Feb. 19, 2016 | By Kira
If you’re a fan of History Channel’s epic, historical drama Vikings, now is your chance to prove it by entering to win a series of one-of-a-kind, 3D printed Viking-themed props, designed and created by New York-based manufacturing studio, 3D Brooklyn.
As part of History’s 3D Prophecy Sweepstakes, before each new episode of Vikings season four, History Channel will reveal a 3D printed object that represents an important twist or theme from the episode’s plot. Viewers are then invited to speculate on social media what they think the importance of that prop is: will it be used as a weapon to attack one of the main characters? A peace offering? An ominous and targeted message? Those who guess correctly are then entered in a draw to win the 3D printed object itself.
The first of 10 3D printed objects was revealed yesterday, right before the season 4 premier, titled “A Good Treason.” The prop, a set of deer antlers engraved with Viking runes, holds particular significance in the shaky relationship between the characters of King Ragnar and Floki. (We won’t give away any spoilers as to what happened between them, but as 3D Brooklyn CEO Nate Kolbeck puts it, “there was a lot of tension at the end of season 3.”)
The original antlers from "A Good Treason"
In order to re-create these authentically Vikings-themed props, 3D Brooklyn co-founder and lead designer Will Haude poured over references provided by the History Channel, sketching out a detailed 3D model that would fit perfectly within the rough and rugged Vikings universe. The models were then sent to various 3D printers, and manufactured from a variety of 3D printing materials, each appropriately suited to what the prop represents.
“The antler runes were a very organic and natural piece, so we wanted to really create texture that gives it a weathered look, like it really could have been on an animal,” explained Haude. In addition, he wanted the 3D printed prop to capture the detail of the Viking runes themselves, which are important both in the episode, and in real-world Vikings culture and mythology
3D Brooklyn, which has over twenty 3D printers in its studio and is committed to using compostable and recyclable 3D printing materials whenever possible, thus chose to 3D print the antlers in sandstone, using the Projet 660Pro by 3D Systems. “The sandstone really brings out the details while keeping the natural, authentic look of real antlers,” Haude told 3Ders.org. "It also provided nice surfacing all around without the need for supports.”
History’s 3D Prophecy Sweepstakes (open to U.S. residents only) is a great way not only to get viewers more involved in the live broadcast experience, but also to demonstrate how 3D printing can bring historical, cultural or even ancient mythological artifacts into the 21st century. In fact, this isn’t the first time the History Channel has made use of this decidedly non-historical technology: previously, they commissioned an 8-foot-tall 3D printed BigFoot skeleton, and a 3D printed tombstone for a documentary film.
Vikings airs Thursdays at 10/9c on History Channel, and the remaining nine props will be revealed via short video clip before each episode, giving viewers a chance to guess, either alone or amongst friends, what dramatic plot twist they think Vikings has in store for them. For now, the only way to get your hands on one of these awesome 3D printed props is to enter the sweepstakes, although History Channel might eventually release the licenced, 3D printable files for makers to download at home. After all, we've noticed a growing relationship between television fandom and the maker movement, and there's no better way for fans to turn their living rooms into dens worthy of a Viking King.
Check out 3D Brooklyn's design and 3D printing process in the video below, and stay tuned for more (warning: Vikings season 3 spoilers!):
UPDATE (Mar 17): As previously hinted, History Channel has partnered with MyMiniFactory to release the free, 3D printable files of the Vikings 3D Prophecy Sweepstakes props. So far, there are four 3D files available, all created by 3DBrooklyn, with a new 3D model to follow for each remaining episode in Vikings Season 4. View them all on the History Channel Vikings MyMiniFactory page.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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Mary Hill wrote at 2/21/2016 1:18:02 AM:
How can I participate? I love series. Thanks, Mary Hill