The list of pop artists that have been flirting with 3D printing is growing and growing; Kele released a 3D printed record, Klaxons went of a 3D printed tour and on top of that 3D Systems made Will.i.am its Chief Creative Officer. So who’s the next big star to embrace additive manufacturing? Right, Katy Perry! Special effects company Legacy Effects received an order to print props for the singer’s backup dancers. Using Statuses 3D technology, they were able to print mohawk-like helmets.
Despite they look like Roman plumes, these helmets are very 2015. They are 3D printed, and the helmets light up in an entire spectrum of colors, using LED technology. The reason for Legacy Effects to use 3D printing is because the technique easily enabled them to create helmets that are tailored to the wearer’s head.
In a press statement, Jason Lopes – Lead Systems Engineer at Legacy Effects – said that when Katy Perry’s art assistant gave them the brief with such a short turnaround time, they knew they had to use 3D printing as the product would be very complex and visually striking, with the need for durability:
Traditionally, it’s virtually impossible and very costly to produce such complex personalized pieces by hand, taking into consideration the time to work out the programming of the lighting elements. With Stratasys 3D printing technology, we were able to develop fully-illuminated pieces with a lightning fast turnaround of under a week. For developing one-off props for the music industry, this is revolutionary.
They 3D printed the outer crest in durable ABS-M30, using FDM printing. This was necessary in order to hold everything together. The inset was printed in Stratasys’ VeroGray material, using PolyJet 3D printing. Lopes said:
We wanted to amplify the bright colors of the mohawks to complement the dance routine and lighting throughout the performance and we knew that PolyJet’s ability to house a sheet of acrylic inside would ensure that the contrast in colors was emphasized regardless of the spectators’ position in the arena.
The 3D printed helmets will be used throughout the entire tour, which will cover the entire year. The dancers only wear them in the opening song of the tour, which is Katy Perry’s world wide hitsingle Roar.