The units themselves are pretty simple. Basically a speaker + mic, with a touch sensitive surface to control playback and volume if not using your voice. Although they look just fine sitting on a nightstand or dresser, my kids wanted an upgrade. Time to start up the 3D Printer!
Found 2 files on Thingaverse that would work perfectly. For my oldest daughter, Andy the Android giving a cute wave. She actually picked this one out, and the end result looks great. The other file was a bit more complicated both the print and assemble (not to mention paint). My son loves Legos and robots, so when we saw the ED209 Mech from the 1980s RoboCop movie, it was the perfect fit for his bedroom. I very much underestimated just how large this model was... but 48 hours later, all the parts had been printed out.
As can be seen below, there is a mix of colors here... since I was going to paint this model, decided I would use up a few random spools of filament that were taking up space and almost on their way out.
I did have to split a few of the larger parts in half when printing, otherwise there would have been far too many supports to deal with. After printing those parts, just glued the halves together, and then started the priming process.
Small woodworking clamps come in really handy at this stage. For the glue, I go with E6000 Craft Adhesive for these types of projects. It takes a bet to set, but once it does, locks in very tight, and is semi-flexible which is really nice since kids might be playing with this stand. Get glue that is too rigid, and you will find your parts coming apart with even the slightest bend. E6000 is the way to go. Here is an Amazon Link for a 3.7oz bottle.
With everything assembled, it is time to start priming. This is a very important step for two reasons.
1) Primier will help cover up any small imperfections that may result from difficult areas to print
2) Painting directly on top of PLA or PETG will result in poor adhesion and the paint will eventually start to flake off. Get some good primer and go to town.
You can use any sand-able primer found at your local hardware store for a print of this size, and probably be OK. I personally like to use primer from "Army Painter" as is goes on very thin, and covers really well. A thinner coat will ensure that you don't cover up any detail on the model while still prepping the surface for the paint.
The Army Painter spray on primers are primarily made for tabletop miniatures (which is what I originally purchased it for), but is did really well with this larger model as well. I highly recommend it for these types of applications. Here is an Amazon link if you want to give it a try.
With the priming complete, I brought out the Airbrush and began to lay down some nice base coats. With the base applied, I switched over to my brushes and started some of the detail work and accent coloring. After the colors were all applied, went back over the entire model again with a matte clear coat to protect the paint. Really pleased with how it turned out, and my son was super excited when he saw it looking over he bed from the dresser.
After these 2 stands were completed, my youngest 2 daughters were not going to be left out of the fun! They wanted the "Andy" as well, but went with a transparent purple for the body color. Looks great in their room,, but its going to be a challenge for them to keep from touching this little guy!
These were a lot of fun to print out and paint. My kids really enjoy them, and hope fully they will have them for a long time (if they can keep their hands off).
Here is a quick video I put together that shows much of what I explained above. Thanks for stopping by!