Dec 12, 2016 | By Benedict

A giant 3D printer in downtown Madrid is currently fabricating a huge two-meter-wide 3D printed “Death Star” to promote the upcoming film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The large-scale 3D printer was provided by US company ErectorBot.

The construction of the planet-sized “Death Star,” a base for Imperial activity, planet destruction, and all-round mischief, has been a source of puzzlement for Star Wars fans over the years. Think about it: It would appear to take near-unfathomable manpower and machinery to create a structure of that size—especially one that floats in space—yet even throughout the construction of the second Death Star (prominent in Return of the Jedi) we rarely see construction workers, orange cones, or any other signs of how the gargantuan space base gets built. Many fans have addressed the problem of the Death Star’s invisible construction workers, with some (see below) even questioning the morality of the rebel forces’ decision to destroy the second Death Star, given that there must have been so many politically neutral contractors on board at the time.

Truth be told, I have no idea how either Death Star (or indeed “Starkiller Base”) was built, but—luckily—I can tell you exactly how a large-scale Death Star replica in downtown Madrid is being built. In celebration of the forthcoming Star Wars spinoff film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which stars Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna, and other Hollywood stars, Star Wars franchise owner Disney has asked US 3D printer manufacturer ErectorBot to ship over one of its massive machines so it can be used in a public 3D printing of a huge plastic Death Star. We don’t think that’s how the Empire did it, but hey, it seems to be working.

The giant FDM 3D printer, whose installation was approved by the Madrid municipality, is located in the famous Puerta de Alcalá square, and is enclosed in a large glass cube which allows spectators to monitor the printing progress of the populous, planet-destroying orb. Presumably, fans getting too close to the giant print and the ErectorBot 3D printer would risk suffering the same fate as Alderaan in A New Hope, hence the transparent barrier. The plastic Death Star is being printed in PLA, and will measure two meters in diameter and weigh over 100 kilograms once completed. Its printing is being closely supervised by Leonard Dodd, the engineer behind ErectorBot.

The 3D printed Death Star is already attracting a lot of attention from tourists, who are being encouraged to share photos of the 3D printing spectacle on social media with the hashtag #DeathStarMission. The presence of the spherical 3D printed weapon will, according to organizers, be beneficial for tourism in the Spanish capital and for the upcoming Disney movie. “Given the global impact of this film franchise, the choice of Madrid as the setting for the construction of the Death Star is great news for the external promotion of the city,” commented a spokesperson for the city of Madrid.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has its Spanish premiere on December 15, and the 3D printed Death Star should be finished three days after that.

Last week, Star Wars superfan and 3D printing genius James Bruton showed us how he created three incredible 3D printed Star Wars droids, including the beloved BB-8.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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