Stratasys Makes an Appearance on AppleTV+

By on March 22nd, 2022 in coverage, news

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Massive 3D printer farm appears on “Severance”, managed by Christopher Walken [Source: Apple TV+]

I was surprised to see Stratasys appear on a major new show from Apple TV+.

The show in question is “Severance”, a very strange series in which the workers at a mysterious office have implants that sever their memories from home to work life. In other words, when at work they have no idea where they live or any other details of their home life, and when at home they have no clue what work they are doing at their job. It’s a clever premise that has been very intriguing to watch.

It turns out the characters not only don’t know their home life, but they also have no idea what their work is about, nor what the company is really doing. To find out more in episode 6, “Hide and Seek”, the main characters from the “Macro Data Refinement” department explore the vast building and eventually come upon the “Optics & Design” department, run by “Burt”, played by Christopher Walken.

“Severance” cast walks into a 3D printer farm [Source: Apple TV+]

It’s totally unclear what Optics & Design does, but they do operate a massive 3D printer farm, as shown at top. By my count there are approximately 100 industrial 3D printers in the scene.

I initially thought these 3D printers were merely mockups created by the art department at Apple TV+, but no, a closer look revealed they are actually working 3D printers. It’s likely the few close up are actual printers, while the many in the distance are CGI.

Actor Karen Aldridge beside a 3D printer on “Severance” [Source: Apple TV+]

Here is a scene showing the front of one of these “theatrical” 3D printers. Does it look familiar?

The F370 3D printer [Source: Stratasys]

How about now?

Yes, these are actually Stratasys F370 industrial 3D printers. However, there’s one change, which you can see in this detail image:

Closeup view of the 3D printers appearing on “Severance” [Source: Apple TV+]

The “Stratasys” has been changed to “Optics & Design”. Otherwise, the devices appear to be real, potentially operating F370s. Kudos to Apple for using real 3D printers instead of something made up.

The scene is quite realistic, as a 100-unit 3D printer farm could actually look like this. It’s also interesting to note that Walken’s team is about five individuals, meaning they would each operate around 20 machines, presumably using Stratasys GrabCAD to do so.

In the episode it’s stated that the machines are 3D printing watering cans this week, while the previous week they were producing hatchets. No one seemed to know why, but it’s clearly possible to do on these machines.

Actor Zach Cherry beside a 3D printer making a watering can [Source: Apple TV+]

Here is an image with a watering can in the build chamber of one machine, and while there’s no support material visible, this is certainly an item that could be produced on the F370s. The watering can is also made from white material, likely Stratasys’ standard ABS. I would not be surprised if the watering cans were actually 3D printed by Stratasys for the show.

No mention of Stratasys was made during the show, and their logo was not visible. This meant the company didn’t receive much, if any publicity from the venture. However, I thought they deserved a mention because it’s not often you see this type of 3D printer on screen.

Finally, if you haven’t watched Severance yet, I strongly recommend you do. It’s a very strange show that everyone is still trying to understand.

Via Apple TV+ and IMDB

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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