Fish Fossilz

by muzz64, published

Fish Fossilz by muzz64 Jan 18, 2016

Featured Thing!


Fish Fossilz are an amazing one piece print that wriggles, twists and bends in all directions. It's an easy print that only uses about 13gm of filament (with recommended settings).

Fish Fossilz have proven to be hugely popular so, as some people have been using them as a Key Fob (with the key ring through the eye) an additional "Fob" type has been added. This has a fitting at the end of the tail to attach it to the key ring. This should make it less bulky and more visible as a key fob (Download Fob .stl file version).

If you like this design you may also be interested in my 'Snakez' which is another super bendy flexible print. View it / download it at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1709106

Do not use support as that could stop the joints printing separately / free. Raft is recommended as it helps with removal from the build plate and ensures you can break away the bones without damage.

As soon as the Raft is removed 'Fish Fossilz' should be super flexi.... bend twist and wriggle. Another great fun example of what is possible with 3D printing.

Please refer to the images and instructions for additional information... and post images of your Fish Fossilz finds!

Following are some more fun designs:

Other similar designs are as follows:

'Bugz' http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1904654

'Z-REX' http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1594269

'Ratz' http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1532944

'Sharkz' http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:910216

'Crocz' http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:941177

'Eaglez' http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:963892

'Catz' http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:988088

Note: If you like this check out the rest of my fun and practical designs!

Print Settings

Printer Brand:



MakerBot Replicator (5th Generation)






0.20mm / Standard


2 Shells / 50% infill / PLA


Easy print with no support. Raft recommended. Use high infill percentage to ensure joints are strong. A good clean print should be free to wriggle / flex / twist as soon as the Raft is removed.


Just remove the Raft and fascinate people by how flexible this one piece print is....

Tell us more...

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are you selling this design for distribution. i own a fishing store and i wanted to sell these at my farmers market is that possible?

I printed it.
25% infill

print is very nice, but it is not flexible...to much at the joints :-(

Most people have no problem with the clearances designed in to make it really free to move so it has to be your slicing app or machines accuracy doesn't work with the fine detail in this design adequately.

Printing at. 20mm may help but the easiest solution is to scale it up uniformly by 10 - 15%which will increase the internal clearances and make it easier for your slicing app to recognize space/gaps.

I hope this helps....

do they smell bad?

Not straight off the build plate but I'm sure you could find a way to make them smell like dead fish!

Just got my printer running decently and am making this as I type to surprise my kids with. Thanks for sharing.

This fish was only my second print after the OK hand, I was stunned at the quality and flexibility of this print from my Wanhao I3 plus and using PLA. I am really looking forward to my next print and also to my new 3D printing hobby. Thank you for a great design.

Pleased to hear you liked my design.... there's lots more available like that. Have fun with your 3D printing.

I have never printed anything and I want to give you credit for this when I do print it. I plan on printing it when I get my 3d printer in.

I hope you're getting a machine soon... it will change your life!

...you will love printing my Fish Fossilz.

I have never printed anything and I want to give you credit for this when I do print it. I plan on printing it when I get my 3d printer in.

I have never printed anything and I want to give you credit for this when I do print it. I plan on printing it when I get my 3d printer in.

I have never printed anything and I want to give you credit for this when I do print it. I plan on printing it when I get my 3d printer in.

Thanks for the neat fish. I'm curious about the licensing... how did you end up with so many "Remixes" considering that the files are shared with a no-derivatives license?

I printed a few and had a problem with one (my fault), so I made a repair kit. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1979473

Fish Fossilz Repair Kit

Pleased you like my fish fossilz... the licencing doesn't allow for derivatives but some people seem to just do it anyway.

