With the commemoration of the 100 years of the start of the Great War, young people are getting engaged to tell their stories in school projects around the country from photos and letters found in the attic, to spoken stories handed down. These projects are fascinating, appealing and rich in content and memories.
We started to make scenery and diorama for the hobbyists to capture events such as the Great War, but it quickly dawned on us that these backdrops and scenery can be brought to life with minifigs (-those bricks that children and the old alike play with all the time-). We then thought, what if you could animate the minifigs and tell your own story? This would add a different dimension to the school projects and lift it off its page.
As we set out to make this happen, we soon realized that having the scenery is one thing but we needed the ‘bits’ that would allow the minifigs to move around. The great thing about minifigs is that you can move them about, the heads, arms, legs and hands and in doing so you can animate them using stop-go animation. These ‘bits’ that aide the minifigs in this scenario would be the duckboards and fire steps in the trenches, to artillery pieces and ladders. We looked at getting these made but it wasn’t really economical, and besides, potentially each story would be unique and personal and require different pieces. So we turned to 3D printing and it transformed our way of doing things.
Not only can these bespoke minifig soldiers move along the trenches, we designed our own stiknklik® studs using 3D printing, so the troops could move across the battlefield as well. And the good thing is – it is all designed to be compatible with existing Lego bricks. Because we wanted to make the experience as realistic as possible we even designed the trench cladding and we our used our Ultimaker2 3D printer to print them out.
Making the accessories and tailor making each story is what school projects can do and 3D printing allows you to do this. Then once you have all your pieces your can start to tell your own story. And if you need more pieces, we can print some more to fit your story, so your account of events can be truly unique.
The ease of use of 3D printing can empower the young and the old to tell their story and with accessible broadcasting platforms such as YouTube, these accounts can be left as a legacy and in remembrance.