Colony | Behind the Scenes – Legacy Effects + MakerBot

Colony | Behind the Scenes – Legacy Effects + MakerBot


Legacy Effects is a live-action, practical effects company. We do designs and execute physical construction of effects. Suits, puppets, robots- pretty much anything that comes our way. Colony came to us. They go, “hey we’ve got this project.” We were approached about doing an alien exoskeleton for the
season finale of the first season. So the next thing we do is we start designing.
They had very specific things that it needed to do. But maybe that’s good built in like that. All of this could be soft. When we look at a part, we have to see what’s the
best way to achieve that part. Allen showed me some character sketches, and I said I think we can do this 100% on a MakerBot Z18.
MakerBot’s been working with Legacy Effects for a while now, and we’re really
excited by the work that they do because they’re constantly pushing the
boundaries of what’s possible with 3D printing. 3D printing is the process of
extruding plastic layer by layer to create a three-dimensional object. So
we set it up. The first print out of it, it did the whole shin to ankle on it, absolute- no
problem. I did the first test and handed it over and they did their strength test
to it and they’re just like, “This is going to be fine.” I knew that direct manufacturing might be a way for us to cut out the molding and casting
processes. What is this stuff? It’s PLA. The material that we use in our printers is
a corn-based filament and with other machines, a suit like this would cost tens of
thousands of dollars. We still have to paint it and touch it and polish and make it ready. We’ll never get rid of the artistry behind it. Even the direct
manufactured parts, as they still require hand work. And that’s the artist that we
have here. See in the traditionalist, then do whatever he or she is doing to it and take it to the next level, it’s pretty cool. And lo and behold, I think it was less than two weeks that I
printed out everything that you see on that Colony suit. I didn’t have one
failed build on that entire suit and the end result was exactly what we needed. It’s
exciting because, you know, we’re on the cutting edge of what’s happening. You get
to showcase the technology to people and it inspires them to use it in ways that
we wouldn’t have thought of.

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