I made some tests for 3d-printing flexible puppet head bases with TPU filament. Here are some examples:
The first head base worked well, so I made a 3d-model for a more complicated head, that includes the lower jaw.
All these parts were printed with an unmodified Creality CR10 V3 (direct drive version) 3d-printer.
By Shawn on Dec 16, 2021, 3:26 PM
The flexible medium really adds a lot of variation in the movement you can get. I like it! How about the eye mechanism? Did you need to somehow reinforce the upper skull so it would stay solid and not move around on you?
By Tioh on Dec 16, 2021, 5:46 PM
Yes, I'll have to reinforce the area around the eyelid. I've already made an improved version of the eyelid/eye part that has a structure above the eyes. If that's not enough I could just print an inner shell for parts of the head base with non-flexible material.
I wondered what was the function of the larger holes in the design besides the obvious ones for the eyes, mouth etc. Do they give better flexibility, or lighter weight, or access points? Or just cheaper using less filament? I wonder how these looser filaments will stand up to time and movement as when I make a puppet I like it to stay together for a long while. I also wondered if you could sew right onto the loose weave or would the smaller pieces break with movement? Let us know how it works out for you, this is very exciting new development!