Functional Zoetrope in Full Colour
Creating a Moving Picture using Rapid Prototyping technology
It is a 19th century device used to create short films from a series of static images or sculptures. Essentially, it is a living wheel. The wheel spins in a circle and the result is a moving picture.
RapidPro worked with Megafun and Krome Studios to build the characters for their “TY the Tasmanian Tiger™ zoetrope”, currently on display at Australian Centre for the Moving Image at Federation Square, Melbourne, Victoria.
From Concept to Model
3D CAD drawings of each of the characters were supplied to RapidPro; however, it was not as simple as just building the models. Several prototyping materials were tested to see which material would suit the sculptures requirements for colour and strength.
After several trials, plaster was selected and instead of printing each character in monocolour, they were printed in full technicolour.
Some design modifications of each character were necessary for strength and durability, as well as colour modifications to ensure vibrancy. RapidPro worked with John Aitchison from Krome Studios to ensure that the zoetrope was as colourful and exciting as their preliminary sketches.
Traditional methods for infiltrating and strengthening plaster prototypes were not acceptable due to the intricacy of the characters, so RapidPro devised a new method to ensure the parts were strong and the finish flawless.
The TY zoetrope contains seven different characters from the video game of the same name. Each of these characters has from 17 to 32 slight variations to simulate movement once fixed into position on the moving zoetrope.
The individual characters vary marginally as they move around the wheel, and once the wheel is set in motion, the effect is illuminating.
Rapid prototypes can be used as models to show a product or part, they can be used for testing (form, fit, function), and they can be used also be used as a functioning part or prototype, just like the characters on the zoetrope.
Other Materials and Prototyping Processes
Plaster/Epoxy composites are just one of prototyping process available through RapidPro; they also offer fused deposition modelling, Objet printing, SLS, CNC and vacuum casting. Each process uses specialised materials to ensure specific properties and finishes. Depending on the desired end use of the rapid prototype, the timeframe allowed and budget, the team at RapidPro work with their clients to ensure that their needs are met using the most efficient rapid prototyping method.