Aida Legrand, MatterHackers' November Hacker of the Month, has only been 3D printing since January of 2016. Legrand's husband bought the self proclaimed "technical geek" and software engineer a Robo 3D R1 Plus to kick off her 3D printing obsession, which has now become her full blown hobby. She has since upgraded to the BCN3D Sigma, and her prints are stunning - Legrand creates 3D printed ball-jointed dolls.

One of Legrand's 3D Printed Ball Joint Dolls


For those that don't know, a ball jointed doll is any doll that is made using ball and socket joints, which are commonly used in the design field. Ball and socket joints are in our bodies, like where the femur meets the pelvis, or in your shoulders and knees, so it's fairly obvious why artists like Legrand use them to create their dolls.

Legrand's sketches of her doll's joints


Legrand prints her dolls using PLA filament on the BCN3D Sigma printer, which offers dual extrusion, so she can use support material and multiple colors for her prints. The Sigma is capable of achieving fantastic prints, but Legrand has fine-tuned her printer, producing some of the best prints that we have seen. 

The dolls are printed on the BCN3D Sigma printer


3D printing has made Legrand's doll production much easier and faster, especially when it comes to prototyping new models. The accuracy and resolution provided by the BCN3D Sigma printer is key to Legrand's prints - the fine layer height provided by the Sigma allows her to do minimal sanding to her prints.  

Fine layer height from the BCN3D Sigma for one of Legrand's doll feet


Legrand uses specialty 3D printed sanding tools, which she sells on her site (along with her ball-jointed dolls), Legrand Doll. The sanding tools are designed to fit the fine contours of the 3D printed dolls, especially in small grooves, like between the fingers. 

Legrand's custom 3D printed sanding tools


Legrand uses zbrush to design her 3D printed dolls. The ball joints are connected and stabilized with elastic cords. She paints features on the sanded dolls, and she also designs and sews clothing and costumes for the dolls as well.

Take a look at some of the other 3D printed ball jointed dolls and parts that Legrand has created below, or visit her site or Instagram


Legrand's doll parts from the print bed


Tiny, detailed doll hands


Want to be our next Hacker of the Month? Email, and tell us about your 3D printed creation - you could be featured in our next newsletter. Hacker of the Month wins 3 free spools of PRO Series PLA or ABS filament to further their pursuit of 3D printing greatness.