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3D Printing Movie Props Zero Theorem

3D Printing Movie Props, Zero Theorem

North Design Labs worked with Fathom to quickly go from a concept to a fully functional 3D printed end-use movie prop within two weeks—from guidance on how to design for additive technologies to delivering parts overnight and everything in between.With only a couple weeks to take a concept to a fully functional prototype, we needed a company we could work closely with and I knew could deliver. Just as in the past, Fathom came through on all counts. I don’t even contact any other companies anymore because I know Fathom has and will always be the fastest! Mike North, President of North Design Labs

CHALLENGE: North Design Labs, LLC was working on a project for The Zero Theorem, a sci-fi movie directed by Terry Gilliam, when they came to Fathom in need of a highly detailed movie prop with a short lead-time. The team wanted to 3D print a functional, futuristic, interactive gadget to be used by actors in the film, a unique case that would house a Samsung Galaxy tablet. The design included movable tabs and buttons that would activate the touch screen, triggering various lights and graphics.

“The movie prop and controller presented a unique challenge by needing to not only look like some sort of alien futuristic device, but it also needed to function like one,” said North.

SOLUTION: Fathom provided guidance on how to prepare files for 3D printing to achieve the desired form, fit and functionality in PolyJet multi-materials. To complete the project in a timely manner, Fathom and North Design Labs utilized GrabCAD for file sharing during the iteration process.

The final design was 3D printed on the Objet500 Connex in VeroClear (rigid) and TangoBlackPlus (rubber-like) materials. The Fathom team also completed postprocessing and production assembly, including a critical step that involved adhering conductive foam to the underside of the keypad. This advanced application was 3D printed and assembled within two days (pictured with actor Christoph Waltz in the bottom, right image).

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To get the PDF download of this 3D printing case study, click here.

Comprehensive Capabilities for Rapid Manufacturing

At Fathom we offer a unique advantage of speed and agility-our experts help companies go from concept to prototype to manufacturing in ways not previously possible. 

3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing
90+ Machines  
SLS / / Two-day  SLA / / Next-day 
FDM / / Next-day DMLS / / Three-day 
PolyJet / / Same-day MJF / / Two-day
Injection Molding

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Prototype Tool / / As soon as 10 days

10K Parts / / 10 days

Production Tool / / As soon as 3 weeks

CNC Machining

3 & 5 Axis Milling & Turning
(Plastics, Composites and Metals)

Tolerance Accuracy Range
from +/-0.001″ to 0.005″

Urethane Casting

Injection Molding Adjacent
without High Costs of Metal Tools

Most Commonly Used for High-Volume
Prototyping & Bridge to Production

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Fathom is driven by advanced technologies and methods that enhance and accelerate today’s product development and production processes.

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