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'Pinocchio' Built from Tiny Gears, 3D Printing


A scene in Guillermo del Toros Pinocchio.

The title character in “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” was fabricated via metal 3D printing.

Credit: Netflix

The movie Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio features stop-motion animated puppets operated by tiny gears, while the title character was three-dimensionally (3D)-printed from metal.

U.K. animation studio Mackinnon and Saunders pioneered the gear systems, which fit inside puppets' heads to create facial expressions.

Animation supervisor Brian Leif Hansen said metal 3D printing was the only option for fabricating Pinocchio, given the skinny puppet's need for endurance.

Said Hansen, "He's a strong little guy, quite difficult to break."

The studio spent 18 months prototyping Pinocchio before producing the first production model; more than 20 puppets were constructed to ensure the animators had enough.

From The New York Times
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