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Bighead Carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis)


Realistic 3D-printable Bighead Carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) model. Exclusively available through Bring it to life with a 3D printer and some paint.

This is a digital file ready to be 3D printed and painted by you!
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TheĀ Bighead Carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) is native to lakes and rivers in East Asia. It is widely cultivated for food and Chinese medicine. The Bighead Carp typically reach an adult length of 60cm (2 ft) in length. Though the largest recorded was 1.46m (4ft 9in). Bighead carp are filter feeders and typically use their large mouth to filter plankton and algae from the water. Bighead carp, together with black, silver, and grass carps, make up the culturally important “four famous domestic fishes” used in polyculture in China for over a thousand years, and known as “Asian carp” in the North America.

The nature of the bighead carp’s diet has led to its use in the United States in the control of water quality in sewage treatment, and aquaculture facilities’ water. However, some have escaped and this led to an invasive wild population taking over several bodies of water, including the Mississippi River.

The 3D printable, digital files are in STL format. They’re scaled to life-size and ready for you to print and paint them. We provide options for how you want to print this model, including a unified model, all in one piece; and a version that is broken up into parts (body, and individual fins) that can be assembled and glued after printing. We also provide a version of the body that is split into front and back halves for ease of printing.

This Bighead Carp is scaled to around 18in long, which is about the size of a 2 year old fish.

Our tested print settings: FDM

We successfully printed the in parts version of this model in PLA on an FDM printer using these settings:

  • Nozzle size: 0.4mm
  • Layer height: 0.12
  • Wall thickness: 1.2mm
  • Infill: 5% lines
  • Support material: True

We printed the front and back halves with the cut surface flat against the build plate.

We printed the fins with 100% infill in clear PLA. We used the custom support structure tool in Cura to add extra support to the bottommost points of the fins so they wouldn’t fall over while printing.

Additional information


Sculpt artist

Lincoln Savi