Holiday Droid Press

The Inspiration

Steampunk met St. Nick when we invited our clients into a festive factory to custom craft original characters they could 3D print and take home for the holidays.

The Execution

To stand in for Santa’s workshop, we conceived a non-denominational futuristic steampunk factory where delightful, humanistic mini-robots were manufactured. Our in-house illustrator created the jolly figures from scratch, keeping in mind that their features needed to support the 3D printing process — their limbs couldn’t be too thin (nor their bellies too thick).

We melded design technique and technical know-how to create the dapper droids with the options of three heads, three pairs of arms and three sets of legs. Our virtual assembly line presented twelve accessories such as top hats, bow ties, goggles and more. During assembly, the droids were suspended above a magnetic platform, allowing users to admire their creations in 360 degrees on both desktop and mobile.

The experience was built in 3D via WebGL and combined custom particles, shader work, coded animations and custom audio to made the space feel as lively and vast as a real life factory.

To optimize printing costs, we modeled the characters in Cinema 4D to be hollow, and coordinated with Shapeways throughout the process to ensure all 81 permutations were ready to roll before our clients placed their orders.

The Results

This playful marriage of digital and real world provided our clients a whimsical holiday treat that underscored our commitment to art, technology and innovation.