3D Printing Project – Wall-E (Part II)

Article by Wayne Chen, CSWP updated November 14, 2011


Continuing from Part 1 of my Wall-E project…One of the most import pieces in the Wall-E, body, is finally printed.  It determines how the limbs and the head are connected.  In addition, I printed the other leg and one arm.

Wall-E Body

Wall-E Body

Allow me to explain the functions/mechanisms of the Wall-E model so far:

The arms can be moved around along the groove on the body.  The hand pieces are joined by pins so they are moveable as well.



The front of Wall-E can be opened.

Open front on Wall-E

Open front on Wall-E

The retractable hook at the back is for Wall-E’s back pack!

Retractable hook at the back is for Wall-E's back pack

Retractable hook at the back is for a back pack

The tracks can be removed and the legs can be hidden below Wall-E’s body.

Wall-E model

Tracks Hidden

The platform which holds the head can be lowered down into the body.


Retractable Platform

Solar panel (not printed yet)!

Wall-E Top

Solar Panel

I decided to print all in matte surface finish, which will give me consistent appearance everywhere.

Difficulties that I ran into:

  • There are lots of fitting components, some of them should be loose, some of them should be tight.  Getting the right clearance may need some trial and error with sample parts.  This is also why I did not print everything at once. When loose fit is required, the parts can be potentially printed in the joined orientation (minimum 10thou inch gap).  When tight fit is required, the parts have to be printed separated (can be printed in one shot, but they have to  be disjointed)
  • The higher end Objet printers have the ability to print high speed (30 micron thickness) or high quality (16 micron thickness).  I would recommend to use high quality when there are a lot of fittings in the model.

A few more parts to print, have it painted, and Wall-E will be done!

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Wayne Chen, CSWP