Super Mario 3D Character: From
Digital Model to 3D-Printed Real-Life

We Build Custom 3D Characters

It’s hard to imagine a world without Super Mario.  For over three decades, the iconic Italian plumber has captured the hearts and minds of gamers worldwide with his classic adventures in the Mushroom Kingdom.  Now, fans can bring the beloved character to life like never before with a 3D-printed version of Super Mario.

Creating a 3D-printed Super Mario character is an exciting and engaging process that involves digital modeling, 3D printing, and extensive finish work. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at each step of the process and explore how gaming companies can create their own Super Mario 3D character from a digital model to a real-life collectible.

Super Mario 3D Digital Model

The first step in creating a 3D-printed Super Mario character is to create a digital model of the character.  This process begins with a 3D modeling software such as Autodesk Maya or Blender.  In this software, the character is sculpted, textured, and rigged for animation.  This process takes a great deal of skill and experience to create a model that captures the essence of Super Mario’s iconic design while also being suitable for 3D printing.

Once the model is complete, it’s time to prepare it for 3D printing.  This involves converting the model into a format that can be read by a 3D printer, such as STL or OBJ.  Additionally, the model may need to be optimized for 3D printing by reducing its polygon count and ensuring that it’s watertight and free from errors.

Super Mario Victory Pose selfie

3D-Printed Super Mario Character

With the digital model complete, it’s time to bring Super Mario to life with a 3D printer.  The most common material used for 3D printing is PLA (polylactic acid), which is a biodegradable plastic made from renewable resources such as cornstarch.

To create a 3D-printed Super Mario character, the 3D model is loaded into the 3D printer’s software and sent to the printer on in this case, dozens of printers.  The printer then begins to extrude layers of PLA plastic, building up the character parts, layer by layer.  The process can take anywhere from a few days to a week depending on the size and complexity of each part within the model.

Once the 3D printing is complete, the model must be carefully removed from the printer’s build plate.  This can be done using a scraper or spatula, taking care not to damage the delicate model.  The model is then cleaned up by removing any support structures that were necessary for the 3D printing process.  These supports are often made from the same material as the model and are used to hold up overhanging parts of the model during printing.

Super Mario Model closeup

Extensive Finish Work

While the 3D-printed Super Mario character may look impressive right out of the printer, it’s far from complete.    The model will require extensive finish work to bring it to life and make it suitable for display.

The first step in finish work is to glue all parts together and make one large finished Super Mario.  Sometimes a steel skeleton is inserted into the character.  Next step is to sand the model to remove any rough spots or visible layer lines from the 3D printing process or gluing process.  This is done using a variety of sandpapers with increasing levels of grit until the surface is smooth to the touch.  The model is then primed with a spray-on primer to prepare it for painting.

Painting the model is the next step, and it requires a steady hand and a keen eye for detail.  Super Mario’s iconic colors are carefully applied to the model using acrylic paint and a small brush. It may take several coats of paint to achieve the desired level of color saturation and vibrancy.  Airbrushing of very small details is the last paint step.

Once the painting is complete, it’s time to add the finishing touches. This can include adding decals or stickers, and adding a clear coat to protect the model’s finish.

The process of creating a 3D-printed Super Mario character from a digital model to a finished collectible is an exciting and engaging experience that combines art, technology, and creativity.  Whether you’re a long-time fan of Super Mario or simply interested in exploring the possibilities of 3D printing, creating your own Super Mario 3D character is a fun and rewarding project that is sure to capture the hearts and minds of gaming companies and collectors alike.

Learn more about 3D Characters:

  • 3D Character Models: Character models are representations of characters such as comic book, video gamecartoon, movie, or marketing characters. 
  • 3D Cartoon Characters: Young and old alike have a favorite cartoon character from Saturday morning cartoons they’ve grown up watching. 
  • 3D Video Game Models: Is there anything more enjoyable than a video game fan plopping down in their favorite chair and immersing themselves inside a video game? 

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