Recently, the cost and quality of 3D printing has become reasonable and CAD software has become easier to use, allowing anyone interested and motivated to design and print 3D objects.
I was surprised when I saw a functional version of Theo Jansen's Strandbeest a few months ago on Shapeways, because I thought all 3d prints were fragile and would crumble if you tried to make something with that many moving parts. I wanted to try to make one myself, so I downloaded the student version of Autodesk Inventor during winter break and got to work on what would become my first 3D Print.
This instructable details the steps I took to make one of Theo Jansen's Strandbeest using a 3d printer. The finished design was printed fully assembled. The full scale .stl file can be downloaded here, the .77 scale here, and the .66 scale here.
Step 1: Sketching the parts
Using the Theo Jansen's proportions, make an outline of each of the 8 parts using millimeter scale.
I used a minimum width of 2mm in the outlines, and a 7mm outer diameter for where the hinges will go.
If you are using Autodesk Inventor, John Helfen (Autodesk Student Expert Program Manager) does a great job of demonstrating how to start sketching in his videos here.