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General Questions About How The Project Works

Who are you?
What sort of things do you 3D print?
What are the rules of the project?
Do you ever sell your work?
Do you take commissions/requests?
Why don't you make a....
How do you pick what figure to work on next?
What is the difference between a finished and beta figure?
How many times do you have to print a figure until it comes out right?
I like what you're doing. Do you have a Patreon page or something?
I have a 3D model that I designed. Can I share it on your site or have you turn it into an action figure?
I have an original costume/prop or highly accurate reproduction. Is there a way to scan this and turn it into a figure?

Who are you?

My name is Troy Ryan Wood, and I have been a Whovian since November of 1983, when I caught my first glimpse of The Five Doctors during a early-evening showing of the 20th Anniversary special on our local KVIE Sacramento PBS affiliate. It has been a life-long obsession ever since.

Early halloween costumes, lego creations, and wedding.

The 3D Printing Doctor Who Project officially started in 2017 while I was attempting to build the internal workings for a pop-open Auton hand for an upcoming Doctor Who event, and just happened to mention to the right person at the right time that I wasn't having much luck carving the contraption out of wood.

He recommended I check out the fancy new 3D printer that had recently been installed at our local library, as well as an extremely simple and intuitive 3D modeling site called TinkerCAD which I could use to build my Auton mechanism (appropriately enough) entirely out of plastic.

I agreed to give it a shot, and in the process of learning how to use the software, created my first two figures; Alpha Centauri and a Quark, which came together quite quickly over the course of a couple of days using nothing but the stock geometric shapes native to TinkerCAD. I was instantly hooked, and immediately recognized the huge potential 3D printing held for creating all the classic alien figures we were never going to get as part of the official 5.5" toy range.

Within a year, I had progressed from simple TinkerCAD shapes to more complex organic designs
using the free sculpting tool MeshMixer, and purchased my first resin printer, which allowed me to up my game considerably and produce figures with nearly the same level of surface detail as those officially released by Character Options.

Around the same time, interest in my pet project really started to take off, and the 3D Printing Doctor Who Facebook Group which I initially started as a means of showcasing my own work had ballooned to over 1000 members, several of whom had started contributing their own 3D printable models to the mix.

By 2020, the project had morphed into a full-on colaborative effort and expanded well beyond my own focus on classic series monsters from the 60's and 70's with over 250 different designs from across the entire spectrum of Doctor Who. This website now serves the dual purpose of cataloging all those designs (including my own) into one easy to search collection, and providing resources and tool for anyone who wants to take a stab at creating figures themselves.

First wave of figures created almost entirely in TinkerCAD

What sort of things do you 3D print?

I myself primarily focus on 5.5" scale action figures from the classic 1963-1988 series of Doctor Who because that's where my passion lies. (The older monster costumes are also significantly easier to sculpt than the newer stuff.)

But the beauty of working in a collaborative is that different people have different passions, so we now have some people creating figures and props for episodes that haven't even aired yet based on the earliest promo images, or spin-offs like The Sarah Jane Adventures, Class, and Torchwood, Big Finish audio plays, comic books, even the dubiously canonical Dalek annuals, TV21 comic strips, Ultimate Adventure stage play, and unused production sketches.

While most of us work in the Character Options 5.5" scale, a few people focus on the 1:6 scale Big Chief range, gaming miniatures, or full-scale cosplay props. We even have schematics for 3D printing yourself a full-sized Dalek or K-9... although you'll need to build yourself a special custom 3D printing rig to pull it off.


What are the rules of the project?

This project is a labor of love, but does come with a few caveats...

1) Templates will only remain available as long as licensed versions of figures do not exist.
This project exists to supplement the official toy range, it was never intended to supplant it.
If Character Options announces their next wave of figures includes a Quark, Alpha Centauri, or anything else that the project has worked on, that design will immediately be pulled from the line-up.
While it seems increasingly unlikely that we will ever see official figures for most of the monsters and aliens featured on this site, Character Options does occasionally surprise us. Anything they choose to release in an official capacity will undoubtedly be of higher quality than what you can produce at home, so the last thing we want to do is jeopardize their profitability or be accused of releasing "cheap knock-offs."

If a figure gets taken down for any reason, it should go without saying that we do not want anybody passing around copies of any files they might have downloaded before it was deleted.

I do allow some wiggle room here in the case of our guest artists (who are free to work on any subject they choose, but I reserve the right to not list creations I feel are duplicative on the project website), creating versions of figures that were commercially released in a different scale (ex: making a 5.5" figure of something that exists as an Eaglemoss figurine or the short-lived 3.75" range), customizing parts (ex: alternate head sculpts), or other instances where the created work clearly differs from the official toy.

