Engineer’s 3D Printed Stop-Motion Videos Capture Internet Audiences

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Microelectronic engineer Yuksel Temiz has found a unique application for his 3D printer: stop-motion animation. Utilizing multiple prints of figures in various poses, hundreds of photographs, and custom designed props, the scientist has created dozens of short, charming animations.

Stop-motion, in its most basic form, involves taking multiple photographs of an object in different positions so that when it is edited together it gives the appearance of motion. Using his Creality Ender 3D printer, Temiz has rendered figures on various stages of completion and destruction, manifesting the illusion of transformation in many of his pieces.

Detailing his process on his YouTube channel, the maker reveals that his animation of a cat running was created through the use of a personally designed zoetrope constructed from a leftover filament spool, seven different cat prints and around one hundred photographs.

Temiz’s impressive effects, such as a disassembled Benchy, was created with a specially sliced version of the iconic model held together with magnets and more than 180 different photographs.

While it is easy to be impressed with the time-intensive nature of both 3D printing and stop-motion animation, the real surprise is how Temiz accomplished many of these shots at all. Utilizing a self-built Raspberry Pi camera—complete with LEGO swing arm—Temiz was able to get the perfect shots of his prints.

If this setup seems at all familiar to you, it is because Temiz is no stranger to having his designs go viral, having received attention several years ago for his construction of a microscope from LEGOs, with this camera being designed around a similar concept.

Temiz’s custom camera rig for stop-motion animation.

At a time when the public at large may not fully comprehend the true breadth and utility of 3D printing, it is critical to highlight the work of makers whose prints showcase not just creativity and whimsy, but a desire to connect with the world and people around us in a more bespoke way. Many of the prints featured in Yuksel’s video were custom designed to facilitate the play and growth of his young son. From a light-up hockey puck, to a Tupperware drum machine and a broom handle bicycle connector, this father isn’t just “making toys,” he’s finding a way to connect his own interests with that of his child.

Who knows, given the engineer’s success in DIY stop motion, maybe he’ll be able to work on the next award-winning feature from LAIKA Studios, which relies heavily on 3D printing to produce its films. If so, Temiz may have a chance to get off the desktop and grab the reins of a PolyJet 3D printer from Stratasys, with which LAIKA produces its full-color stop-animation puppets.

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