Apparently Thingiverse platform changes now disallow making a "Remix" from a thing which has such a license, so generally speaking that's good for you! Unfortunately I don't see any other way to mark an item as an accessory for another item. :-(

I've seen quite a few "accessory" type items marked as remixes on Thingiverse - seems like the only easy way to associate stuff. Maybe now that they've fixed the remixes loophole they'll consider adding some other way to associate stuff. Plus, if they're blocking remixes entirely for this license I wonder if it prevents the rights-holder (you) from posting remixes? Not to mention other individuals with whom you might share the files under a different license.

This is a big challenge for everyone involved with 3D printing.... unfortunately there is no easy answer.

Comments deleted.

Printed great on my Creator Pro with ABS. I have not printed many things but this is easily the coolest thing I have printed. Just an amazing way to show the precision that is capable with these machines. Thanks for the great design!

Pleased to hear you like it so much... try my Snakez next!

Actually printing the scorpion right now with glow in the dark ABS. :)

That should be very cool... hopefully it comes out well. I've only printed it in PLA myself.

Pleased to hear you like it so much... try my Snakez next!

This works great for a cat toy if anyone was wondering!

Just printed this on my CTC clone. 1 hour 10 minutes. Came out great, proved to my wife how versatile my 3d printers can be.

Thanks Muzz, have been printing these for a while now and they are a hit at school. I use it to set up different printers and filaments so have printed so many people are thinking I have an obsession with fish! Posted a pic of my latest one, 420mm long, 160 metres of PLA, 34 hour print :) Great for setting up dual head printers too, will post a pic when I get a chance.
Keep up the great designs!

Thanks for your message and I did see your huge fish fossil print. Very impressive... if you're interested in printing something that will be even (much) longer take a look at the coiled version of my Snakez.

All the best

Thanks for your message and I did see your huge fish fossil print. Very impressive... if you're interested in printing something that will be even (much) longer take a look at the coiled version of my Snakez.

All the best

These are amazingly easy to print, SUPER FLEXIBLE, and a hit at school!

Muzz can you try and make a print in place person? I am trying but failing....

Since sending my earlier reply the closest thing I have posted at present is my 'Skeletonz' which have moving arms and legs. Having thought about it more today I doubt a super flexy / floppy person would be so good. However, a more natural moving person is entirely possible... just not too flexy. Check through my designs to find my Skeletonz for now....

Thanks for your comment and suggestion. The challenge with things like this is making things look good, function well as well as be strong enough. The linkages are quite detailed with fine clearances designed in.

I already have sketched ideas along the lines of what you suggested so we'll see in the future... they all take quite a lot of time to get right.

Newbie 3d printer here. So new you can still smell the shrink wrap. :-) Anyways it was the wifey that bought me a Davinci Pro 1.0.
Got it going and at first I could only print the samples. I tried a few others off here and then found the Snakez and Fossil Fishz. I printed the FOB ones and they printed GREAT. The tongue on the snake came out and I was like WTH ! No way ! So Cool. !
My 3yr 4 yr old 7yr old 8yr old year old son and grand kids LOVED Them. So I am making each one their own. Thanks very much.

Pleased to hear how much fun you're having with your new machine... it is amazing what you can print. Thanks for your comment

Awesome CAD work!! You are making me "up" my CAD game and learn more. So neat! Thank you for sharing!!

My 4 year old daughter thinks the "Fossil Fish and Chips" is hilarious. Printing our first of many! Thanks for this fantastic design.

Thank You!!!!! I love giving these away to clients, and Kids!!!!! EVERYONE LOVES THESE SO VERY MUCH!!!!! THANK YOU AGAIN!!! :)

Always pleased to hear my designs are appreciated!

This a perfect example to show the amazing possibilities of a 3D-printer! Thanks!!

Brilliant, printed several of these, no problems. People can't believe that this is printed in one piece when I show them. Great design, nice tactile feel.

Wow! Very nice, my kids love it.

My wife says this is the best thing I've ever printed for her! Thanks!

Thanks for your feedback... and keeping your wife happy is all important when you want to spend time and money on 3D printing!

:) And now my < 3yo son needs one of his own. Printing now...

