July 9th: Eeps the pushpuppet got featured on Thingiverse :-D

Push puppets are around as long as I can remember and I've always loved the simple yet smart, funny and inspiring little toys.

Making push puppets has been on my mind for quite a while, but somehow I never got to it. Until now. Until a MakerBot Replicator 2 appeared on my desktop (literally!). Alas, the machine is not mine and I can use it just for a couple of weeks, so I had to move fast. After printing Yoda, my name and a key ring holder for my daughter, I set to work.

I have some, but ancient, experience with 3D modeling (from the '90s!! I'm getting old). The 3d shapes that make the push puppets parts are pretty basic, and so are the operations on the shapes. I used Rhinoceros to create the parts, but they should be easy to remake in other apps (like 123D Design, Blender, etc.).

You can approach this Instructable in two ways:
  • Make the push puppet with the parts (that is, files) and how-to provided in the steps.
  • If you're comfy with 3D modeling apps: Make your very own custom designed push puppet. Use the Rhino-files as a template, and do your thing from there. There's a step with tips and tricks for modeling. Of course, sharing your design files in the comments, as a separate Instructable or on Thingiverse is highly appreciated :-)

Step 1: Stuff 'n tools - Reverse engineer a Collapsing Donkey Toy

  • 1 spring, 12mm diameter, 28mm height (unloaded). The easiest way to get a usable spring is to harvest it from a push puppet. Donkey let me use his :-). I bought Donkey for €2,- at a "wooden toy store" *) 
  • 1 meter of woven rope. It should be thin, supple, smooth and non-elastic. I bought it at an upholstery store. It's polyester rope used for raising curtains.
  • The 3d-printed parts (printfile in step 3).

  • Putty knife or a sharp knife
  • Small files or 400 grit sanding paper
  • The 3D printed Push Puppet mounting tool (printfile in step 3).
  • Something thin and pointy to push the cord through some beads. I used the tip of a pencil.
Allright, it's a bit silly to take apart a push puppet to get the parts to build one. But you'll learn a lot about the working of push puppets and that will help you when making your own. 

*) It's a mystery to me how Donkey can be sold for only €2,-, including margins for the shop and the manufacturer. But that is of no relevance here...
<p>Very impressive brings back memories of my childhood. I am making some of these for my grand children. Thank you for the inspiration to try and create more. </p>
<p>You're very welcome! Thanks for your nice comment. Please post a picture of your results when you have them.</p><p>Y.</p>
Really nice!
Thank you so very much!
Prachtige complete Instructable. Je bent je tijd vooruit om dit kinderen te kunnen aanbieden. Mijn vote's heb je.
Dankjewel! Het was ook een geweldige kennismaking voor mij met 3D printen!
Thanks! I figured you might like it :-) <br>Please tell your friends, since the viewcount is going nowhere and I worked very hard on this one :-s (Eeps the Pushpuppet seems more popular at Thingiverse than on I'bles).
Well done!
:-) Thanks!

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Bio: Also have a look at member Monster-Marit. She Rocks (I'm a bit prejudiced, though :-))
More by ynze: Make your first Serious Amplifier RC circuit for a Bibberbeest / vibrobot 3D printed Push Puppet named Eeps
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