Case Study – Fast and Cost-Effective Special Effects Props for the Film Industry

Case Study

Special Effects Props for the Film Industry – Shawn Hicks

The Creator

Shawn Hicks is a special effects artist based in Ireland. He has worked on a variety of films. In his work, Hicks often uses Modix BIG-60 version 1f or many years now to create special props and sets.

The Challenge

Hicks was working on a film that required a large, detailed cannon. He was searching for an efficient, inexpensive and fast solution in order to create it and at the same time best express his creativity. Another challenge was that this canon needed to demonstrate a fire.

The Solution

Hicks decided to use a Modix 3D printer, and was able to create a large, detailed cannon object. The final cannon was in 5’2″ length and was made up of 12 pieces. He was very happy with the results of his project , creating it in a timely manner, and at cost-effective expenses.

The fire effect you can see in the video was created by inserting a metal tube into the 3d printed cannon and the use of fireworks in order to create the desired effect.

“Everything fits nicely”‘ says Hicks.”It took 108 total print hours (the printer ran day and night). I used Formfab recycled PLA for most of the print. I used a 0.8 ruby nozzle and a 0.4 layer height on detailed parts with a 0.44 layer height on long tube sections. The temperature was at 225oC and speed was always on fast. The 2.5 kg rolls were a great success. I was getting approximately 30hr of print time between roll changes. The finished print was a success “.


Information box:

Company:  Shawn Hicks

Application: Special effects props and sets,, Prototyping and concept modeling,, Costume design

Vertical: Film Industry

Printers: Modix BIG-60 V1