Oct 7, 2015 | By Alec

If you’re in college or happen to be an adult with a good sense of humor, you have probably seen a few episodes of Robot Chicken. The ongoing series first debuted way back in 2005 on Adult Swim and has shared some hilarious and often very strange adventures with the world, all featuring action figure-like puppets and stop-motion recording. If you’ve heard about it before, you might also kno that the same producers are now about to launch another hilarious original superhero series called SuperMansion this week, featuring a similar production approach. However, while Robot Chicken required arduous hand sculpting for just about everything, a significant portion of objects in SuperMansion will have been made with 3D printers.

SuperMansion, to briefly explain, is an animated comedy series that is already widely anticipated by fans. Featuring Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston as the voice of main character and elderly superhero Titanium Rex, SuperMansion focuses on the hero’s attempt to mentor a number of strange and even crazy figures to become a team not unlike the Avengers or the Justice League. As you can see for yourself in the trailer and the first episode, that attempt often takes hilarious wrong turns. Superhero fans will also recognize the heroes that inspired the unlikely characters on SuperMansion.

In short, there is enough to enjoy for fans of superheroes and of Robot Chicken, but this new series –made in the Stoopid Budyy Stoodios – has been made with a totally different approach. As co-creators Matthew Senreich and Zeb Wells explained in a recent interview, Robot Chicken has a handmade feel, but they wanted to take things to the next level in production terms this time. ‘We started with a new puppet base, new heads, new everything. I think we thought it would be much easier because we were focusing our talents, but it probably ended up being just as hard,’ Wells says.

Fans will already notice that puppets look far more realistic on this new series, and that is partly thanks to a large amount of 3D printed creation. ‘The other thing that came about is we have 3D printers which have changed the way we do things. Again, as Zeb always likes to tell the story, on Robot Chicken, if we wanted to do a belt buckle with a symbol on it, it would be hand-crafted to fit multiple puppets,’ Senreich explained in the interview. ‘What a nightmare that would be for whatever puppet person that would actually have to sculpt it on every one of these puppets because again, you're making twelve puppets of the same thing so you'd have to do all the twelve stages at the same time.’

Instead, all of those accessories are now simply 3D printed. ‘We just throw them in the printer. It's done in two hours and you have twelve versions of it like that. It's amazing the amount of detail that we can now get with a lot of the puppets that we're doing,’ Senreich says. Most of that work is done at Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, where a special manufacturing department manufacturers all those parts. While it is currently unclear to what extent 3D printing is used, it has already been revealed that accessories, hands, heads and so on are 3D printed. Many other parts – like the costumes – are manufactured with traditional methods such as sewing, but the quality is visibly very high indeed.

However, the big test is tomorrow Thursday 8 October, when SuperMansion premieres three episodes on Crackle. The first season will continue to broadcast every Thursday until December 17. However, for those of you who can’t wait, check out the first episode below.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications





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