For those of you who have visited our physical store in Port Melbourne, this might not come as much of a surprise, but some of the 3D Printer Superstore crew are fans of the 80s musical/rom-com/thriller/horror/comedy Little Shop of Horrors. The cult classic follows as a love-lorn nerd Seymour rises in the world of business and love with the help of a menacing man-eating plant that sings for its supper.
Following our last year's Halloween display, the team at Sunday Movie Club reached out to us about their performance of Little Shop of Horrors happening in April at the Experience Wyndam. With the needs for the weird and varied puppets playing the plant, and a very short turn around time, it seemed that 3D printing was the only solution! Not only were big puppets with people hiding in them required, but small puppets to show the various stages of growth of the plant were needed, with cable controlled and animatronic systems used.
e-using digital sculpts done for last year's Halloween, a lot of the design work for the plants was already completed. However, all the internals had to be new! This wasn't just a piece of decorations, this was a full stage show which had to wow audiences and cast alike. The changes were made to the original files in Blender, while the new animatronic systems for the smaller puppets were designed in Solidworks.
The smaller plants were printed on the Flashforge Guider IIs and the TierTime UP300 3D printers, both known for their detail and reliability. The bigger plants however were a different problem, not even fitting on our largest printer, they were cut into pieces and printed on our Formbot Trex, having a build volume of 400 * 400 * 700mm.
The methods used to clean the prepare the puppets was very similar to what was done for last year's Halloween decorations, so the project was able to progress quickly, and be completed on time to give the cast a chance to rehearse with the props and puppets before the big night. A fast turn around was paramount, so the props were given a very simple paint job before layering detailing up within a very short turn around.
While the show is completed now, be sure to look out for Sunday Movie Club's future productions, they're sure to look brilliant!