2) This site will stop sharing files if we catch anyone attempting to profit by selling figures based off these unlicensed designs on eBay, Etsy, or any other marketplace. (And we are watching for this. Like a hawk.) This is a strictly not-for-profit fan art project and in no way endorsed or licensed by the BBC, Bad Wolf Productions, or Disney. Not selling our work helps protect us from overzealous lawyers out to protect their company's assets, but if some unscrupulous person starts cranking figures out on eBay, after they get served with a take-down notice, those same lawyers might set their sights on us next because a simple google search will reveal exactly where the designs originated from. As long as we all agree to play by the rules, expect to see brand new models shared every few weeks.

3) All models featured on this site are 100% *FREE* to download, but please do not post them to any other sites or platforms without permission.
Linking back to this website is fine, but I don't want to see the files posted anywhere that doesn't include our standard disclaimer about not manufacturing them for commercial use.

In addition to my own figures, we also have a guest designs section for models and props that have been contributed by other artists. While the same rules above apply to their work by default, I leave it up to the individual artists to decide how they feel about their designs being sold online.

Do you ever sell your work?

Short answer: No. So please don't ask.

Long answer. Some of our guest designers do sell their work... at their own discretion, and nothing to do with this project or website.

Once every 3 years or so, I will hold a "shelf cleaning sale" where I put some of my older less than perfect prototype figures up for auction. These are unique one-offs that were either damaged during or after printing, and may be slightly off-scale, lack fully functional articulation, and/or are earlier versions of figures that I've since gone back and improved upon. Basically, only items that you could print a much nicer version of yourself using the files on this website, but I've done my best to glue them back together, seal any cracks, and make them presentable enough that somebody might want to display one on their toy shelf.

When this occurs, all proceeds are recycled back into the project to offset a small percentage of my out-of-pocket expenses, cover equipment repairs/replacement, or donated to a worthy cause (like helping out one of the Doctor Who animation team who had fallen on hard times.)

Occasionally, I will also donate individual figures to be used as prizes in Doctor Who related fundraising events, provided it's a person or organization I already know and not some random stranger trying to scam a free figure.

Do not ask if one of these cleaning sales is upcoming, or if certain items will be available. If you want a specific figure, and you don't have a printer, use a print-to-order service. It's that simple.

For our guest designers, I leave it up to them to decide how they feel about selling their work, but in general, most of them subscribe to the same outlook that these designs should be for non-commercial personal use only.


Do you take commissions/requests?

No. And neither do the other artists. So please don't pester us with annoying "suggestions" for what to work on next.
Occasionally, one of us may post a "choose which figure I'll work on next" poll on the project's Facebook page, but that will typically be from a small pool of pre-selected options that we know are within the range of our particular skill set.

If you really want a figure of a specific character that doesn't exist yet, my best advice is to start playing around with 3D modeling software and take a stab at creating it yourself.


Why don't you make a...

The best part of this being a hobby rather than a job is not having to take orders from anyone else and having full creative freedom to work on any figure I want.

My to-do list is quite extensive and pretty well encompasses all the figures that I think I have a reasonable chance of creating at some point over the course of the next several years. Some of these are comparatively easy, others are just barely on the outer edge of what I feel is possible. Chances are, if a figure isn't on the to-do list, it isn't because I haven't thought of it, it's because it has some complicated design element that would make it very difficult or time-consuming to sculpt and I either don't have the skill or the inclination to devote months of my free towards attempting to recreate it (badly).

Luckily, as my skill improves and new software and tools become available, sometimes a figure that seemed impossible two years ago, now becomes merely improbable. 3D scanning and photogrammetry tools are still in their infancy, but have allowed me to tackle some figures I never would have attempted before. And in 5 to 10 years time, AI technology may have progressed to the point where you can feed a couple of clips from an old black and white Hartnell episode into your laptop and have it render a perfect 3D likeness of any actor or creature you'd care to replicate.


How do you pick what figure to work on next?

I have my to-do list, but I also like to be challenged and push the envelope as much as possible.

Often, when working on one figure, I'll find an interesting technique or gimmick that I can apply towards the next design. When building the Dalek Transmat, I thought "wouldn't it be cool if I could incorporate an internal light source" which then led to the next five light-up figures. Discovering how to create scale/fur texturing in Meshmixer led to figures like Aggedor and the Silurian, which I wouldn't have attempted otherwise.

And sometimes I'll have just watched an episode so it's fresh in my mind, or I happen to have a particular color of resin in the machine, so I look around for something else on my to-do list that can be made from the same material.

These days I typically alternate between working on a brand new design from scratch, going back to revisit on one of my earlier designs that could use some improvement, or working on remix figures based on models originally sculpted or scanned by other artists.

What is the difference between a Finished and Beta figure?

