Gambody has done it again! The online 3D printing marketplace, which is dedicated to the designing, buying, and selling of 3D printed game models, and who we’ve also enjoyed writing about many other times, tells us that they have joined the Star Wars 3D printing frenzy, just in time for the new standalone Rogue One prequel movie, which opens tonight. Together with their community of 3D modelers, they have created and 3D printed the Galactic Empire’s legendary and massive combat vehicle, the All-Terrain Armored Transport, or what it’s more popularly known as, the AT-AT Walker.
The real AT-AT, which we first saw in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in 1980, stands 20 meters tall, with blast-impervious armor plating. The quadruped mechanized vehicle is used by the Empire for ground assault, and also to load and unload the Imperial troops it’s transporting. But, it is also equipped with lots of weaponry, including dual light blasters and two other large laser guns, and provides a good deal of cover for troops on the ground, with the capacity to destroy infantry and entire vehicles. The design of the AT-AT is inspired by the largest mammal in history, an extinct hornless rhino called the Paraceratherium.
The 3D model, though incredibly impressive in its own right, is nowhere near the size of the actual AT-AT, and does not come with the mechanisms that would make it move. It was created and 3D printed in 1:45 scale, standing 47 cm wide, 40 cm tall, and a little less than 12 cm deep. Gambody assures us that the reveal of the 3D printed and painted AT-AT, just in time for the Rogue One release, is not a coincidence, but a special surprise that they, along with their customers, have been preparing for the last couple of weeks together.
The AT-AT 3D model was created in the Autodesk Maya 3D modeling program. Right from the beginning of the surprise project, the 3D modeler in charge of creating the AT-AT wanted to make sure the model of the immense vehicle cut an imposing figure. He did start to question his design choice a little at the beginning of the project, fearing it was too big and complex.
“The only thing that made me question the success of the project, when I was modeling it, was that its big size might scare people. I was afraid that they would consider it a complex 3D model to accept the challenge of 3D printing and displaying it in their home,” said AT-AT 3D modeler Elyiot. “But, it turned out that the size was an advantage for the 3D model.”
This was a massive undertaking – 1.5 spools of PLA printing material were used to manufacture the AT-AT, which means it weighs about 1.5 kg. It took nearly 100 hours to print (luckily, the guy monitoring the 3D printing process was allowed a few coffee breaks and a little shuteye), and 30 additional hours were spent removing all of the support structures, assembling the model, and painting it. The AT-AT 3D model has a total of 75 3D printed parts (a lot less than the 176 parts that were used for Gambody’s 3D printed Millennium Falcon!), which were sanded, primed, and prepared for a more polished look. Then, the whole thing was painted, and some special wear and rust effects were added, to make it look more real.
We’ve definitely seen a 3D printed AT-AT before, and that one was actually motorized. But I don’t think it comes even close to the intense level of detail that Gambody’s model has. If you’re interested in making your own 3D printed AT-AT model, you can purchase the STL files, optimized for 3D printing on FFF and SLA/SLS printers, for $34.99. You can watch the entire painting process of the 3D printed AT-AT model in the video below:
Discuss in the Gambody forum at 3DPB.com.