Design of the Week: Giant Rex Head

A giant 3D printed tyrannosaurus head [Source: Simon Clark]

This week’s selection is the astonishing Giant Rex Head by Simon Clark.

New Zealand-based Clark has produced perhaps the most amazing 3D print of the year: a 3/4 scale Tyrannosaurus Rex head that has been painted to appear extraordinarily life-like.

Clark has been regularly posting progress of this massive 3D print for weeks now, and has finally reached the conclusion.

The result is a massive head, so big I have no idea where he’s going to put it. It appears quite life-like, and if kept in a home it is surely going to scare visitors.

Designing a T-rex head in SketchVR [Source: Simon Clark]

Clark used an unusual approach for design: he built the entire 3D model in virtual reality using SketchVR. While this is an unconventional approach for most 3D designers, it seemed to fit well with Clark. He’s previously made other dinosaur heads, but the Giant Rex Head is the biggest of them all.

Segmenting a T-rex head model for 3D printing [Source: Simon Clark]

In spite of the head’s complexity (some 18M faces), Clark says the most difficult step was segmenting the head into print-sized pieces. This was done using Microsoft’s Windows 3D Builder, and he ended up with 53 printable pieces.

From this modest 3D printer a giant 3D printed T-rex head emerged [Source: Simon Clark]

That sounds easy, but it is not. Each piece must be made to fit within the bounds of his rather modest 200 x 200 x 250 build volume Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D printer, and be oriented such that no support material was required. The pieces must be made to fit together easily, as the assembly step must be optimized through good segmentation.

Printing took a whopping 700+ hours, or over a month of 3D printing to complete the 53 pieces. Amazingly, Clark reports none of the lengthy prints failed during this work.

Soldering pieces of a giant 3D printed T-rex head [Source: Simon Clark]

Assembly of the pieces was done using two tools: a basic soldering iron, and a 3D printing pen. This was followed by detailed painting, something I could never attempt.

Fully assembled giant 3D printed T-rex head [Source: Simon Clark]

He’s published a video of the project, where he explains the process used to design, print, assemble and paint the monstrous head:

The results are truly amazing, and I’m now wondering when Clark will print the rest of this beast.

Human for scale in a giant 3D printed T-rex head [Source: Simon Clark]

Via Reddit

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