Artem Ltd

Creating a crab world with UK prop agency

Creating a crab world with UK prop agency

Artem Ltd has almost 30 years experience in the film and television industry creating props, effects and sets for global marketing campaigns. Simon Tayler, Artem’s owner, creative director and designer, recently worked with Zoopla, a property website in the UK, to create a unique television advertisement starring hermit crabs with their own mini model home “shells”. Although Tayler and his team certainly had the industry know-how to complete the task, the job was a unique one. The production team wanted the shells to be realistic enough to fool real-life hermit crabs, and they only had one month to do it,

Tiny details created with speed

Highlighting Zoopla’s impressive portfolio of properties for sale or rent on a miniature scale meant each townhouse and country cottage had to be the size of a matchbox. This requirement made traditional hand model-making close to impossible, especially given the project’s time constraints. But, but using 3D printing and the multi-material capabilities of the Connex 3, Tayler and his team were able to customize every tiny house with ease and realistic details. Tayler comments:

With 3D printing we could work with minute details like individual tiles, or roof or brick texture that was only 30mm across with no compromise on the precision

In addition to creating intricate details for the “shell” homes, Tayler and his team also knew the 3D printed shells had to be suitable alternatives to the real thing for the stars of the ad, the hermit crabs.

Miniature model homes

Thanks to the round-the-clock ability of their Connex3 3D Printer, Tayler and his team quickly produced prototypes of the shell houses, which were tested on site with a crab at the filming location in Costa Rica. The hermit crab took to the prototype shell, so the team converted the prototype into 30 high quality models in Digital ABS material.

By implementing Stratasys multi-material, 3D printing capabilities the team overcame the design constraints of traditional hand model-making and produced highly accurate, beautiful models within a strict time frame, 3D printing all 30 intricate models in just one week. The final advertisement starring Taylers 3D printed homes for hermit crabs is currently being broadcast in the UK, and is just one part of Zooplas long-running, multi-series campaign.