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Prototyping. Can we say a 3D art worth a ten thousand words? comic-Beatles

While the old saying is not scientific, artworks are certainly valuable; more so if you can turn the 2D comic heros into 3D life-like figures. How would you do it? With our skilled sculptors and rapid prototyping capacity, we can definitely help. A 3D replica would serve following purposes:

  1. as your one of the kind collection
  2. as product sample (masterpiece) for demo, licensing, or production

Mass production. Our production lines are specialized in producing your character figures for you or your clients.

We can handle different materials including resin (poly resin, polystone, polyurethane), plastic (PVC, ABS, PE, rubber), and metal (pewter, bronze) as well as different types of products such as statue, figurine, action figure, bobblehead, and plush.

Some tips in comic design for manufacturingcomic-02


Which prototyping method you should use, hand sculpt or machine output? It's really depends on you; we can handle both. The key is to know that prototyping machine requires computer-aided design programmed 3D model design, which is not very popular among comic book and animation character artists, mainly due to the fact that character figures are more complicated to design than do objects with regular shapes. From this prospect, hand-sculpting is more preferable and, in fact, more popular. You may learn more about sculpting in this page.

What artwork format you should use? In terms of hand-sculpting, any graphic format would work, as long as it conveys your idea clearly. An important point is that character figure captures only a moment of action, so-called "frozen art", so couple things you should do. One, choose the best moment of action, meaning the pose, gesture, expression of the character you desire; two, clean up the background, unnecessary lines, spots, and other noices.

Rapid prototyping (RP), or officially additive manufacturing (AM), however, would use only one format, that is .stl (stereolithography), a CAD (computer aid design) 3D model format. If you said you only know how to design in DWG, DXF, DWF, IGES, OBJ, or 3DS, don't worry; most 3D modeling programs allow you to convert to STL format.

It's worth to note, while hand-sculpted prototype is limited to resin material (a detailed but fragile material), 3D machined prototype can be resin, plastic, or even metal.

What material is a prototype made of? Hand-sculpted prototype is usually made of resin (poly resin or polyurethane) while machine prototyping can be resin or plastic. While resin is ideal for details, it is fragile, meaning breakable if hit hard; it also means resin prototype is limited in functioning.

What is the procedure of hand-sculpted prototype?

    • client provides clear artwork designs
    • our sculptor builds and sculpts the figure with fine clay
    • clear photos of the sculpt will be provided via e-mail for client review and comments in various stages of sculpting
    • with client approval, the clay sculpt will be used as masterpiece to create a temporary mold, which will be used to cast a few resin pieces (note this is a big difference from clay sculpture; see below)
    • the resin pieces will be polishing, then painting
    • clear photos of the painted sculpt will be e-mailed to client for review and approval of the colors
    • once approved, the finished piece will be mailed to client

What is the procedure of rapid prototyping?

    • 3D designer designs computerized 3D model, which is exported or converted as .stl file
    • the electric 3D model file is sent to a rapid prototyping shop for processing, which further be converted to a series of machine-recognized codes (called slicing)
    • the rapid prototyping machine builds the 3D model layer by layer
    • once the 3D model is built, some post treatments are needed, namely polishing, cleaning, and painting

What difference is between clay sculpture and resin sculpture?

    • clay sculpture means hardening the sculpture direcly by baking it after sculpting. this method is cheaper, but not best quality. In fact, there are two main issues; one, the distortion in baking can be great, two, clay is not durable, especially it could crack after some time
    • as you can tell from above procedure, we adopt a much more complicated procedure in making a sculpture, i.e., we use the clay sculpt only for processing the mold (the clay is usually damaged during the process), then cast into resin pieces. This basically solves the above-mentioned problems with clay sculpture.

More tips in manufacturing? Click here.