Crawley Creatures boosts 3D printing capability with Objet Alaris30

New capacity to support expanding business strategy

Rheinmuenster, Germany (18th March, 2010) - Crawley Creatures, a multi-award winning specialist in animatronics, robotics, prosthetics and model-making, has installed an Objet Alaris30TM 3D printer to expand its prototyping capacity and deliver exceptional 3D print quality.

"We've improved our in-house prototyping services with the Alaris30TM already," states Managing Director Jez Gibson-Harris. "Quality is extremely important to us. A large proportion of our business is for film or television and more recently we've been working with the Ministry of Defence, so our work has to withstand heavy scrutiny."

When it was founded in 1986, Crawley Creatures operated exclusively in the film, television and commercial industries. Since then it has provided a range of 3D scanning, surfacing and engineering services to a very impressive list of productions, including Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, 007 Tomorrow Never Dies, American Werewolf in Paris, Never Ending Story 1 and 2, Willow and the award-winning BBC1/Discovery series Walking with Dinosaurs. Success in this field led to enquiries from international government defence departments and in 2008 a subsidiary business, i-bodi, was launched to serve a broader range of markets.

Buckingham-based Crawley Creatures first invested in rapid prototyping in 2006, and the time and cost benefits of 3D printing technology quickly became apparent. Three years on, and the business required increased capacity and also wanted a step-change improvement in the detail and quality of the parts it was producing. For those reasons Objet technology was selected.

"The prototyping stage is crucial to our customers, it can save a lot of time, money and effort if we can get things right early on in the process. The Alaris30TM suits our needs because the quality of printed parts is excellent - very fine and precise detail can be achieved, and it's quick - parts can be printed overnight and post print clean-up is minimal," comments Gibson-Harris.

The Alaris30TM uses VeroWhite FullCure®830 as its modelling material, prints in fine 28-micron layers and produces models with walls as thin as 0.6 mm.

"We use the Alaris30TM principally for producing components to test size and function and print short run production moulds for soft polymer components. The opaque quality of the material allows details and edging to be seen very clearly, and although the material is rigid, it allows a certain amount of flexing and handles well. We can also achieve a very smooth finish and the precision provided by the Alaris30TM printer means that we can test moving parts with confidence," says Gibson-Harris.

Founded in 1986, Crawley Creatures has been a limited company since 2006 and employs five staff. The company has won several awards for its work including two Baftas and four Bafta nominations, an Emmy and three Emmy nominations in Visual Effects, two Royal Television Society awards, a TRIC and a Millennium Products Award.