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Props Behind the Scene: Modern Storytelling of the Film Industry with 3D Printing

Since the inception of the film industry in the early 20th century, film props, born in tandem with the cinematic art form, have undergone continuous evolution. From early manual craftsmanship and a diverse array of materials to the integration of visual effects technology and 3D printing, film props have evolved into intricate creations. The contemporary production of film props now exemplifies characteristics such as rapid output, high precision, and highly customized features.

In the realm of modern storytelling, Blue Algae 3D, founded in 2016, has crafted its unique narrative approach. Originating as a 3D printing terminal service provider, Blue Algae has progressively expanded into a comprehensive 3D printing customized service provider deeply ingrained in the film and cultural creative industries. This transformation follows the seamless integration of the entire industry chain.

The Imbalanced Development of 3D Printing Service

With the widespread adoption and development of 3D printing technology in China over the past decade, its applications have significantly expanded across various industries. Taking SLA 3D printing services as an example, the service prices have decreased by over 95% compared to 10 years ago, and the application volume has experienced exponential growth. However, a notable imbalance in regional development persists. SLA 3D printing service providers were predominantly concentrated in the Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta regions, boasting dozens to over a thousand machines.

The northern regions, in contrast, had a limited number of service providers, and their equipment installations were sparse. This results in many orders from the north being unable to be completed locally and necessitating shipment to the south for production.


3D Printed Film Props Parts by Blue Algae 3D

The emergence of Blue Algae 3D marked a potential shift in this landscape. The establishment of the Blue Algae 3D printing factory near Beijing signaled its official entry into the realm of 3D printing intelligent manufacturing. The factory, equipped with nearly 50 large-scale industrial SLA 3D printers produced by UnionTech, operated continuously, layer by layer transforming digital models into tangible reality. Currently, both the 3D printing area and post-processing area of the factory are officially operational, with plans for the installation of an intelligent display screen to monitor the operational status of each machine in the future.

Striving to Expand the Market Share of North

The 3D printing service market in northern China holds tremendous development potential. Historically, local service providers faced limitations in supply capacity. Taking Beijing as an example, there is significant demand for 3D printing in local industries such as film props, sculpture art, and aerospace. Blue Algae 3D is strategically positioned to address these demands locally by offering design and production capabilities that surpass customer expectations, efficient communication, and prompt localized manufacturing and delivery. This advantage is increasingly evident, attracting more northern customers for long-term partnerships with Blue Algae 3D.



Blue Algae 3D Printing Center

To strengthen their position, Blue Algae 3D has upgraded their existing 3D printing factory, expanding the number of SLA 3D printers to nearly 50 and integrating a comprehensive post-pro- cessing system. The experienced staff ensures that the 3D printed parts delivered to customers consistently meet their requirements.

"Compared to before, the demand for 3D printing large-size parts and batch production parts has increased, leading to a growth in the consumption of photosensitive resin. The printing speed of 3D printers and the capability for batch production are crucial factors for us."

—— Linke Wang, General Manager, Blue Algae 3D

An Optimal Fusion of Printing Speed and Batch Production Capability

Specializing in high-precision and small-batch production 3D printing services with the build volume up to 800 x 800 x 550 mm, the Xgear800 SLA 3D printer for sculpture stands out for its meticulous design that optimizes both size and functionality. This compact printer minimizes its footprint, reducing transportation costs and making it an efficient choice for businesses focused on cultural and creative manufacturing.

The incorporation of variable laser beam technology is a key innovation that significantly enhances printing efficiency by automatically adjusting the laser beam size according to the printing situation. Strategic measures, including minimizing adjustment points and implementing an upgraded rack structure, have been taken to enhance stability and refine model output, ensuring a reliable printing service and the delivery of intricately detailed models.

The innovative liquid level control algorithm self-developed by UnionTech facilitates swift and stable adjustments within the coating system, markedly reducing liquid level adjustment time and enhancing overall printing efficiency. This implementation ensures seamless liquid level adjustments, achieving an interlayer liquid level precision of less than 0.01mm, surpassing the industry standard precision of less than 0.03mm. The exceptional precision in the Z-axis further contributes to a uniform and intricately detailed surface layer pattern.


Liquid Level Control Algorithm

Featuring an advanced auto-calibration system, the Xgear800 streamlines the user experience with a more user-friendly operation and delivers higher precision in printing services. This system facilitates a smoother learning process, reducing the likelihood of manual precision errors and ensuring a seamless workflow for users.

More to Expect Than the Applications of the Film Industry

Currently, Blue Algae 3D has been involved in the production of various Chinese films and TV series, including "The Ghouls," "The Wandering Earth Series," "The Sacrifice," "The Eight Hundred," "The Battle at Lake Changjin," "Pu Songling," "Wolf Totem," "Moon Man," and "Creation of The God: Kingdom of Storms." They have also contributed to the touring exhibitions of popular games like "Honor of Kings," "CrossFire," and "Fantasy Westward Journey." In the future, Blue Algae 3D will continue to enter the real entertainment market, supporting the improvement of entertainment scene atmosphere with high-quality 3D printed props.



3D Printed Film Props

Beyond film and entertainment, Blue Algae 3D has invested in two escape room projects in Beijing, incorporating a large number of SLA 3D printed parts into the scenes. Using immersive role-playing experiences, these escape rooms have become particularly popular among young people.

Just as Blue Algae 3D is dedicated to continually optimizing customer experiences and prioritizing customer service, UnionTech also places customer interests at the forefront. In their collaboration with customers, from the development of 3D printers and software to the invention of new materials, UnionTech consistently enhances research and development efforts to provide each customer with more comprehensive and efficient 3D printing digital solutions.

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