SNL Creative 3D prints camera components for Avatar: The Way of Water

Including the beamsplitter mirror box, camera tracking system enclosures, clamps, and supports for the camera lenses in the final builds

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SNL Creative, Inc. is a creative design and manufacturing solutions provider, headquartered in California. The company offers concept and 3D design, 3D printed product development, rapid prototyping, low-volume production manufacturing, and bespoke manufacturing. Recently, SNL Creative was approached by the Director of 3D Camera Technology for Lightstorm Entertainment and 20th Century Studios, Inc., who was looking for an additive manufacturing solution to the companies’ 3D stereoscopic camera rigs that were used in the filming of Avatar: Way of the Water.

SNL Creative 3D prints camera components (tracking system enclosures, clamps, supports, and more) for Avatar: The Way of Water.
James Cameron using the camera containing the parts that were 3D printed by SNL Creative. Source: SNL Creative.

The custom systems include critical 3D printed components such as the beamsplitter mirror box, camera tracking system enclosures, clamps, and supports for the camera lenses in the final builds.

The filming companies were looking for an alternative to aluminum fabrication for several live-action camera systems, the designs of which required superior material strength and tolerance accuracy. The parts also needed to be black in color, have a good surface finish, and meet the 30lb weight requirement for the hand-held system.

SNL Creative met these challenges with their in-house technologies, using composite AM materials from Stratasys and Markforged. The company’s FORTUS 450mc has upgraded hardware and an upgraded extrusion head – allowing it to run using the high-performance Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber polymer. The company also leverages the MarkForged X7’s ability to reinforce parts with Carbon Fiber and Kevlar infills, and replaces heavy-weight aluminum with Additive Nylon Carbon Fiber – reducing manufacturing costs and lead times.

“The team at SNL Creative is committed to leveraging our expertise in composite 3D printing to meet the unique needs of our clients. We are honored by the opportunity to work with the brilliant engineers at Lightstorm Entertainment and provide additive manufacturing solutions for the 3D stereoscopic camera,” said Lindsey Zindroski, CEO of SNL Creative, Inc.

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746 composites AM companies individually surveyed and studied. Core composites AM market generated over $785 million in 2023. Market expected to grow to $7.8 billion by 2033 at 25.8% CAGR. This new...

Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

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