The roach was engineered and designed in Pixologic Zbrush by Lino P. Stavole. This program allowed for many quick design changes before final approval of the rough concept.
The body was designed, modeled, and approved without changes. The head had many iterations with some initial concepts being sculpted by the director in physical clay. Once production settled on the final concept for the head and body, ZBrush made it easy to sculpt the five separate heads that would represent the roach’s unique emotions. He had a head that represented bliss, surprise, sadness, curiosity, and a normal neutral pose. He also had a head design that eliminated the mandibles in order for them to be animated in post if we decided to do that later.
The puppet then was 3D printed on a Zcorp 650. The machine was chosen for its more organic print results. The resulting scaled 3D printed model was then infiltrated with a clear epoxy. It was then prepared to have neoprene joints and magnetic segments that would allow the utmost versatility and flexibility within our budget. Green steel bars were used as puppeting rods and secured by high powered magnets imbedded throughout the roaches body in key articulation points. The roach’s carapace, wings, and multiple heads were removable by magnets. The roach represented the very first fully 3D printed rod puppet.