24 Massive 3D Printed Replicas of Massively Popular Manga Characters

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As I’ve mentioned before, 3D printing is a great way to bring part of your favorite fandom to life.

There are some people who are fans of the Stars Wars universe, while others are into Star Trek. Some people like Harry Potter, and others are fans of Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. Maybe your thing is superheroes and comic books, which then leads us to anime and manga, in neither of which I am well-versed. Because of this fact, I did not know until today that the best-selling manga and comic series of all time is “One Piece,” which has been serialized since the late 90s and tells the story of Monkey D. Luffy, a boy whose body gained the properties of rubber after he accidentally ate a Devil Fruit.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the manga series decided to go big, and set up an exhibition in Taipei that, for two months, features 24 massive replicas of the leading characters, 3D printed on a Massivit 1800 Pro owned by SID Installation Art.

“We are delighted that the highly-skilled and creative team at SID Installation Art has been able to adapt their expertise to deliver such a breathtaking series of outstanding, 3D printed masterpieces,” said Erez Zimerman, the CEO of Massivit 3D. “Building on their accumulated know-how in sculpting high-quality props and statues, they have been able to visualize just what is possible using Massivit 3D solutions and to bring these characters to life for a global audience. The results demonstrate how scenic fabricators can now execute huge creations at unprecedented speed. We look forward to helping our rapidly-growing community of customers in the entertainment industry discover how 3D printing can inspire and propel a fresh approach.”

Artist Eiichiro Oda, who is credited with changing the history of manga, writes and illustrates One Piece, which has the highest recorded initial print run of any book in Japan – over 450 million are in circulation around the world. The series has been developed into a media franchise, and adapted into an anime series, 13 TV specials and 13 animated feature films, one original video animation, and a festival film, in addition to setting a Guinness World Record for “the most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author.”

Event organizer Remake Works Co., Ltd and One Piece Mugiwara Store Taiwan commissioned SID Installation Art to create the 1.8 x 5 m tall 3D printed replicas. The company used to produce gaming and manga-related props with fiberglass and Styrofoam, but found that 3D printing was a much faster process, with more creative design freedom. Enter the large-scale Massivit 1800 Pro, which utilizes the Israeli company’s proprietary Gel Dispensing Printing (GDP) technology.

“3D printing has proven to be a real game changer for us in terms of our overall turnaround time, the accuracy we’re able to achieve, the production size, and new possibilities for creative vision. Although our team is nationally recognized for its expertise in hand sculpting, the benefits of digital, large-format 3D printing are clear,” said Hung Jui Chia, the COO of SID Installation Art. “We’ve dramatically reduced our lead time on projects due to the ability to share the initial digital 3D model and iterations with clients in order to finalize design specifications quickly and with the confidence that the 3D model accurately represents the final output. Moreover, the Massivit 3D printer enables us to produce models in half the time it would have taken with our traditional manufacturing processes, largely because we no longer need to create a preliminary mold which is the bottle neck. This means we can accept a greater volume of jobs – our Massivit 3D printer is in use 18 hours per day.”

Ever since the two-month exhibition opened in Taipei, fans have been excited to interact with the giant 3D printed models. Many also took the opportunity to use the event’s augmented reality app to film themselves with the 24 replicas in customized scenes and share the videos on social media.

“Creating props and scenic environments based on digital 3D models also brings us far greater design flexibility so we can propose and implement unique props and models,” continued Hung Jui Chia. “In the case of this high-caliber One Piece anniversary event, the event organizer, Remake Works Co.,Ltd, is an innovative organization that required top quality production and was keen to try a new manufacturing process. 3D printing has allowed them to bring these characters to life so that One Piece fans can literally meet, touch, and interact with the characters they have grown to love on the page and screen. It is a great way of drawing the global community and celebrating.”

To see more images from the 20th anniversary celebration, take a look at the video below:

Discuss this story and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below. 

[Images: Massivit 3D]

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