As members of the human species, we all know that our imagination can sometimes wander to fantastical and frightening places. For every hero we see draw a weapon or save a city, there’s usually a otherworldly and disastrous monster standing on the opposing side. 3D printing technology is the perfect tool to help bring these fictional monstrosities to life in a magnificent and fun way. Whether it be recreating your favorite creature from Starcraft or Dungeons & Dragons, or utilizing 3D printed molds to make less intimidating monster crayons, additive manufacturing has proven effective at bringing the imaginary into physical reality.
This has been proven yet again by Irish digital artist Amy Doran, who recently graduated from the National Film School at I.A.D.T in Dublin. The graduate student recently designed an alien sea creature based off of a concept model created for James Cameron’s upcoming sequel to the film Avatar. What makes her project particularly interesting is the fact that Doran had absolutely no experience with 3D modeling software or 3D printing before college. Upon learning how to design 3D models, the art student was instantly captivated, and soon segued into 3D printing experimentation.
Doran first built her model with a process that consisted of clay sculpting, 3D scanning, 3D modeling via 3DS Max, and then 3D texturing via Mudbox. Then, in order to 3D print a large-scale physical model of the monster, she turned to the Belgium-based 3D printing service bureau i.materialise. The service bureau was able to manufacture a sizable 3D printed replica of the monster, which measured 22 inches from head to tail.
“The biggest challenge in the design process was finding a company which would print my sea creature in one whole part,” said Doran. “There would be nowhere to hide the seam lines in my model if it was separated into parts, it is not like a humanoid character where you can hide seamlines under clothes.”
Doran ultimately decided to utilize i.materialise’s Paintable Resin due to its affordability and exceptional detail capabilities. In addition, the smooth surface of the finished material eliminated the need for extra post-processing steps. The only step left after the printing process was taking the raw 3D print and mounting it on an acrylic rod attached to a handmade base. According to Doran, having the 3D printed replica of her sea creature design helped provide more value to her work than just a digital model would have allowed for.
From the conceptualization to the production of the 3D printed sea creature, the entire process took about 6 weeks to complete. The recently completed 3D print, which was a part of Doran’s final project for college, has already been featured in the I.A.D.T Graduate Exhibition in Dublin, the New Blades Graduate Exhibition in London, and the Exhibition by Emerging Artists 2016 in County Wicklow, Ireland. Doran currently works as a graphic design artist for the environmental consultancy firm MacroWorks, specializing in the production of photomontages for landscape and visual impact assessments. Discuss in the 3D Printed Sea Monster forum at 3DPB.com.[Source: i.materialise]