrating the 3D Printer

Calibrating your 3D printer is an essential step to ensure that your prints come out perfectly. This involves adjusting the printer’s settings to ensure that the nozzle is at the right height, the bed is level, and the extruder is working correctly.

To calibrate your 3D printer, you can use a calibration cube or a calibration print. These are simple objects that you can print to test the printer’s settings. You can find calibration files online or use the ones that came with your printer.

Choosing the Right Filament

Choosing the right filament is also crucial for 3D printing action figures. You want to use a filament that is strong, durable, and easy to work with. The most common filaments used for 3D printing action figures are PLA and ABS.

PLA is a biodegradable, plant-based filament that is easy to print with and comes in a wide range of colors. It is also affordable and produces high-quality prints. ABS is a stronger, more durable filament that is ideal for larger prints. It is more challenging to print with than PLA, but it produces excellent results.

When choosing a filament, make sure to check the diameter and compatibility with your printer. Some printers only work with specific filaments, so it’s essential to check the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Overall, preparing your 3D printer and filament is an essential step in 3D printing action figures. By calibrating your printer and choosing the right filament, you can ensure that your prints come out perfectly every time.

Printing the Action Figure

Slicing the 3D Model

Before printing your action figure, you need to slice the 3D model. Slicing is the process of converting the 3D model into layers that the 3D printer can understand. You can use slicing software like Cura, Slic3r, or Simplify3D to slice your 3D model.

When slicing your 3D model, you need to consider the layer height, infill density, and print speed. The layer height determines the resolution of your print. The higher the layer height, the lower the resolution. The infill density determines the amount of material inside the action figure. The higher the infill density, the stronger the action figure will be. The print speed determines how fast the printer will print the action figure. The slower the print speed, the higher the quality of the print.

Printing the Action Figure

Once you have sliced your 3D model, you can now print your action figure. You need to make sure that your 3D printer is calibrated and that the print bed is level. You also need to make sure that you have enough filament to complete the print.

When printing your action figure, you need to consider the print settings. The print settings determine the quality of the print. You can adjust the print settings like temperature, print speed, and fan speed to get the best results.

After printing your action figure, you need to remove it from the print bed. You can use a spatula or scraper to remove the action figure. You can also use a sandpaper or file to smooth out any rough edges.

In conclusion, printing an action figure with a 3D printer is a fun and rewarding experience. By following the right steps and using the right tools, you can create your own custom action figure.


After 3D printing your action figure, you may need to perform post-processing to remove any support structures and give it a smooth finish. In this section, we will cover the two most common post-processing techniques: removing support structures and sanding and finishing the action figure.

Removing Support Structures

Support structures are necessary to hold up overhanging parts of a model while it is being printed. However, once the printing is done, these structures need to be removed. Here are some tips to help you remove support structures effectively:

  • Use a pair of pliers or a sharp knife to remove large support structures.
  • Use sandpaper or a file to remove small support structures.
  • Be careful not to damage the action figure while removing support structures.

Sanding and Finishing the Action Figure

Once the support structures are removed, you can start sanding and finishing the action figure. Here are some tips to help you get a smooth finish:

  • Start with a coarse grit sandpaper (around 80 grit) and work your way up to a finer grit (around 400 grit).
  • Use a sanding block to help you get a flat surface.
  • Use a file to remove any bumps or rough edges.
  • Apply a coat of primer to enhance paint adhesion and cover any imperfections.

With these techniques, you should be able to get a smooth and finished action figure that is ready for painting. Remember to take your time and be patient, as post-processing can be a time-consuming process.


In conclusion, making your own action figures with a 3D printer is a fun and creative way to express your fandom and showcase your skills. With the right tools and techniques, you can produce high-quality and personalized action figures that are unique and affordable.

Throughout this article, we have explored the different ways to make action figures with a 3D printer, from using pre-made files to creating your own designs from scratch. We have also provided tips and tricks for 3D printing your own action figures, including the importance of using high-quality materials, adjusting the printing settings, and post-processing your prints.

Here are some key takeaways from this article:

  • 3D printing your own action figures is a cost-effective alternative to buying expensive pre-made figures.
  • There are many websites and marketplaces where you can download pre-made 3D models of action figures, such as Gambody and MyMiniFactory.
  • If you want to create your own custom action figures, you can use 3D modeling software like Blender or Tinkercad to design your own models, or use a 3D scanner to create a digital copy of an existing figure.
  • When 3D printing your action figures, it’s important to use high-quality materials like resin or filament, and adjust the printing settings to achieve the best results.
  • Post-processing your prints can also improve the quality and appearance of your action figures, such as sanding, painting, and adding accessories.

Overall, 3D printing your own action figures is a rewarding and enjoyable hobby that allows you to unleash your creativity and showcase your fandom. With the right tools and techniques, you can produce amazing and personalized action figures that are sure to impress your friends and family.