How to 3D Print Anime Figures: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to 3D print anime figures! Whether you are a fan of anime or simply interested in 3D printing, this article will provide you with detailed information on the process, tools, and tips to create your very own anime figures. So, let’s dive in and explore the exciting world of 3D printing!

1. Understanding 3D Printing

Before we delve into the specifics of 3D printing anime figures, let’s first understand the basic concept of 3D printing. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a process of creating three-dimensional objects by layering materials based on a digital model.

3D printers use various materials such as plastics, resins, metals, or even ceramics to build objects layer by layer. These layers are stacked on top of each other until the final 3D object is formed.

Now that we have a basic understanding of 3D printing, let’s move on to the steps involved in 3D printing anime figures.

2. Choosing the Right 3D Printer

The first step in 3D printing anime figures is selecting the right 3D printer. There are several factors to consider when choosing a printer, such as:

  • Printing technology (FDM, SLA, SLS, etc.)
  • Printing volume and size
  • Resolution and layer thickness
  • Print speed
  • Cost

Research different 3D printers available in the market and choose the one that best suits your needs and budget. It’s also important to read reviews and user experiences to ensure you are making an informed decision.

3. Creating or Obtaining a 3D Model

To 3D print an anime figure, you need a 3D model. You have two options: creating your own model or obtaining one from an online repository. Let’s explore both options:

Creating Your Own 3D Model

If you have experience in 3D modeling, you can design your own anime figure using various software tools such as Blender, ZBrush, or SketchUp. These programs allow you to create intricate and detailed 3D models from scratch.

However, keep in mind that 3D modeling can be complex and time-consuming. It requires a certain level of skill and creativity. If you are new to 3D modeling, it may be best to start with simpler designs and gradually work your way up to more complex figures.

Obtaining a 3D Model from an Online Repository

If you don’t have the skills or time to create your own 3D model, you can find pre-made anime figure designs from online 3D model repositories. Websites like Thingiverse, MyMiniFactory, and Cults3D offer a wide range of 3D models, including anime figures, that you can download for free or purchase.

Make sure to check the licensing terms for each model and respect the rights of the designers. Some models may be for personal use only, while others may allow for commercial use.

4. Preparing the 3D Model for Printing

Once you have your 3D model, it’s time to prepare it for printing. This step involves optimizing the model for 3D printing and ensuring it is printable. Here’s what you need to do:

Repairing and Cleaning the Model

Import the 3D model into slicing software such as Cura, PrusaSlicer, or Simplify3D. These software programs allow you to analyze and repair any issues with the model, such as non-manifold geometry or intersecting meshes. Cleaning up the model ensures a smooth and error-free printing process.

Orienting and Scaling the Model

Next, you need to orient the model in a way that minimizes supports and maximizes print quality. Consider factors like overhangs, bridging, and surface details when positioning the model. Additionally, scale the model to the desired size, taking into account the capabilities of your 3D printer.

Adding Supports

If your model requires supports, enable this feature in the slicing software. Supports are temporary structures that hold up overhanging parts of the model during printing. They can be easily removed once the print is complete.

Slicing the Model

After all the necessary adjustments have been made, slice the model using the appropriate settings in your slicing software. Slicing converts the 3D model into a series of instructions that the 3D printer can understand. Save the sliced file in a format compatible with your 3D printer (e.g., .gcode).

5. Choosing the Right Filament

Choosing the right filament is crucial for 3D printing anime figures. Filament is the material that is melted and extruded by the 3D printer to create the layers of the object. Here are some popular filament options for printing anime figures:

PLA (Polylactic Acid)

PLA is a biodegradable and environmentally-friendly filament. It’s easy to print with, has a wide range of colors available, and produces excellent surface quality. However, PLA is not suitable for high-temperature applications.

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)

ABS is a durable and impact-resistant filament. It has good heat resistance, making it suitable for functional parts. However, ABS emits fumes during printing, so proper ventilation is required. It also tends to warp if not printed on a heated bed.


