Additive Manufacturing Strategies

May the 4th be with You as 3DKitbash Returns With Skull Wars!

ST Medical Devices

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Not a deer skull.

I’ve come across a few skulls in my lifetime. Before you get really creeped out and/or call the police, let me clarify – I used to have a dog whose favorite pastime was to dig around in the woods behind my parents’ house. She was given free rein of the property, and she would often come galloping out of the woods happily clutching antlers she had found somewhere in the forest depths. Once or twice, an entire deer skull was still attached to the antlers, and as she proudly presented it to me, I thought, “This is really cool…but it’d be a whole lot cooler if it was a bantha skull.”

That’s a lie; I didn’t really think that, though I may the next time a dog drops a scavenged bone at my feet. A similar thought apparently occurred to the creatives at 3DKitbash, who have already shown themselves to be big fans of skulls of all kinds – as are many of us, judging by how successful the company’s 3D printed Boneheads have been. While their 3D printable skulls include realistic models such as bears, crocodiles, and (of course!) deer, they also offer goblins, fairies, and other less-common wildlife. Now 3DKitbash is back with a brand new 3D printed skull series, featuring models from “a galaxy really far away.” Introducing….Skull Wars!

download (5)A new Kickstarter, which will officially launch on (when else?) May the 4th, will feature 15 different 3D printed skulls from your favorite Star Wars creatures, so you can start your own museum or try to fool guests into believing that you actually did bullseye a womp rat. What sets this Kickstarter campaign apart from 3DKitbash’s previous ones is that instead of offering STL files as they normally do, they will be offering the actual 3D printed models for shipment. While these models will be printed by Shapeways, 3DKitbash has been able to recently start producing tangible figures, thanks to the enormous success their projects have had.

“Two years ago, we had a steel mold created and worked with a rotational-molding facility to have the figures produced,” Natalie Mathis, 3DKitbash co-founder, told 3DPrint.com. “It was a lot of up-front investment. It’s really only feasible if you’re selling hundreds-of-thousands of figures or more.”

Working with both printable files and tangible figures is certainly expanding the capabilities for 3DKitbash.

“Right now, we’re offering pre-printed Skull Wars models only, but keep an eye out for a free 3D-printable .STL skull during the campaign as well. We plan to make that available to our core supporters to print on their desktop 3D printers very soon,” Mathis said.

The free model will be posted on Thingiverse, Pinshape, Cults3D, and MyMiniFactory, as well as on the Free Models section of 3DKitbash’s own site. The physical 3D printed models of this campaign are intended to draw in those sci-fi fans who may not own 3D printers, and 3DKitbash is definitely going to have some fun with it.

“3D printing through a service provider, like Shapeways, is definitely a new alternative that makes it possible for shops like ours to produce fun figures – it’s a really exciting time for toy developers.” co-founder Quincy Robinson told 3DPrint.com.

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“Skull Wars is original artwork meant to transform the way we think about some of our favorite characters and creatures. It’s also a bit like a parody trivia game with skulls. If you really know Star Wars, you’ll get the code-name clues,” said Mathis. “With names like ‘Sleeping Bag,’ ‘Accident Prone,’ ‘Green Master,’ and ‘Space Bear,’ there’s an opportunity to prove your Star Wars knowledge.”

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It’s a trap!

If you want to be notified the instant the Kickstarter goes live, you can sign up at the Skull Wars website and be the first to jump on one of the early bird specials, which include one 3D printed skull for $15 (regularly $20) or all 15 for $250 (regularly $275).

Based on the success of 3DKitbash’s previous campaigns, I have no doubt that this one will be a hit – especially because, as we’ve seen again and again, 3D printing enthusiasts tend to really love Star Wars. Take co-founder Quincy Robinson, for example.

“They say ‘do what you love,’ and I like making skulls and watching Star Wars,” he said. “So I started illustrating the skulls. The more they evolved, the more I wanted them on my desk. I really hope everyone gets as much of a kick out of this set as we do!”

I suspect they will. May the 4th be with you, 3DKitbash, in all of your future endeavors. Will you be backing this campaign? Discuss in the More 3DKitbash Skulls forum over at 3DPB.com.

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