3D printing Ripley's Power Loader with ball jointed doll inside

3D Printing Ripley's Power Loader

When you have a few 3D printers at your disposal, you often find yourself wondering, what should I print next? The answer, obviously, print Ripley's Power Loader from Aliens movie and put one of my ball jointed dolls inside as Ripley!

Ripley bjd and 3D printed power loader cosplay


The Hubby and I tag teamed this project. He purchased the print files from Aaronh15241 on Pinshape, who did an amazing job as the detail of the design is amazing!

We decided to go big, really BIG, to scale it up from what was meant to be a 1:6 scale print to 1:3 scale of human size! That means we needed to scale up approx. 325%! That's nearly the height of a toddler folks!

The material used was ABS plastic which worked well for our application and printer. No need to do much sanding as this prop could look a bit "used" so that was SUPER great, compared to my last 3D print project, Robotica, who needed so much sanding to be smooth before paint was applied. 

We just used primer and automotive yellow or black spray paint, unless we had printed in black, then tape was applied to areas to remain black or black pieces were just printed black.

hubby and the beginning of power loader

Me with my power loader for scale - stellar evolution designs


I created Ripley from one of my 1:3 scale resin ball jointed dolls, from Dreaming Doll company in Korea.

I created her clothing and Reebok shoes based off of Ellen Ripley's wardrobe screenshots and promotional pics for the film. I generally hate making shoes but was pleased that inside the machine they do look pretty great.

ripley and jonesy and bjd doppelganger

ripley reeboks doll shoes


This question is a popular one. As we have made our own printer that has a plate size of 16 inches and can print upwards of something basically a foot tall so we were able to print almost every piece of the Power Loader without having to really slice parts or glue multiple pieces together.

 power loader leg sed

As each piece was very large, so a print could take anywhere from 22 hours, or if we were printing multiple pieces, like the hydraulic cylinders or connecting cubes, it might be a 24+ hr print. We just prayed there was never a power outage.

We also set up a pause function and filament sensor should the filament run out when we were asleep, saving a few prints from being garbaged! Huzzah! 


We've been working to completion of this project for approx a year. It had its first debut at Aikon 2018!

power loader out at aikon 2018 winnipeg, manitoba with Stellar Evolution designs

We could paint pieces as parts came off the printer and assemble as we went, as pretty much no parts needed sanding.

The light cover was printed on the resin printed for a smoother more transparent look. 

The final touches like the final dirt black wash, red arrows and hoses were applied a week before the Con as any good cosplay should only be completed in the final minutes before an event :p 

Ripley anime eye in power loader cosplay -stellar evolution designs

As such, there are still a few additions which I would to complete that I just didn't have time for like Ripley's harness. 


Nope, though I did get him while at Aikon in 2017 and found another like him there in 2018, so cross your fingers and come on our in 2019 to see if you can hunt down another adorably squishy kitty! 

jonesy the cat on power loader cosplay


This project was a labour of love for one of our most loved sci-fi/horrors with a strong female lead.

Sure this piece is a bit awkward to load (how ironic right? loading a power loader)....

loading a power loader

But I had a ball bringing it out to the Con and reminiscing with fans who also loved the movies and were all frightened by it as children but now love it as adults! LOL

ripley's power loader 3d printed at 1-3 scale by stellar evolution designs

Ripley focused

While we don't plan on selling the Power Loader at the moment, it's not out of the realm of possibilities in the future, so long as there is never a threat of alien invasion.

As always, geek on and make cool sh*t!

Power loader arm - sed


I'm always up for talking geek about anything I make, do or watch! Feel free to leave a comment here or on any of my social media below, or just say hi! 

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