People have been making their own version of the Poké Ball for decades now and 3D printing has made it even easier. This one, however, is unique because it incorporates two metal ladles into the mix, on top of using 3D printing to make an extremely detailed version fo the prop.
For the internal 3D printed parts of the Poké Ball, Autodesk Inventor was used to make the angular look. This was inspired by this shot from the original animation, but Filip chose to make his own version that looks more futuristic and real.
This process took around a month to complete, with printing taking eight hours. The printed part of the Poké Ball, however, is just one part of it.
For the two halves of the ball regular kitchen ladles were used after having their handles removed. For anyone who has ever bought or made a Poké Ball replica and found the plastic to be too light or ineffectual, this is a clever way to add some heft to the prop while giving it that solid metal feel.
The printed parts were designed to fit inside of each half sphere with additional modifications made to both the plastic and the ladles until every fit together.
The Poké Ball doesn’t just look and feel like as it should, as it’s packing some extra tricks. There’s a functional hinge which can be popped open using the front, revealing the detailed interior.
This interior features a trio of LEDs and an array of mirrors to not only reflect the light, but also to mimic what the original Poké Ball is shown to contain once opened.
The plastics on the inside were spray painted the appropriate black colour, but for the classic red and white here a vinyl wrap was used instead. Filip tells us that this was a matter of durability as he doubted paint would stick to the stainless steel of the ladles.
The project, from initial idea to the finished piece you see here took three solid months of work and hundreds of hours in that time. The closed ball is 8.6 centimetres in diameter and weighs 267 grams, making it nice and hefty in the hands despite the fact that the plastic was done with only a 20% infill.
Before you grab the files just be cognisant of the amount of work needed here to try and replicate this. Filip tells us that he experienced a fair few problems in the process which you don’t see here or in the video. Wiring inside of the small internals, the difficulties and dangers of glass cutting, and a few other problems creep up in something like this.
If you’re not deterred, download the files and pay very close attention to the accompanying video.
Those looking for something slightly less complex, and with more focus on printing, should check out another Poké Ball we featured in 2017. That version is a bit of a mess once you open it up, but it features a motor to replicate the shaking after it initially captures a Pokémon.