Tardis Transformer: Pick your flavor!

FeaturedContest WinnerContest Winner

I've just about finished Mark4 of this build. Sadly, the way it was designed it won't be 3d printable, but I'll leave Mark3 up so people can still print their own if they'd like.

The entire thing was redesigned from scratch, including new transformations and tighter details. LEDs will be included in the head, chest, and canon for a nice glowing effect.

There are a few errors in the rendered picture, but I've got a few days to work those out. Just wanted to get this out there in case anyone saw any major errors or thought I could improve it in places. I'm open to any ideas!

Once I have things finished and in hand I'll update this instructable and lay things out in a more organized fashion. This is a bit of a mess right now.

Updates are regularly posted on TFW2005 and Twitter.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Design:

Picture of Design:
design 1.jpg
sounddis fender.JPG
sounddis  5.JPG
I started the design with clay, but I can't find any pictures of that I'm afraid.

Once I had the basic idea of what I wanted, I found some blueprints of the 11th Doctors Tardis and got to work recreating it. I wanted it to be a show accurate as possible. Then I printed out a 20mm vertion of it and cut it and worked with the clay again to make sure all my ideas would actually work.

Then came blocking out the basic shapes to get a feel for how things would look and be positioned. As you can see in the pictures the design originally started a bit differently. I had to make sacrifices to certain aspects of things in order to make sure I had clearance to make him transform.

Step 2: Printing/Assembly

Picture of Printing/Assembly
tardis stickers.jpg
Updated 7/11/2013 for Mark3 design:

I've included the STL files of the Mach3 design. If you use these anywhere please be sure to link back here and give proper credit.
The files are organized by color, but you can print them any which way you want. I just have blues and whites and different folders so it would be easier to print them out.

To print I first sliced with Kisslicer with these settings:
Thickness 1
Loops 1
Extrusion Width .35
Infill Extrusion .3
Layer Thinkness .25

I used a .35mm nozzle with 3mm filament for Mark2. Both .5mm (for Mark1) and .35mm worked fine, but I got better holes from the smaller nozzle.

You're going to need support, and lots of it!
I had mine set at Dense with a 1mm inflate.
I started using a raft with Mark2 to get rid of any chance of warping on the larger pieces. 6mm outset.

This is a LONG print. You're looking at around 30 hours (with the .35mm tip) all in all. But putting everything together is a snap, with only a small screw to hold the head together, everything else is printed.

The joint holes are larger in this version (2.5mm) and all the joints are beefier. I just used red 2.78mm nylon filament to hold things together and it gives a nice solid joint. The ball joints are just press fit.

To paint it, I used testors enamel with some spray lacquer to clear and protect the paint.
For the decals I just printed out the graphics I wanted and sliced them to right sized and glued them on. If I were to do it again I'd clear over them I think, and still may.

Step 3: Transforming!

Wanted to show how he actually transformed, but the pictures were hard to tell anything being he's printed in white right now. So I did it digitally.

Fold the back down, fold the panels in.
Pull the arms out.
Pull the legs down, and fold the tardis panel over the back of the leg.
Twist the torso around and slide down the hips.
Slide up the head and turn it around.
Finish folding the backpack up into his back.

1-40 of 70Next »
chikex4 months ago


I asked about this a few months ago, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask again:

Is there any chance of selling this as a kit? I would gladly buy one so quick my wallet would get whiplash. I don't have a 3D printer but would love one of these for my collection.

Thank you.

nonnef (author)  chikex4 months ago

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Yes. Soon. By this summer.

Mark 3.5 will continue to be hosted here on Instructables for anyone to download and print themselves.

Mark 5 is being tidied up and small finishing tweaks are being performed as I make production prototypes. This won't be released until I've worked out all the hickups in my production pipeline, as I'm sure everyone would want a top of the line product and not something developed whilst working out the bugs.

For prototype pictures of a finished Mark 4, as well as updates to this and other projects I work on: check out my twitter. @NonnefThandaius

chikex nonnef4 months ago


Thank you for the prompt response. I will eagerly wait for the release of these. I have started following you on Twitter to follow the progress.


