Apr 28, 2016 | By Kira

If you consider yourself a Star Wars fan, chances are you can easily distinguish Darth Vader from Yoda from Jabba the Hutt—in fact, you could probably do so based on their outfits, their voices, or their silhouettes alone. But what if your only clue was a skull?

It might sound morbid, but that’s exactly the scenario whipped up by the creative 3D printing geniuses at 3DKitbash. Looking for a fun way to test fan knowledge while also visualizing infamous alien anatomy, the Florida-based company has created Skull Wars, a series of intricately designed 3D printed skulls based on a wide range of Star Wars characters.

3DKitbash has always had a way of making 3D printing more fun. Known for creating premium, 3D printable toy models and desktop 3D printer test kits, 3DKitbash has previously invented an entire intergalactic universe full of fully-fledged characters, all brought to life via 3D printing.

Now, they’ve turned to an already well-known universe, yet given it a unique, 3D printed twist. While we’ve seen a lot of 3D printed Star Wars tributes and replicas in the past, this is the first that has taken such an in-depth perspective.

“They say 'do what you love' - I love making skulls and watching Star Wars,” said Quincy Robinson, creative talent and co-founder at 3DKitbash. “I started illustrating the skulls, and the more they evolved, the more I wanted them on my desk,” he said. “I really hope everyone gets as much of a kick out of this set as we have!”

Skull Wars will consist of fifteen intricate, digitally sculpted and 3D printed skulls inspired by a “Galaxy Really Far Away.” Though each skull will be based on a specific character from the Star Wars franchise, the artwork itself is original. “[Skull Wars] is meant to transform the way we think about some of our favorite characters and creatures,” explained Natalie Mathis, 3DKitbash co-founder. “It’s also a bit like a parody trivia game with skulls. If you really know Star Wars, you’ll get the code-name clues,” she said.

Indeed, some of the cheeky code names, such as “Green Master” and “Accident Prone” speak loud and clear, even for a casual Star Wars fan such as myself.

teaser concept art

Whereas 3DKitbash usually designs 3D models that can be easily 3D printed by makers on their desktop FDM machines, Skull Wars is different in that the models will be 3D printed by Shapeways on professional SLS machines.

The idea is to ensure that the intricate, 3D printed designs (which include articulated jaws) come out as precisely as possible, while also letting sci-fi fans who don’t own 3D printers in on the fun.

Staying true to their roots, however, 3DKitbash does plan to eventually release a free 3D printable .STL skull for their 3D printer-owning fans. “We plan to make that available to our core supporters to print on their desktop 3D printers very soon,” said Mathis. The 3D printable model will be available for free on Thingiverse, MyMiniFactory, Pinshape and Cults3D.

In the meantime, and before any Star Wars 3D Skulls are released, free or not, 3DKitbash is hard at work putting together a Kickstarter campaign to raise initial funds for the 3D designing and 3D printing process.

The campaign, to be strategically launched on May 4th, 2016 (as in, May the Fourth be With You), will offer several early bird specials, including 100 individual skulls for $15 (regular $20), and 25 entire sets of 15 skulls for $250 (regular $275). Though the official fundraising goal hasn’t been announced, 3DKitbash has said that if funded they will digitally sculpt the skulls, have them 3D printed by Shapeways, and shipped directly to backers.

Skull Wars is certainly one of the most fun and creative 3D printed tributes to Star Wars we’ve ever seen, and it will be interesting to see what fans (and maybe even the franchise creators) think of these artistic interpretations of classic alien skulls.

For even more insanely detailed, life-size, and even fully-robotic 3D printed Star Wars replicas, check out this 3D printed Millennium Falcon, 3D printed Rey’s Blaster, an impressively realistic 3D printed BB-8 droid.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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