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AMS Spring 2023

Two Dozen 3D Printed Grandpas Will Crack You Up

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3d printed animated grandpaWilliam Caballero is a Gates Millennium Scholar who attended Pratt Institute and New York University. He’s also a filmmaker with an obvious respect and love for his grandfather.

His short film, “How You Doin’ Boy,” strings together a series of unanswered phone call messages from his granddad and, using 3D printed models of Victor Caballero, results in one touching, hilarious piece of work. (Be sure to check it out at the bottom of this page.)

“I sound like the worst grandson that ever existed, but that’s just through the magic of editing,” Caballero told Fastcocreate.com. “I can assure you, I call my grandpa back quite often.”

The Bad Grandson. William D Cabellero.

The Bad Grandson. William D. Caballero

The film was Caballero the younger’s entry into The Disposable Film Festival, a gathering that features movies made with various technologies.

It all began when Caballero listened to the phone messages left by his Puerto Rican grandfather and discovered a “universal quality that anybody could identify with.”

Rather than make a documentary featuring his colorful gramps, Caballero used additive manufacturing and a series of 3D printed “Victor” models to tell the tale. The end product is a four-minute-long film created with common gear, 3D printing, and a whole lot of invention.

Caballero says the process involved giving a 3D modeler Chang Kim a photo reference of Grandfather Victor. A series of Grandpas were then 3D printed from polymer resin. The three-inch-tall models were then painted with acrylics. Each one took about four hours to print.

The 24 3D printed Grandpas came as a result of online film production directory mandy.com, where Caballero met South Korean digital artist Kim.3d-printed-grandpa

“I emailed Chang some photos and he sent me back 3D images that looked like my grandpa but also exaggerated his height and his stocky frame,” said Caballero. “They were perfect.”

Following an the creation of the digital files, Seth Burney of Brooklyn 3D printed the two dozen versions–and then the real work began.

“Most of the Grandpas came out of the 3D printer as creamy, beige-colored polymer resin,” Caballero says. “So my wife and I got acrylic paints at the art store and painted all the different Grandpas at the kitchen table.”

The rotary dial telephone which co-stars in the film with Victor resides in his grandfather’s North Carolina house, where Caballero visited to film just the right setting.

And now Grandpa has become a bit of an internet icon. Caballero has also built an interactive app to let Victor answer questions submitted by visitors to the Gran’pa Knows Best website. And if you can believe it, Caballero says he’s working on a deal with a TV network eager to move forward on a Gran’pa Knows Best series.

What do you think of “How You Doin’ Boy,” William D. Caballero’s homage to his hilarious, and persistent, Grandpa Victor? Let us know in the 3D Printed Grandpa forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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