Raised By Wolves is an HBO Max television series created by Aaron Guzikowski and produced by Ridley Scott. For the show’s second season, which aired in February 2022, the effects team needed to create custom props and prosthetics, but traditional manufacturing methods were holding them back.
Making hyper-realistic silicone replicas of bodies, body parts, and other anatomical models is time-consuming. Three weeks is the typical lead time to create final silicone replicas for an actor – far too long with tight deadlines.
The need for speed led Jaco Snyman, Lead Prosthetics Designer of the sci-fi series, to 3D printing with the Formlabs Form 3L.
Specifying 3D printing
The deadline-driven world of filmmaking is perfect for 3D printing, which enables rapid prototyping and production in a desk-friendly footprint. Fully automated after loading the filament and uploading the print file, additive manufacturing unlocks efficient production, and this is what Raised By Wolves achieved.
With short deadlines and budget constraints, Raised By Wolves turned to 3D printing to eliminate failures and troubleshooting. They wanted a manufacturing process that enabled creativity without adding time.
After reviewing the 3D printer market, Snyman and his effects team settled on the Formlabs Form 3L, a Low Force Stereolithography 3D printer with a 33.5 x 20.0 x 30 cm build volume (for the record, this is huge for a desktop printer).
Using 3D printers in revolutionary new ways
Raised By Wolves set out to manufacture props and prosthetics in-house quickly. One of the first projects was a hyper-realistic silicone replica of an actress’s face, with moulds digitally designed and 3D printed on the Form 3L in Rigid 10K Resin.
Traditionally, the team had to cast and mould the face with silicone and plaster, but a three-week lead time wasn’t palatable.
Turning to the Formlabs Form 3L enabled the team to create the silicone replica in less than one week, slashing manufacturing time by more than a third.
“The Form 3L can print the entire final mould of the head with enough detail for the final cast to be indistinguishable from one made with traditional techniques,” said Jaco. “This enabled us to switch to a digital pipeline, working from a highly accurate 3D scan of the actress. It eliminated the need for the invasive life-cast process, making everything far more comfortable for the actress.”
Another application for 3D printing was a complex silicone mask, for which the Formlabs Form 3L produced a detailed mould for the liquid silicone.
The effects team drew a detailed model in CAD and fed it into Formlabs slicing software, letting it handle everything else. The mask mould was printed within 24 hours with Rigid 10K resin – favoured because it is strong and rigid.
The final mask was made with liquid silicon, which was poured onto the mould to create a detailed, three-dimensional model for the show.
For Snyman and his team, 3D printing has unlocked newfound efficiency in prop design, freeing up resources and enabling the production of props and models that would be impossible to produce by hand.
Find out more
Interested in the Formlabs Form 3L? Call us on 01765 694 007, Talk To Us at firstname.lastname@example.org or book a discovery call with our Formlabs specialists, Elaine Rutledge or Tammy O’Neill.
Formlabs originally covered this story.