Anthony Lim shares his process behind the Squid Game doll he created with Fusion 360. Creating the doll required electronic programming, 3D printing, and more.
Just mention the “doll” from Netflix’s Squid Game, and a now-legendary scene will come to mind. The doll’s innocent purple barrette, pigtails, and orange dress belie something truly terrifying or darkly funny — whatever your take on the giant killer doll might be. When the children’s song in the background stops, her head rotates 180-degrees. Her darting, motion-detection eyes then coldly identify the moving targets. One thing is for sure — it’s hard to think of the game “Red Light, Green Light” in the same way again.
A couple of years ago, Anthony Lim, a YouTube creator and 3D design freelancer based in Korea took up Autodesk Fusion 360 as a hobby. After seeing the popularity of Squid Game explode worldwide, a friend suggested that he try to recreate the now-infamous doll. Lim, also known as Mandler, took him up on the challenge and created a nearly identical replica—albeit two feet tall and definitely not deadly.
Here, Mandler shares his experiences with this project, Fusion 360, and advice for others seeking to fulfill their creative aspirations.
What was your process for creating the doll, and how long did it take?
I started collecting photos for reference and selected the electronic components to implement the mechanisms for movement (i.e., motor, motor controller, neopixel LED, Arduino board, etc.)
The face was the hardest part to model. When I completed the freeform modeling, I scaled it according to the size of the internal electronic components. Once I arranged the electronic parts, I worked on the solid modeling of the parts required for the mechanism and the control of the angle and neck movement with the joint function. With these steps completed, the doll parts were 3D printed with both resin and FDM printers. After assembly, I completed the coding with Arduino IDE for the movement and then processed and painted the doll.
The design, 3D printing, electronic control programming, processing, and painting all took two weeks.
During this process, which Autodesk Fusion 360 feature was the most helpful to you?
The freeform and joint functions were really helpful. Since I’m not a professional designer, it can be hard to model a curved surface. Using the t-spline function in Fusion 360, I can handle the curved surfaces, which would have been impossible with my experience level.
Fusion 360 was also helpful with the design of the neck movement mechanism and the ability to select the angle of the parts through the joint function.
What other projects have you made with Fusion 360?
I have several projects, including a Harry Potter wand that lights a small flame at the end, a large Bluetooth speaker in the shape of an AirPod, and even an oversized light stick in honor of K-pop band BTS.
At first, I started Fusion 360 to have some fun and make simple things. I still do creative projects like the Squid Game doll, but I am also beginning to use it for commercial projects.
What advice would you give others about Fusion 360?
Fusion 360 is inexpensive, but it is very diverse, powerful, and cloud-based. It’s great to have everything in the cloud because I dislike organizing data. I hope many people will use Fusion 360 to capture their imagination and creativity!