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Gary the Robot

We have covered many stop-motion videos which have been created through the use of 3D printers. 3D printing is a great tool because it allows anyone with 3D design ability to create tangible objects out of their designs. This in turn enables them to fabricate many different iterations of the same object, posing in slightly different positions, and has allowed individuals who are used to creating 3D animations to bring those animations into the real world via printed renditions of those animations.

The latest and possibly the greatest of these stop-motion videos was just released by GoEngineer and Tandem Studios, and as you can see in the video below, it is quite phenomenal.

While previous stop-motion videos which we have covered, have relied on multiple prints of the same object in order to create the animated effects, GoEngineer went about the process in a bit of a different manner. The protagonist of the film is a robot named “Gary”, who features 33 different joints, so that he can be posed in many different positions. This, however, means that GoEngineer did not have to 3D print dozens of different robots posed in a variety of positions, but rather just reposition Gary using these various joints.

“One part that took several iterations to get right was Gary’s thigh. The knee joint was simple, but the hip was a ball joint that needed to hold all of the character’s weight at times,” explained Tyler Reid Manufacturing Application Manager at GoEngineer. “We designed, printed, and tested 4 iterations before we had a working solution – but all that happened within the span of a week.”

shelved4GoEngineer used their arsenal of Stratasys 3D printers to create the objects and characters in the movie. “The printers allowed us to flex our creative muscles by designing parts we’d never dare attempt if we were building them by hand or CNC,” explained Reid.

This creativity included the printing of Gary’s hairpiece, as well as his bazooka, which Reid was very insistent upon including in the film. The movie featured two separate versions of the gun; one that was fully assembled, and another that had been blown to smithereens, when Gary attempted to shoot a grappling hood from it. “The exploded version was my first real opportunity to use the SOLIDWORKS Flex feature and it performed perfectly,” said Reid.

All in all, the production of this film turned out very nicely. Set in GoEngineer’s Salt Lake City lab, it included the 3D printing of Gary, who surprisingly stands 16″ tall, his two female friends, and many different accessories. The entire process took approximately a month to complete, and the parts were 3D printed using the Stratasys Fortus 250mc, Fortus 400mc and uPrint SE Plus.

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“I couldn’t be happier with how the whole story panned out, and I hope you enjoyed it too,” says Reid. “I learned my lesson – film making is fun but it’s definitely not easy! Although SHeLvEd is less than 5 minutes long, it took about 3200 stills and 700 hours of filming and editing to complete.”

Stay tuned, as there may be a sequel in the works. This project was created by a team consisting of Tandem Studios President Nathan Smith, and GoEngineer CEO Brad Hansen, as well as GoEngineer Engineer Kevin Lynk, and Manufacturing Application Manager, Tyler Reid.

What do you think about this really interesting method of using 3D printing in the creation of a really high quality stop-motion video. Does this have potential for future movie makers? Discuss in the SHeLvEd forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out some more photos below, courtesy of GoEngineer.

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Gary's Hairpiece

Gary’s Hairpiece

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