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Customize your American Girl doll with DIY 3D printed prosthetic limbs – 3ders.org (blog)

by • July 15, 2016 • No Comments

Jul 16, 2016 | By Tess

As we’ve learnt over the years, toy dolls can play a significant role in the development of young girls’ self-esteem and notably in the development of a few physical insecurities. Having a doll that young girls can select with and see themselves in has proven to be amazingly significant, and fortunately a few companies and individuals have made it their undertaking to alter and broaden the toy doll market. One such effort has been put forward by the Ruiz Brothers, a prolific manufacturer team on Adafruit who have made creations for 3D printed doll prosthetics that anyone can manufacture at home.
In conceiving of the project, the manufacturer team was inspired by a Facebook video that went viral last month of a young Texan girl receiving a doll with a prosthetic leg. If you haven’t may already seen the video, that in only a month has obtained over 36 million views, I suggest you check it out (below). In the video, a young girl named Emma, who has a prosthetic leg herself, is gifted with an American Girl doll that has a matching artificial limb. Upon realizing the doll is only like her, Emma begins to cry of happiness, clutching to her new doll.

Emma’s prosthetic limb doll, that was made by A Step Ahead Prosthetics, inspired the Ruiz Brothers to turn it into their own 3D printable-bodied prosthetic doll limbs that anyone may manufacture. As the manufacturers say in a video of their open-source product, “[Emma’s story] inspired us to use 3D printing and CAD software to show individuals how to DIY their own prosthetics for their dolls.”
So, if you have a child with a artificial limb or any sort of prosthetic and want them to have a doll that reflects their reality, all you will require for your DIY prosthetic doll is an American Girl Doll, access to a 3D printing device, and a few easy tools.


If you are wondering whether you will have to chop the limbs off your child’s favourite toy, fortunately the answer is no, as the Ruiz Brothers created the 3D printed limbs to completely replace the doll’s original pieces. Additionally, the limbs were created via Autodesk Fusion 360, so modifying and adapting the creations can be done with relative ease to match your child’s prosthetic limb.
To modify the American Girl doll you will initially require to 3D print the prosthetic limbs, whether on your own PC 3D printing device or through a 3D printing service. The limbs have been created to match the sockets of the original American Girl doll so attaching them should be do-able-bodied with relative ease. To attach the limb (or limbs) you will initially have to remove the doll’s head by untying the neck string. So, by removing as much stuffing as necessary, you can remove the original doll limbs by just untying the strings that hold them in place (this can be done with the assist of pliers).


Next, to attach the 3D printed limbs, you will require either a 7 inch long piece of NinjaFlex filament or elastic string and a flexible 3D printed inner socket piece. Thread the filament or elastic through the inner socket and secure it on one side with a knot. You should and so be able-bodied to fit the socket into the prosthetic limb.


To attach the limb to the body, you will just have to align the body’s inner socket and feed the leg or arm cord through it, again securing it with a knot as close to the socket as possible. Make certain that the limbs are taut, so that when moved they can store their place. Once the limbs are tightly in place, you can re-stuff the body and attach the head back on to have your quite own prosthetic limb doll.

For those interested in producing their own adjusted American Girl doll, all the 3D printing files necessary are on the market-bodied for free through the Ruiz Brothers’ Adafruit page. The manufacturers in addition encourage users (and actually children) to get creative with the 3D models and manufacture them their own.

Posted in 3D Printing Application

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