Finished means it's a figure that I've personally printed and assembled and verified that all pieces fit together and work exactly as intended, so no further revisions of the design are necessary.

You should be able to successfully print this figure yourself as long as you follow the instructions and your machine is in good working order. I do sometimes go back and tinker with finished figures to make additional improvements, but for the time being, something marked as "finished" means that it's as good as I can currently make it, and it's ready for printing.

Beta figures are either brand new figures that I haven't finished printing and assembling yet (but I see no reason why they shouldn't work) or ones that I have printed, but determined the design still requires some additional refinement or modifications.

Usually, a figure labeled as Beta will still be fully printable, but it may have some minor problems with articulation, scale, balance, or one of the optional extra features I tried to incorporate like LED lights or internal motor supports may not function properly, so it currently only works as a static sculpture. Larger, more complex figures, like Erato, Arcturus, and the War Machine tend to languish longer in Beta because reprinting them is a massive pain as well as time consuming/expensive.

How many times do you have to print a figure UNTIL it comes out right?

It depends on how complicated or unusual the design is and how many moving parts it has.

The larger and more complex the build, the more chances there are for something to go wrong along the way. It used to take me three, four, or even six passes to get a figure to turn out correctly when I first started, but these days I've mostly got it down to only one or two, with any mistakes being minor adjustments to articulation, scale, or balance, which are quite tricky to judge accurately until you have a physical product sitting in front of you.

Having a large scale resin printer helps speed up the prototyping process significantly, since it means I can rapid print all the pieces for a normal-sized 5.5" figure in a single print job which takes about a day and a half. Back when I first started using FDM filament printers, this part of the process took weeks or even months. Nowadays, I can usually get a figure from the earliest Beta release to Finished status within the space of a week or two.

I like what you're doing. Do you have a Patreon page or something?

I do not have a Patreon or any other sort of donation funding stream, but following the project on Youtube, Facebook and Instagram does stroke my ego. As does posting photos of finished figures you've made from these designs and giving the website a shout-out.

Also, it's helpful if fans of the project can be my extended eyes and ears when it comes to policing the various corners of the Doctor Who fan community to make sure nobody is out there selling figures based on our designs. Especially as most of you are 8 hours ahead of me and likely to be having your first coffee break by the time I'm going to bed.



I have a 3D model that I designed. Can I share it on your site or have you turn it into an action figure?

If you have something that's already 3D printer ready, contact me on Facebook or Instagram and I'll almost certainly put it up on the guest designs part of the site... provided it doesn't duplicate any existing Character Options figures.

If you aren't sure if it's 3D printable, I'll be happy to take a look and try to assess whether it's something that can be adapted for printing, provided you have some way to export your design in either a STL or OBJ file format that I can read.

Note that a lot of models created in Maya, DAZ, or Poser for 3D animation purposes are built in such a way that their mesh resembles a 2-dimensional house of cards. They have no internal mass because they aren't a solid wireframe, just a series of layered flats with no depth that tend to turn into empty hollow shells when converted into STL or OBJ format for printing. There are sometimes ways to fix this, but they are often fiddly and time consuming, and may not be worth the effort.

Additionally, many 3D models cheat by giving you a highly detailed skin wrapped around a generic wireframe body. As only the wireframe itself is printable, even though a model may look detailed due to the color and shadow that have been painted onto it's surface, don't be offended if I tell you your mesh is simply not viable for 3D printing purposes.



I have an original costume/prop or highly accurate reproduction. Is there a way to scan this and turn it into a figure?

In theory, if I have a large number of smart phone pictures (typically over 100) taken of a stationary object under neutral lighting conditions that you can walk around and take photos of from every angle in a 360° spread (the object and its surroundings can't move, only the person taking the photos) I can use photogrammetry software like Zephyr or ReCap Photo to stitch these images together into a 3D model that may or may not give me enough surface detail to use as a starting point for a figure. The technology is still in its infancy, so I can't use it to magic up a figure instantly, but I have used it before to create basic body shapes and surface details that I would have had a hard time creating from scratch otherwise.

You can find more information on photogrammetry and 3D scanning in the 3D Modeling and Figure Design section of the FAQ, but if you or someone you know owns an original Doctor Who prop or highly accurate replica, or is a professional cosplayer with an accurate costume that's approximately the same size/stature as the actor you cosplay as, I definitely want to talk to you.

Certainly if you can provide me with what I need to successfully create a figure, I'll be happy to give you a shout-out on my design page, and pay you for your effort with a custom printed version of the figure you helped create, though I may not be able to get to the project right away, depending on how many others I already have in the works.


Doctor Who and all related IP rights belong to the BBC. This is a not-for-profit fan site for personal entertainment purposes only.
No copyright infringement intended.