Resin is used in SLA (stereolithography) printers and produces highly detailed and smooth prints. It is ideal for capturing intricate details in anime figures. However, resin printing requires additional equipment and post-processing steps like UV curing.

PETG (Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol)

PETG is a strong and flexible filament that combines the best properties of both PLA and ABS. It is easy to print and provides good layer adhesion. PETG is also resistant to moisture and chemicals.

Consider the specific requirements of your anime figure and choose the filament that best suits your needs.

6. Printing the Anime Figure

With your 3D model optimized and filament selected, it’s time to print your anime figure. Follow these steps for a successful 3D printing process:

Preparing the 3D Printer

Ensure that your 3D printer is clean, well-maintained, and properly calibrated. Check the bed leveling, nozzle temperature, and filament feeding mechanism to avoid any printing issues.

Loading the Filament

Load the chosen filament into the 3D printer’s filament holder and feed it through the extruder. Make sure the filament is properly secured and inserted according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Starting the Print

Upload the sliced file (e.g., .gcode) to your 3D printer and start the print. Monitor the printing process closely, especially during the first few layers, to ensure proper adhesion and layer alignment.


Once the print is complete, remove the anime figure from the build plate. Depending on the filament used, you may need to perform additional post-processing steps such as removing supports, sanding, or painting to achieve the desired finish.

7. Finishing Touches: Painting and Detailing

Now that you have a 3D printed anime figure, you can take it to the next level by adding colors and details through painting and other finishing techniques. Here are some tips to enhance your anime figure:


Before painting, apply a primer to the 3D printed surface. Primer improves paint adhesion and helps achieve a smoother finish. Choose a primer suitable for the type of filament used.

Painting Techniques

Use acrylic paints for painting your anime figure. Start with the base colors and gradually add details. Apply thin layers of paint and let them dry completely before adding additional layers. Use fine brushes for small details and masking tape to create clean lines.


Seal the painted anime figure with a clear varnish or sealant to protect the paint and give it a glossy or matte finish. This step will also enhance the durability of your figure.

Adding Accessories

Consider adding accessories such as props, weapons, or custom bases to enhance the overall look of your anime figure. These additional elements can be 3D printed or sourced from other materials.

8. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Can I 3D print anime figures with a basic 3D printer?
  2. Yes, you can 3D print anime figures with abasic 3D printer. However, keep in mind that the print quality and level of detail may vary compared to more advanced printers. It’s still possible to achieve satisfying results with proper optimization and post-processing techniques.

  3. Do I need prior experience in 3D modeling to create my own anime figure?
  4. No, prior experience in 3D modeling is not necessary, but it can be beneficial. There are various beginner-friendly software programs available that offer user-friendly interfaces and tutorials. You can start with simpler designs and gradually improve your skills as you gain more experience.

  5. How long does it take to 3D print an anime figure?
  6. The printing time for an anime figure depends on its size, complexity, and the speed of your 3D printer. Small and simple figures may take a few hours, while larger and more intricate ones can take several days. It’s important to be patient and allow the printer to complete the process without interruptions.

  7. Can I sell the 3D printed anime figures?
  8. It depends on the licensing terms of the 3D model you used and the copyright laws in your country. Some models may have restrictions on commercial use, while others may allow it. Make sure to respect the intellectual property rights of the designers and verify the licensing terms before selling any 3D printed anime figures.

  9. Are there any safety precautions I should take when 3D printing?
  10. Yes, there are a few safety precautions to keep in mind while 3D printing. Ensure that your workspace is well-ventilated, especially when using materials like ABS that emit fumes during printing. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for operating the 3D printer, handling filaments, and using any post-processing chemicals. It’s also important to be cautious around hot printer components and avoid touching them without proper protection.

With the information provided in this comprehensive guide, you are now equipped to embark on your journey of 3D printing anime figures. Enjoy the creative process and unleash your imagination to bring your favorite characters to life!

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