The Intricate Fusion of Puppetry and 3D Printing: The Dabchick

The Intricate Fusion of Puppetry and 3D Printing: The Dabchick

Who could have guessed that Barnaby Dixon is changing his puppetry direction from a traditional sculpted model to a resin 3D printed one? Read along as he dips his feet into resin 3D printing on a journey to rehabilitate his old friend, Dabchick.

In the enchanting realm of puppetry, where imagination takes flight through carefully crafted characters, Barnaby Dixon stands out as a master puppeteer. Renowned for his intricate designs and lifelike creations in puppetry, Barnaby has taken a leap into the world of 3D printing to enhance the capabilities of his beloved puppet, the Dabchick.

The Dabchick Chronicles

Barnaby Dixon’s journey in puppetry has been nothing short of magical. His first-ever puppet creations — the famous Dabchick, have since captured the hearts of audiences worldwide through their sarcastically funny character. Through meticulous hand manipulation and delicate puppet mechanism, Barnaby brings his characters to life, seamlessly blending artistry with engineering.

intricately articulated puppetry Dabchick

Unfortunately, after decades of entertaining the internet with its quick wit and temperament, Dabchick is breaking apart — or, as his creator said, dying. Made originally with thermoplastic material, Dabchick is showing his age and now requires some refurbishing to continue entertaining us.

After months of consideration and new ideas popping off his head, Barnaby started dipping his feet into resin 3D printing. He has embraced 3D printing as a transformative tool in his puppetry arsenal to push the boundaries of his creations further, offering a new dimension to the art of puppetry. However, it was not a smooth journey.

Upon getting his first resin 3D printer from a secondhand marketplace, he encountered a lot of issues and failures. From realizing there’s a resin leak under his LCD screen to finding out that the LCD screen itself had long been broken. After getting some advice from a fellow creator and 3D printing expert, he finally gathered his gut and reached out to a brand his friend recommended to participate in Dabchick’s Rehabilitation Fund.

Dabchick showing his age

Having loved Dabchick for years, of course, we couldn’t say no when Barnaby reached out to us. So here we are, helping Dabchick on his rehabilitation journey with a resin 3D printer and bottles and bottles of resin.

Mixing Traditional Puppetery Sculpting With 3D Printing

Barnaby getting ready to print with the Sonic Mighty 4K

After getting his hands on a proper resin 3D printer that works, he continued his venture to digitalize Dabchick. By turning his beloved character into a digital model, he could easily reprint any parts of Dabchick that are damaged or have worn off pretty much and as often as he wants to. 

resin 3D printed model of Dabchick's head

His first print with his new Sonic Mighty 4K is the old scanned piece of Dabchick’s head. And although the piece itself is losing detail from a lousy scanning process, Barnaby was astonished to find that it already fits perfectly with Dabchick’s lower jaw from the original model. For him, it’s a testament that his initial failures with his old printer were not due to a lack of experience in resin 3D printing but simply to the quality of the resin 3D printer.

Dabchick's new 3d printed head on his old jaw

Barnaby has a lot planned for his beloved puppet. From doubling the scale of the bird, adding an even more intricate mechanism to it, and even casting it in metal. This is only the beginning of his journey to revive Dabchick. If you are curious about what he’s going to do next and whether Dabchick can be successfully rehabilitated back to health, make sure to check out his channel and keep watching.

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