Are you the creator of the Dalek transformer, or is that someone else?
nonnef (author)  Transforminglegodude8 months ago
You mean this one?

Nope! He did a great job though, didn't he?
Yes. Yes he did.
Shawn_k8 months ago
I'm having some issues getting this to print on my Makerbot; Makerware keeps printing curling rafts and insufficient supports.

I can make up for bad rafts by not printing them and spending some extra time leveling my build plate, but any suggestions on how to get this printed easily? I know this is Makerware related, but I was hoping you or someone else might have some insight.

AFAIK Makerware has a very good slicer (according to online communities), so I'm a bit lost on what to do. Any help would be much appreciated.
Shawn_k Shawn_k8 months ago
Also, I just wanted to add - awesome design!
nonnef (author)  Shawn_k8 months ago
Thanks! I've got the Mark 4 nearly finished and I'm looking forward to posting it for the 50th anniversary.
I've never used Makerware, so I'm not sure I could be of any help...
What if you removed support and just cut the model with NetFab into multiple pieces where the overhang is? I used to do that instead of messing with support material and always got better results.
dzr77610 months ago
OMG this is incredible, one suggestion I might make would be to add an English style Bobby Cap with the checkered band to the robot head to give it a bit more English flavor when transformed.
nonnef (author)  dzr77610 months ago
Er, why exactly?
skaar nonnef9 months ago
if the bobby hat is a little low on the head, it'd look like a storm trooper helmet, kind of like the g1 megatron, it'd have to be notional... since transformers aren't british, nor do they care about our society enough to emulate it... aside from that ridiculous jazz patter in the bay movies. though, as decepticon, it might get a kick out of having the bobby hat pop up, getting a small sigh of relief as if people think it's a promo stunt, then flipping back to reveal a face with rows of sharp metal teeth. wouldn't mean anything to them, but freaking us out might be prevent unified resistance. perhaps a minicon disguised as a bobby hat, cop goes in to make a call, puts the hat on the hook, picks up a replica spy.
my bigger question about them in general, under the hood, why would they look like the real innards of cars? so, a call box transformer would need to be hollow, but panels could fold into the needed limbs. would there be enough space in the enclosed roof and floor to put the hinges necessary to transform it? maybe a thought for the faaaar future.
nonnef (author)  skaar9 months ago
Shhh! No logic is permitted in the Transformers universe!
It's a franchise designed to sell toys. There's your answer to everything. ;)

If you subscribe to the movie canon though, then it's all because of nano tech that shifts around and changes properties. No hinges required. We only see the kibble on them because it's the transformers own design choice on how s/he makes him/herself looks. Much like how we put on clothes.
But developing a nano tech memory ally material for this thing might be a bit beyond the scope of what I'm willing to invest...
dwathen9 months ago
I'm looking at this (and it IS great) with the basic shape and scale of the body I think the cartoon/Marvel Ratchet might be a better fit for the Autobot version. And he is, after all, a Doctor :)
nonnef (author)  dwathen9 months ago
Excellent idea!
I'm nearly finished with a complete overhaul of the design, which includes several remolds for different characters. A full set of boxes: Telephone, Fire, Police and (now!)Ambulance.
Here's a sneak peek for you!

More updates can be found on my twitter. (@NonnefThandaius)
Alphabeta4411 months ago
shut up and take my money
nonnef (author)  Alphabeta4411 months ago
I already have. Check your wallet. ;)
chikex11 months ago

First off, let me say this is AMAZING. Second, I do not have a 3D printer. would I be able to use these files on a site like Shapeways? Or another site if I was able to find one? (I'm kind of new to the whole 3D printing game.) I would LOVE to make one of these.