I (and my whole family) just love your "Fish Fossilz"!
I must have printed about 20 of them by now, they make adorable little gifts for childen and adults alike!

Always pleased to hear how much people like my designs. Thanks for the feedback!

Hey Muzz64, I really love the cartoony "just been eaten by a cat" feeling of your fish fossilz. Keep up the good work!
Take care,

Thanks John...much appreciated!

thx. i printed it. and its super...

This print is amazing, it just "peeled" of of my build plate.

Awesome I love your designs! I'm printing one right now.

Brilliant! Thank-you for putting this on Thingiverse!

Used this design yesterday at a STEM Day event for local middle-schoolers. It was fantastic. I scaled it so it'd print in about 10 minutes, perfect as a demo for groups coming through, and gave me lots of examples for kids to interact with all day. Thanks!

"Scaled" it :D

Made one on my hictop prusa i3 adp-11. It printed great, very flexible, super cool! My kids are going to love it.

My daughter absolutely loves her Fish Fossilz!

I like this design

I made one, great fun. thanks for sharing.

Excelent idea, excelent design!

Such a great design! I printed it in PLA on the Makerbot 5th gen and it came out perfectly. I am going to challenge my upper elementary kids to figure out how it was done and to try to construct something similar!

Stretched it out to 6", printed in abs no support works perfect right off the deck!

WOW, wasnt expecting my Micro 3D printer to be capable too get the joins so precise. Works fine!

Loved making this it was easy and works great!

Printing this for my weekly Youtube FDF episode:

I have printed three of these so far - two in PLA and one in Polymax - on a Deltaprintr. Fabulous! I was in awe of how easily the joints freed up with a bit of a wiggle and I can't keep from picking one up and playing with it. Thanks!

Thank you, I made one it's not totally right I only have a .5 nozzle so as soon as i get my .2 going to do it again.

We need a darwin version of this with feet!

Someone already did just that. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1421981

Fish Fossilz Darwin Edition

LOL, I did that!

That is cool!
Does anyone want me to print this for them.
This is my 3d hubs https://www.3dhubs.com/portland/hubs/kaleb

Printed with ABS on our LulzBot Mini without rafts and a perfect result. Bravo on a VERY cool design!

I've been trying to get my settings perfect. Can you tell me what settings you used to get a perfect result? I'm also using ABS and a lulzbot mini (which is awesome!)


I've never printed these in ABS but plenty of people have. They settings should not be greatly different... just print it to be almost solid so lots of infill. As long as your machine bridges well it should be okay... check other peoples prints they've posted as many provide their print settings. Find some with ABS to compare. I hope that helps.

Pretty much straight out of the box settings for their ABS, except we used a 90% flow. 240C, 110C bed. No raft or supports. We run their version of Cura.

We've printed several of these now - they are GREAT givaways to show what a 3D printer can do.

I was having issues with the bottom layers being too fat. I messed with the settings but not the flow rate. Thanks for the info!

Mar 18, 2016 - Modified Mar 18, 2016
celano - in reply to Webslingers

Printing some more right now - there are the full set of specs:

Layer height 0.25
Shell thickness: 1.0
Enable retraction yes
Bottom/top thickness: 0.8
Fill Density 20%
Perimeters before infill yes
Print speed 50mm/s
Printing temperature (C) 240
Bed temperature (C) 110
Filament: (check and use your actual diameter)
Flow (%) 90

Also carefully watch the bed leveling procedure and make sure you aren't pushing down on those corners. If you are, the washers or tip of the extruder need to be cleaned. You will get a slightly fat first layer - that is by design and inherent in the software to insure adhesion. For this design, it doesn't seem to matter at all.

Thanks! I'm going to try these settings! I got rid of the fat bottom layer by making the bottom layer 95%. That might change with the new settings. Testing soon. Thanks!!

I printed without raft and it worked fine. I then scaled "x" and "y" 200% and left "z" at 100% and the result was awesome!

Thank You.

