Sometimes reboots of our favorite television shows and movies work out okay, like Fuller House on Netflix – I don’t find it amazing, but it gives me a warm, nostalgic feeling whenever I watch the stars of the show, now grown-ups, still dancing around to New Kids on the Block. Some reboots start off great, and then end poorly. I can’t talk about the last episode of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life without getting mad all over again, and don’t even get me started on Star Trek Into Darkness. But some reboots, at least in my humble opinion, accomplish exactly what they set out to do: get a new generation interested in what is, to many of us, an iconic series, while also giving the lifelong fans something new to embrace when we thought all we had left was our VHS tapes and our memories; a new hope, if you will (I’m not even sorry). I am, of course, talking about Star Wars.
While I know many people had polarizing opinions on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I have found very few who have anything negative to say about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. But I know one thing we can all agree on here: 3D printing and Star Wars go together like gangbusters. From toys and novelty items, like a 3D printed Star Wars Speeder Bike rocker and this 3D printed walking AT-AT model, to prosthetics and prop replicas, 3D printing has found a beloved home in the hearts of Star Wars nerds the world over; a full scale, 3D printed First Order Stormtrooper from Star Wars: The Force Awakens even made an appearance at CES 2016!
It seems like everyone has Star Wars fever, even car companies like Nissan. The company came out with a new car late last year, called the Nissan Rogue: Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition, which Nissan described as “the closest you’ll ever get to sitting in the cockpit of a starfighter.” Only 5,400 of the vehicles will be sold, and one will set you back starting at $28,950. It has a power panoramic moonroof, a Bose audio system, signature LED headlights, and comes in two colors, Glacier White and Magnetic Black. Some of the coolest features of the car are the Star Wars-inspired ones:
- Limited edition badge on front-row doors
- Star Wars logo rear bumper protector
- Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire logo decals and cup holder inserts
- Limited edition logo carpeted floor mats
- Star Wars logo illuminated kick plates
In addition to all of this, each Nissan Rogue One comes with a limited edition replica Death Trooper helmet, produced by 3D Systems Gentle Giant Studios. The digital services studio, whose work we’ve become familiar with, is a frequent contributor to many recognizable animation, costume, and set-design needs, such as Lady Gaga’s performance and David Bowie tribute at the 2016 Grammy Awards. The studio is well known for delivering the highest quality collectibles, props, and digital assets, in extremely short timeframes, using techniques like LIDAR, photogrammetry, and vehicle, object, and body scanning. Once Lucasfilm had squared away its collaboration with Nissan, the studio asked Gentle Giant to create over 5,400 of the detailed, exclusive helmet replicas…in just three months.
The digital modelers at Gentle Giant were more than up to the task, and started right away on the 3D printable helmet model and base. They sculpted the helmet in 3D from scratch, using digital scan data and photographs of the official Star Wars costume. One the helmet had been completely modeled as one single unit, the modelers needed to figure out where exactly it could be divided into separate pieces for manufacturing purposes. They analyzed the data, and as the studio’s on-demand manufacturing experts and artists are “well versed in the manufacturing constraints of mass production,” they were able to offer assistance, and help Gentle Giant create the final, seamless piece.
Once the helmet was finally complete, the files were sent to the 3D Systems ProX 800 SLA printer, so a first article helmet could be created; the final dimensions are 15″ x 11.5″ x 10″.
According to Gentle Giant, “The accelerated design verification process enabled by 3D printing was critical to keeping production on schedule. Once approved, these SLA prototypes (helmet components and base) were used to create the master fiberglass production molds. Using these molds, our team was able to execute a low volume production run with high quality finishing to meet Nissan’s quota and deadline.”
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hit movie theaters about two months ago, just a few weeks after the 2017 Nissan Rogue: Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition was available for purchase. If you’re interested in owning one of the exclusive Death Trooper replica helmets by Gentle Giant, but aren’t in the market for a new car, I have bad news: the helmet is only available to owners of the Nissan Rogue. And if you don’t act quickly, you won’t get the Nissan Rogue either: according to Nissan, “unlike the Death Star, when these are gone, [they] won’t be building them again.” Discuss in the Nissan Rogue One forum at 3DPB.com.[Source/Images: Gentle Giant/3D Systems]