Thank you.
nonnef (author)  chikex11 months ago
Thank you!
I'll be adding these onto Shapeways here in the coming weeks. But I imagine the cost is going to be prohibitive for others to order though them. I'll also be offering casting of the final mold shortly after.
So stay tuned!
chikex nonnef11 months ago
Cost, shmost- how much is it worth to have something that combines two of my geek loves so beautifully?

I look forward to this...
nonnef (author)  chikex11 months ago
Thank you again for such kind words!
But it's still looking like opening this thing up to buy on Shapeways just isn't worth it for you guys. Laserbeak is sitting at 80$ and Soundwave at over 800$ (both in FUD, WSF is about half that). I thought about making cuts to the design to make it hollow or thinner but decided against it so that they stay true to form when I cast from them. This will also let me offer a higher QA then trying to work with people directly off Shapeways printers.

Bottom line, best to just wait till I learn how to mold and cast. =)
chikex nonnef11 months ago
All right-just let me know when this happens so I can be one of the first in line for one of these...
_DaBeagle_11 months ago
And for those of us who are completely incapable of making anything crafty, any chance of selling these babies? i would pay a fair bit ;D
nonnef (author)  _DaBeagle_11 months ago
There will be kits available, and a very limited run of hand built/painted fully finished pieces.
That's a few months down the road though, as I still need to learn casting and get the final design printed.
I'll be updating this page with any news, so just be sure to follow me and check back often. Or PM me your contact info and I'll be sure to get a hold of anyone who's interested once anything is up and ready.
TheGreyMan1 year ago
Right on! Well I work in the most advanced RP lab in the southeast. If you need to test print any designs let me know. I've got 8 machines at my disposal. =)
nonnef (author)  TheGreyMan1 year ago
That would be amazing, thank you!
That's the biggest problem I'm having right now. My little Reprep can print most stuff fine, but when I start getting into .02mm clearances then it turns into a guessing game if it'll work.
I'll PM you here in a few days. Oh and I'm only a few hours from you on the SC side. ;)
Omg too much awesome in one place! Soundwave was always my favorite! Ps- made an account just to comment on this XD
TheGreyMan1 year ago
Beautiful! Just finished printing the white parts and am beginning assembly.

Where are the files for K-9/Lazerbeak?
nonnef (author)  TheGreyMan1 year ago
Thank you! I look forward to seeing how yours turns out!

I haven't posted the minion files yet. There's a problem I didn't notice until I printed with the design of the neck hinge (doesn't fit right after the bar is added) so I have to go back and redesign it.
Also used a different style for printing and finishing him so I kind of wanted to wait until I got the new Soundwave printed out to see how it works together.
ddavidson91 year ago
AND K-9?! heavens to mergatroyd!
nonnef (author)  ddavidson91 year ago
This is only the beginning. ;)
BrittLiv1 year ago
Nice job! I have seen Jason Casteels Transformer Tardis graphic (on deviantart) a while back, and thought it was only a matter of time until somebody tries it. It turned out really good!
nonnef (author)  BrittLiv1 year ago
Thank you!
I honestly hadn't seen his design until after I had finished and was was looking for graphics to print out for it.
But I do so love his style!
Are you selling these?
Haha that's funny. Good band too.
This is so cool! I'm not really into Transformers all that much but if they had a TARDIS transformer in the movies I would totally see it! This is brilliant!
nonnef (author)  Abigail13231 year ago
Oh, but they did! It's Chameleon circuit was set as a Semi though, so it was hard to catch. ;)
kenbob1 year ago
Amazing! Brilliant mashup concept, Brilliant execution! You are an artist and an engineer.
nonnef (author)  kenbob1 year ago
Thank you so much for the compliments! Ironically, your Instructable on the hidden bookshelf is actually the one that got me to sign up all those years ago. And the one that had me falling in love with Instructables. So not sure I'd even be here if I hadn't found that in a random google search. So thank YOU.

The engineering is always what fascinated me so much about Transformers. Both as a child and even now. The fact that someone could find a way to make one thing into another by just moving parts...
ddavidson91 year ago
oh my god. I need dis.. *throws piles of money at you*
1-40 of 70Next »