As you can tell from previous posts, we really dig 3D printing and all its marvelous applications in fields of technology, cosplay, toys, and more. One of the nicest stories I’ve heard about 3D printing is the nostalgia that inspired 3D Print Board member Geoff to recreate Robo Kitty.
Back in the nineties and early 2000’s, 3D modeling and rendering software like Maya, Brice, and Poser were the arsenal of every design student. In 2009, Poser v8 was released with a few free models including this adorable Robo Kitty, designed by Sanctum Art. Within moments of learning the software’s new tools and functionality, Geoff admits he fell in love with the virtual feline. Those big blues made such an impact, that years later when 3D printing technology became available, he knew he had to release the pet from the confines of the screen.
He tells 3D Print:
“The thought of bringing this figure to life was a pipe dream and poor Robo Kitty was destined to live its life trapped in a 3D rendering. Then 3D printing happened, and well.. just put two and two together!”
Check out this super sweet build after the break.
“With 3D printing, what you see is literally what you get. Printing Robo Kitty out directly from Poser is a physical impossibility without reworking all the meshes before hand, otherwise it would just look like a very low poly semi-cute kitty without the fine detailing.”
In order to bring this kitty to life without losing detail, Geoff used another 3D program called Blender to break down each piece of the body, convert them to OBJ files, and finally use Zbrush to define areas of detailing in the mesh and smooth sections. After he rendered all the details, he converted to files to SLT, typically used with CAD, and prepared for 3D printing.
I’m dizzy just from just thinking about all this work. Geoff said Robo Kitty took 12-15 hours to print and another 2-3 to paint, on top of what he says was “3/4 cups of sweat and tears and 1/4 cup of blood.”
He used 0.2 mm in Grey ABS since it sands very well and doesn’t overheat. Using his old trusty FlashForge Dual, kitty was printed in 10 pieces ready for assembly.
Only the head and shoulders are posable now, but Geoff plans on refining his design.
“Once all the joints are completed and movable, I have reworked the chest cavity extensively and plan do to some very cool things, including creating different sorts of Kitties, such as; First Aid Kitty, Fire Rescue Kitty, Police Kitty… you get the drift.”
And like all wonderful 3D printers, Geoff has graciously shared his “work in progress” files on Thingiverse, free for download.
(via 3D Print)