The Comic-Con conference is an event where fan geeks fly freak flags amidst a parade of celebrities and caricatures of pop culture. Attendees cloaked in kitschy costumes flock to the San Diego Convention Center to get a glimpse of everything from unreleased movie trailers to the latest in technology.
So when 3D printing powerhouse Stratasys marches a giant, 14-foot, 2,000-pound creature into the event Thursday, the crowd probably won't even flinch, unless of course they realize they are feasting their eyes on one of the most elaborate 3D printed projects to date.
Stratasys built the dinosaur-like creature, lovingly named Bodock, together with Stan Winston School of Character Arts, Legacy Effects, Condé Nast Entertainment and WIRED. Granted, only about 30 percent of Bodock's parts were actually 3D printed, but it's a testament to the diversity of use cases for 3D printer technology.
During last year's Comic-Con, the Stan Winston School and Legacy Effects collaborated with Stratasys, WIRED and YouTube on an interactive robot suit with a few 3D printed parts used on the face, so clearly Bodock is another step in the evolution of 3D printed parts in the special effects space.
Jason Lopes, lead systems engineer at Legacy Effects, said the key benefit of the 3D printed parts was the ability to speed production and avoid human error:
"The main advantage to 3D printing was going directly from a concept design to an end use, physical part, helping avoid any interpretation by hand or casting in a different material."
As for Stratasys, the success of the Bodock project could help the company make inroads to the lucrative special effects industry. Gilad Gans, president of Stratasys North America, said in a statement:
"3D printing is opening up an entirely new world of possibilities in nearly every industry, including entertainment. The giant creature represents the perfect marriage of technology and art coming together in an innovative way."
Check out Stratasys' Facebook page for more Bodock photos.