The Little Prince

The Little Prince is a collaborative project between me and Andre Kim for my girlfriend's birthday.
I always loved toys, action figures and statues, so I decided to take a risk and start to work on a 3D print for that special date.
The whole process took almost 2 months.
1 month for the concept and modeling, and 2 weeks for printing and painting.
Softwares: ZBrush, Maya, MeshMixer, Simplify 3D
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My girlfriend is very passionate about The Little Prince book.
She has a big collection of Little Prince books in several languages.

I don't have a big experience doing characters, but I learned a lot being a generalist, so I decided to try.

 

Searching for references, I chose to make the model in a very simple (and boring) pose. It wasn't good at all.

After talking with friends, I decided to recreate the scene that the Little Prince and the fox are sitting together, in a way that also works from the front.

Later, I wanted to make the asteroid B-612 (where the character lives) as a base, and the plane, which ended up being left out of printing due to lack of time.

Render of the final 3D model used for printing

I spent 1 month searching for references and modeling the character in Zbrush
The final version has 5 million polygons and yes, definitely could have less.



The model has
16cm and took around 40 hours to print, in a 0.05 mm layer resolution.
It was printed in natural ABS using a
Sethi S3 as printer.


 

Kim sliced the file in MeshMixer and the printing file (.gcode) was generated in Simplify 3D.



The piece was finished with acetone and sandpaper, and painted with airbrush, and brush, using acrylic paint.

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Andre Kim's desk in a early stage

"The biggest difficulty is to remove the "3D printing" aspect.

As good as a FDM printer is, you can see the "print lines" in the model. You have to be very patient and careful not to ruin everything when sanding and applying acetone (when printed in ABS).
ABS is a pain in the ass to print. It requires higher temperatures, a heated printing table and a closed cabinet. However, in my opinion, ABS beats the PLA in the finishing stage.

Different from PLA. ABS sands very easily and accepts chemical treatment to smooth the parts with acetone.
The PLA is a difficult material to sand, and the chemical treatment to smooth it is only possible using chloroform (chemical compound that requires much more care).

Much of the fitting of the parts was done manually after printing. In some places on the 3D model, the contact between parts did not translate very well after printing.
The Little Prince, the Asteroid and the Fox, didn't fit like in the 3D render. I believe that it was for lack of dimensional compensation when digging and cutting (famous booleans) inside the 3D software.
Then, the pieces were sanded to remove the extra volume and I tried as hard as possible to follow the composition of the original 3D model
.

The pieces were glued using cyanoacrylate. In some places, like the head and the neck, a wire was placed to help structure the piece and provide more resistance." Says Kim.

 

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Little Prince sliced after printing

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Little Prince sliced in MeshMixer

"I used an airbrush to apply primer on the characters and paint the asteroid. The Little Prince and the Fox were painted with a brush.
If I had more time, I would have liked to use the airbrush to paint a softer and gradual lighting.
It limited me a lot the fact that I could just paint only at night with limited lighting and without the possibility of turning on the airbrush compressor. Good natural lighting helps a lot when you're painting.

It was a great learning experience for me. I had never finalized anything close to an action figure / toy art. My experience was limited to painting Warhammer miniatures.

I really liked the final result. It was a great journey and I learned a lot!
I thank Jorge for trusting me
." Ends Kim

 

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I am very grateful for all the work and love that Kim and his girlfriend Monica put into this project.

Without you, it would have never been possible and the result was incredible.

Thank you so much! <3

In this project I overcame all the barriers that I always had with character modeling, and in the end it was a really fun experience!

I learned a lot, and I definitely want to do a lot of things with 3D printing.

To Luanna, with love