Last Sunday, the domestic audience watching the New England Patriots’ 28-24 tightrope victory over the Seattle Seahawks was estimated at 120 million viewers. Those numbers make Super Bowl XLIX the single most watched broadcast in US television history.

Nondestructive inspection: Finding the cracksAs part of the shindig, Katy Perry, and her sharks raked in 118.5 million viewers, and that made her show the most watched halftime extravaganza in the 49-year history of Super Bowl telecasts. The Super Bowl generates enormous business. Ads for McDonald’s and Budweiser cost $4.5 million each for 30 seconds of the American attention span.  The fact that Katy Perry was a part of the Halftime show really goes to show how big of a name she really is.

Stratasys technology is working with Perry to take the stage in the form of a wildly-colored, 3D printed set of Mohawk helmets produced by the Hollywood special effects team at Legacy Effects.

legacyeffectsTaking their styling cues from the design of the ancient Roman imperial-centurion helmets, design lead Jason Lopes of Legacy Effects manufactured the “Mohawks” using Stratasys 3D printers, and the head pieces included programmed lighting effects.

And no matter whose numbers you tend to believe, it also makes those Mohawks, without question, the most seen pieces of 3D printed art by a single audience ever – and by a wide margin.

“When Katy Perry’s art assistant gave us the brief with such a short turnaround time, we knew instantly that creating something so complex and visually striking, with the need for durability, could only be achieved with 3D printing,” Lopes, the Lead Systems Engineer at Legacy Effects, said. “It’s virtually impossible — and very costly — to produce such complex personalized pieces by hand, taking into consideration the time to work out the programming of the lighting elements. With Stratasys 3D printing technology, we were able to develop fully-illuminated pieces with a lightning fast turnaround of under a week.”

The headgear is also being featured throughout the duration of Perry’s year-long world tour during performance of her #1 hit “Roar,” and the Mohawks are custom fit to each individual dancer in the show’s review. As the head will have to handle rough, Legacy Effects say they built the outer shell from ABS-M30 FDM thermoplastic, and the interiors of the Mohawk helmets were filled with Stratasys’ VeroGray material.

“We wanted to amplify the bright colors of the Mohawks to complement the dance routine and lighting throughout the performance and we knew that PolyJet’s ability to house a sheet of acrylic inside 3d-printed-mohawks-katy-perrywould ensure that the contrast in colors was emphasized regardless of the spectators’ position in the arena,” Lopes says. “To see 3D printed end-use parts in action during a live concert performance is something else.”

And Stratasys was pleased with how the project turned out as well.

“We are seeing more and more of our customers using 3D printing beyond just a prototyping tool, but as a way to directly manufacture some of the most complex parts as final products,” said Gilad Gans, President of North American Operations for Stratasys. “In the case of Katy Perry’s head pieces, the ability to 3D print personalized one-off parts, customized to each dancer, is a perfect example of how the future of manufacturing is moving towards mass customization.”

What do you think about the Mohawk helmets worn by Katy Perry’s dance team during her Prismatic World Tour? Let us know in the Katy Perry 3D Printing forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out a video of “Roar” in concert below, with the 3D printed Mohawks on full display.

http://youtu.be/c8X53zoXITg

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