Weta Workshop, an Oscar-winning design studio based in Wellington, New Zealand, has installed a Massivit 1800 3D printer for its work in producing props for film and TV productions.
The company was set up by Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger in 1987 specifically to make props for the creative industries. Over the years Weta Workshop has grown and worked on blockbuster films such as The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit motion picture trilogies, as well as Avatar, King Kong, Ghost in the Shell, and Blade Runner 2049.
Richard Taylor, Weta Workshop CEO and Creative Director, explained: “We manufacture super-sized, hyper-realistic human figures, creatures, vehicles, and other huge props for film and television and have always been on the search for technology that can produce large parts at a high speed.” He added: “With the Massivit 1800, our team has been able to redefine what is creatively possible for our large-scale manufacturing projects. It is a powerful and versatile machine that has transformed the way we work and has supercharged our output. It really is a dream come true.”
Up until now the company has relied on a range of technologies including CNC routers, industrial robots, and smaller 3D printers. Many of these technologies have presented limitations when it comes to manufacturing bigger props. Pietro Marson, Workshop Operations Analyst at Weta Workshop, explained: “We’re often required to create 8- or 9-metre tall (26.2 or 29.5-foot) sculptures and mannequins, which means we need to print multiple parts and then manually fit them together.”
He added: “The largest commercially available SLA 3D printer in the country has a maximum print volume of 60 x 60 x 40 centimeters, whereas the Massivit 1800 allows us to print up to 1.8 metres high (5.9-foot) components.” This ability to print larger components means the company expects to save thousands of dollars.
Marson concluded: “We can also print much more quickly and with far greater geometry freedom than with CNC machining.”
Massivit is based in Lod, Israel, with many of the senior team having come from Scitex Vision giving the company a good background in large-scale display graphics. The Massivit 1800 can produce 3D printed models up to 1.8m (5.8ft high) using the company’s proprietary Dimengel instantly-curing printing gel. There’s also a second, slightly smaller mode, the Massivit 1500. You can find more details on both of these at massivit.com.