Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

Cartoon Character Maker - A Customizable Avatar Builder

by sethmoser, published

Cartoon Character Maker - A Customizable Avatar Builder by sethmoser Mar 3, 2013

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28354Views 7885Downloads Found in Interactive Art


Updated: Now with Facial Hair!

Inspired by the Nintendo Wii's "Mii", this thing is a 3D character maker - it allows the user to choose different facial features, hair, etc to make a custom 3D avatar.

Hyper-realistic 3D scans are becoming more commonplace, and this is not an effort to compete - think of this more as the cartoon version of yourself, or make up a character altogether!


UPDATES!! Thanks everyone for the encouragement and the feedback - this new version has a variety of small bug fixes, some reordered parameters, and a few big enhancements:
-Facial hair! Now you can choose from a full beard, chin strap, goatee, stache, chops, or a soul patch.
-Eyebrows! Models without glasses no longer have to leave the eyes all alone and unexpressive.
-Custom hair length! You an now adjust the hair length for some hair styles at will
-Dualstrusion! If you have a 2-color printer, you can now create models with hair, facial hair, glasses, and eyebrows in an alternate color. NOTE: This is a little buggy/experimental, so I'm posting a child to this design with dualstrusion contained. This model does not contain dualstrusion.

First of all, this is a complex model and performance is an issue - please try to only make one change at a time, as Customizer gets a little confused if you change multiple things at a time.

Please note that this thing is a work in progress - I've been working on it for a while, but if there's sufficient interest, I'll keep refining and would love some collaboration from the community! Outside of modifications, future improvements include new features in all categories as well as new categories like hats, accessories, and facial hair.


  1. To make your custom character, start by making sure the resolution is set low - 5 to 8 - to improve rendering time.

  2. With resolution set low, just work your way through each of the selections, starting with head shape and moving into the facial features.

  3. You don't need to change the more advanced features towards the bottom, like sizes and placement of each feature, but you can use these to fine tune your model.

  4. Once you're happy with your character, adjust the head tilt to make your model printable. I've had the best success with a 40 degree tilt to minimize overhang, but have had successful prints at lower angles like 20.

  5. Lastly, increase the resolution to 15 - 25 and wait until the final rendering is complete. Save the STL and get to printing!

Thanks to Tony Buser for his valuable advices.

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How do I create my own object? I'm a little confused on which apps to use and what not. Thanks!

could you make a pixie cut? so like short funky hair.
i wanna make myself!

No Pictures yet, but I just printed one 250mm High, hollow translucent PLA, Cut out the bottom, put some LEDs inside it and made it into a big nightlight / lamp

This thing is great! I would love to see future additions to this. I had a blast changing the settings in this. Great work!

Thanks mikeq! I haven't had the time to work on this much lately (the new features are actually pretty time consuming, especially the customizable ones, since they're based on openSCAD geometry rather than imported point clouds, etc), but definitely intend to modify over time.

If you have any specific features in mind, let me know!

Excellent thing!!!!! To use it in a Lip-sync test would be very useful to be able to change only the mouth (interchangeable) using different types. the idea is matching lip movements with sung or spoken vocals changing only the mouth part...I guess, it would be possible?

My only request is for boy long hair. The long hair makes me look like I just came out of a beauty parlor! All the other Miis are going to laugh at me. I can never go bowling with them again :'(

haha... I guess I'm not sure what boy long hair is? When I had long hair it was definitely not masculine ;) I do need to re-enable the Mullet, which is in the code but dropped out of the selections for some reason or another. Will think about boy long hair!

boy long hair: less helmet like front, more part to the sides. I think the mii customizer has some long hair options you could get an idea from.

Along these lines, could you make the top of the 'pattern' hair be configurable as well? :-)

The length is configurable :)

I'm into that, though... along with the parting of the hair that hobgoblin suggested...

What config would you want for pattern? Originally I was thinking about making it kind of like a cylinder that you could move around to create varying degrees of baldness... along those lines?

I was thinking that the height of the top of the pattern be configurable, as well as the length (which is the bottom). That way I could move up up a bit so that there's more hair and less bald spot. :-)

Though I am not that fond of avatars, I have to say that this is a must!!
It should really finish in the short list for the customizer challenge imho :)

This is very cool!

Some requests:

  • Beard, mustache. Lots of parameters.
  • Hair more parametric. For example, once you pick the basic shape, the size and position could be parameters.
  • Add a neck (a cylinder is fine) so it's printable without support.

Thanks for the feedback - esp re: parametric. Under the covers, there are far more parameters available, but I've limited here to make it more user friendly, especially for the less technical folks out there... maybe I can make an 'advanced' version or a nicer UI vis a vis some of the work Benjamin's been doing.

On the neck point - are you not getting a neck? There should be one for exactly that reason, but maybe I have a bug in the latest version...

Maybe I didn't see it - so far I've just looked at the preview, not downloaded it. In that case, I'll modify my suggestion to a wider neck, perhaps a stretched cone to form shoulders?

I was guessing that it's all parametric inside. So perhaps you could expose a few 'tweak' variables to slide hair around, etc.?

The thing that makes the Mii designs so much more interesting than the usual RPG character "personalization" is the use of parameters to position things more freely than anyone did previously. You can do the same, since it's OpenSCAD! :-)

Added facial hair and a bit better customization... let me know what you think!

Thanks, Laird!

I just did a quick test - looks like the neck is working ok for now - you can change the size with the "neck size" parameter towards the top. Even with a pretty narrow neck (neck size = 3). The key is head tilt (the Head Tilt parameter) - if the head is tilted back maybe 40 degrees, it should print OK, and even at 15-20 it should be pretty good, with maybe a few loops.

Re: the customization- stay tuned. I'll try to get a version out with a little more tweakability (need to kick this pesky day job...). In the meantime, check out the more detailed parameters towards the bottom of the current version for customization on the size of the eyes as well as both the size and position of the nose, mouth, and ears.

Thanks again!!

Wow, this is pretty excellent! I just wish there was some facial hair options. :)

Facial hair is now live :)

Thanks!!! I have to say I feel starstruck... thanks for commenting!!

And yeah, working on the facial hair options, as well as a mashup with your pez negative to make customizable pez heads :)