Concept to Completion: Disney, 3D Printing, and Olaf


It’s been 3 years since Disney unleashed Frozen upon us all, and it’s likely that your kids haven’t stopped singing the songs and Disney isn’t keen on letting that change any time soon. But such is the world when you have an animated feature that makes over 1.2 billion dollars worldwide. Disney’s latest foray into our lives has been with Disney Infinity a clever video game that merges playing a video game with their collectible counterparts in the real world. Place the figure on the pad, and that character is instantly playable in the game. Disney recently released a new video as part of their ‘Boxed’ collection, which gives us a behind the scenes look into the creation of different facets of their development pipeline.


This video, showcased the creation of Frozen’s Olaf figurine, and how they use 3D printing to rapidly prototype these characters. It begins as a simple 2D sketch, where the artist creates the posing for the character, while pulling information from the original concept work used in the film. That 2D drawing is then taken to a 3D artist, who uses the sculpting program ZBrush to translate that 3D sketch into a 3D colored file. Once that is finalized the next step is 3D printing, where Disney uses an SLA printer to match all of the fine details on the new sculpt. The part is then processed and cleaned and sent to the hand artist, who paints the part to complete this iteration of the prototype. This process will be repeated several times, before they are fully happy with the final product, which is then sent off for packaging, and you get to see the lovable Olaf pouncing around and smashing robots in all of the glory that is video game crossovers.

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Kira. “Disney Reveals How to Design and 3D Print an Olaf Disney Infinity Figure.”, 24 Jan. 2016. Web. 03 Feb. 2016.

Posted in 3D Printing, 3D Technology Blog.

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