Animation Armatures


The project has been an enquiry into the use of 3D printing to build components for stop-motion rigs and armatures. The aim has been to produce a series of downloadable files for stop-motion animators, which use the traction inherent in PLA plastic in conjunction with domestic M4 / M5 nuts and bolts, easily obtainable in DIY stores. 


The outcome is intended to make ball and socket armatures more accessible by bringing down the cost of the material, but also to test lighter weight armature components to see how an increase in scale might influence the design as well as the manipulation of puppets.

Initially this project used CAD and 3D printing exclusively to produce the components. To cut down on material cost and printing time a number of adjustments where made:

1) adjusting plate designs (M4, M5) allowing for greater rigidity to counter the bow of the PLA caused by the pressure of the nut and bolt. 

2) Using wooden beads and dowel allows for an increase in scale due light weight material and also cuts down the time spent 3D printing.

3) Using the laser cutter to make the plates cuts down further time at the 3D printer and the use of 4mm acetal in laser-cutting reduces a bow in the material caused by the force of the bolt. (see 1).

Below, a combination of 3D printing for tie-downs and laser cut plates for use in an ankle joint, but the structure is also suitable for rigs.