Mar 15, 2016 - Modified Mar 15, 2016

I scaled it up to 6" and cut the height to 10mm, no raft, on glass with hairspray

It is a thing of perfect beauty:)


Pleased to hear you're so pleased... they are very cool

I printed one of these out last night, with the recommended settings. It turns out that the PLA I am using bonds very well to the raft, and it was quite difficult / fiddly to remove all the pieces from it.

Once I got it all free however it was all good. Great little model!

Will try printing it again tonight without the raft and see how it goes.

Printed it again, without rafts, and they came out perfect!

The kids love them! Thanks for sharing!

Mar 14, 2016 - Modified Mar 14, 2016

Amazing model! iv been playing with it all day.

here's a timelapse of this model

Pleased you like my wiggly little Fossilz and thanks for taking time to do the video

My pleasure:)

Awesome! Works very well!

Just printed this is amazing! tried to print smaller one but didn't turn out printed bigger one and it was FLOPPING like a fish;)!

Nice model, we did a Time-Lapse of it you can watch it here at https://youtu.be/3c43X4ZhQ5A

Very cool thanks... much appreciated!

Comments deleted.

This was an easy print .Thank you for your share !

I made one. .20mm, 2 shells, 50% infill, 215°F PLA, GeckoTek build plate. Came out utterly perfect. Slid right off the build plate with almost no pressure (best investment ever, that plate).

Do I really need a raft? With my GeckoTek build plate on my Replicator 2, it seems like maybe I don't. Thoughts?

Probably not as long as you're careful when you remove them. I usually recommend Raft because some people's machines prints stick down almost too well to be able to remove them which means they have to be excessively rough trying to get them off. The net result is they can damage the prints. If you are confident in the way your machine prints you'll be fine...

Congrats on being Features Muzz!!

Thanks... it's always nice to know your efforts are appreciated!

The Fish Fossilz design is quite small anyway. You can uniformly scale it down but if you go too small the joints will fuse together. 75% may work on some machines.

Any chance of a smaller one?

This is my Best print so far - Absolutely love it~!

Another great design. But no happy fish? I guess being just bones makes one not happy?
Thanks for the great print.

The movement in this print is really cool.... I did spend quite a bit of time on the eye and mouth. People seem to like things with teeth.

While deciding on the expression I looked at lots of fish images and none look happy... I guess that's because all they have to look forward to in life is being eaten by a bigger fish... or cooked and served up to a human on a plate!

Thanks for your comment

I'm new to printing. I Own a COLIDO 2.0 printer. My doubts are: What part of the printer is the rafter. And what is infill and do we do that?

Welcome to 3D printing... you have a lot to learn but it will be well worth it!

The Raft I refer to is something you should be able to turn on/off in your slicing app. I'm not sure what you are using but 'Raft' is a base the machine prints under your model. Raft helps with easier print removal but also ensure the print is well stuck to the build plate during printing. You break it away after printing... if the software applies it correctly it should just snap away easily (by hand).

The other things you need to learn about is Shells which is the outer perimeter of your model. Think of it as an egg shell. One shell is 0.40mm (a nozzle width)... 2 shells is 0.8mm... the more shells the stronger the model but the more filament you will use and probably slightly longer print time.

Infill is what is inside the shells. You don't usually make anything anywhere near 100% fill (solid) when 3D printing. In most cases 10 - 25% is adequate. I recommend 50% in some cases for small things that need to be made extra strong or they would be too fragile. Infill is applied in a pattern that will add strength and internal support but same print time and filament.

You also need to learn about Support and how it is applied to build a scaffold under things that protrude out on such an angle with nothing underneath them that the filament wouldn't have a layer underneath to print onto. Support deals with that by building up under your model and is broken away afterwards much in the same way Raft is removed.

I hope this helps. As a suggestion visit the MakerBot website and download a Replicator 2 manual to read. From memory It covers a lot of things like this that applies to 3D printing in general. MakerBot also have some great videos on topics like this on YouTube.