Images: Courtesy Jet Cooper, Makinarium UK
PRT: Did you have any specific instructions about her construction?
JC: Apart from wanting her to be 3D printed, obviously, I didn’t want to influence Paragon’s decision-making. This is a collaboration project. It was a bit of an experiment to see what you guys came up with. I knew I wanted SL – because it’s super-smooth and looks absolutely brilliant. I was not that keen on SLS, although I know some people really like it because it is really robust. It looks rough straight off the printer. But I also know that when it’s finished it can look pretty good.
PRT: Did you know that we used both resins we run on SL, SLS and we made the flexible parts out of a vacuum casted rubber, having made the cores for the cast from SL?
JC: I didn’t know about the vacuum casting. I know you can print in rubber but I’ve not seen the end results.
PRT: We could, but the rubber runs on our additive manufacturing technology and we really wanted our model makers to show the extent of their imaginations. We gave them your CAD and left them to it. As the build progressed, what were your thoughts?
JC: She looked great. I could see it all coming together – the transparent prints showing off her more industrial aspects, and the different textures contrasting with her overall porcelain-features. I wasn’t sure what to expect when it came to the finished article, though. The magnets made it easy for assembly, and also showed how well the materials accepted inserts and bonding substances.
PRT: We called her ‘Aurora’ because it means ‘dawn’ in Latin. And the dawn rises… You took delivery of Aurora on 14 June. What were your first impressions?
JC: To be completely honest, I was blown away. She was beautiful. The different textures brought her to life and the finishing and attention to detail on every part was amazing. She looked better than many of the hero props that actually get used on screen. She wouldn’t need any digital touch-up. We have our own hero prop with which to promote our combined capabilities and she exceeds all my expectations.
PRT: What next for Aurora?
JC: I think we have to build her body. I’ve already got ideas for her torso. It will be in keeping with her mechanised, organic look. We’ll bring in the animatronics experts from Makinarium. She will light up, she’ll have more depth. We’ll allow that to inspire us and then we’ll start thinking about her moving parts. But not just yet. For now, we’ll just enjoy showing her beauty to the world.
Jet Cooper is a 3D modeller and designer who has worked in the film industry for over 30 years. In the early days, his work was used for visual and concept disciplines. These days he, and his colleagues at Makinarium UK, also specialise in 3D for manufacture. Most of Jet’s work focuses on creating hero props for blockbuster movies.