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Holiday Stop Motion Film Embraces 3D Printing

Holiday Stop Motion with 3D Printing on the Stratasys J750

Ringing in the Holidays with 3D Printing on the Stratasys J750

For the 2016 version of their signature Christmas TV advertisement, Sainsburys partnered with a number of leading figures from the entertainment world, an innovative animation studio and a partner company of global 3D printing manufacturer Stratasys. The characters and much of the scenery in the stop-motion advert were created using 3D printing and the decision to harness additive technologies for the film comes on the heels of 3D printing  popping up in a number of other high-profile films and advertisements, including Coraline and Kubo and the Two Strings from Laika studios and more recently, a Cheetos Halloween film created with the help of Fathom and Athena Studios.


Composed by Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords and performed by British actor James Corden, the advertisement is a three-and-a-half minute mini-musical called The Greatest Gift and it has been viewed more than 13 million times on YouTube alone.

For the menagerie of colorful characters to take shape in the film, more than 1,400 miniature faces were 3D printed, complete with vivid expressions. Stratasys partner Tri-Tech, Mackinnon & Saunders and the 3D Print Bureau fulfilled the humongous order together, on a tight timeline, to ensure the film was completed in time for the holidays.


The only machine up to the task for the precision and color required was the Stratasys J750, according to Gary Miller at 3D Print Bureau: “We were printing almost non-stop for several weeks, but managed to complete the project within deadline. The results look spectacular and underscore the unique capabilities of the Stratasys J750 3D printing system.”

For additional information on Fathom’s production center services such as 3D printing, urethane casting and model finishing, talk with an expert today. Happy Holidays!

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