“It’s a major award! I won it!”
And with those words, actor Darren McGavin entered the pantheon of Christmas Greatness.
McGavin spoke those lines in reference to a “Leg Lamp” he received in the 1983 film “A Christmas Story.” The comedy film — based on the short stories of author Jean Shepherd — took elements from his books In God We Trust: All
Others Pay Cash and Wanda Hickey’s Night of Golden Memories.
Director Bob Clark turned the stories into a holiday classic which fills the screens in American households every Christmas season. In fact, in 2012 the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as it was said to be “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
And now it has served as the inspiration for a race called The Grand Fragile (Fra-gee-lay) Finale which featured remote-controlled trucks adorned with 3D printed “Leg Lamps” racing across the ice in Greensboro, North Carolina, as they battled for “a major award.”
A couple of months ago, some members of The Forge, a makerspace in Greensboro, decided to pay homage to the movie and demonstrate the capabilities of their group in a holiday race.
Michael Burggraf, a member of The Forge, says rather than buy the lamps that would be placed atop the RC trucks, they’d make the “major award” parts of the cars themselves.
“I thought of using 3D printing for the leg lamps,” Burggraf said.
Burggraf says each of the leg lamps took around 45 minutes to print, and that some of them were painted to finish them out before being attached to the cars.
The cars battled it out on an ice rink, and the 7-inch-tall lamps were the stars of the show.
The track was bookended with life-sized mannequin legs (which aped the lampshade “major award” of McGavin’s dreams) and were used to define the course.
“We felt like this area needed more fun,” says Joel Leonard, a community developer with The Forge. “If you’re not laughing, you’re not doing it right.”
It’s a technology that can be used to make objects from the sublime to the ridiculous, and in this case, 3D printing resulted in something pretty ridiculous indeed. Let us know of any other knee-slapping uses of 3D printing you might know about in the Leg Lamps Dress Up RC Car Race forum thread on 3DPB.com.
Check out a photo from the race, as well as videos, below: