3D Print Bureau

Longton based 3D Print Bureau clinched a major deal with supermarket-giant Sainsbury’s following an investment of more than £200,000.

Earlier this year, the 3D Print Bureau purchased the state-of-the-art Stratasys J750 machine – a 3D printer capable of full 24 bit colour and multi-material prints.

And the investment meant that the Longton-based company was able to secure a major contract with Sainsbury’s – to help produce its Christmas television advert.

The advert features beloved dad-of-two Dave – who is voiced by TV personality James Corden – and his struggles of juggling work and family life in the run up to Christmas and the 11-strong team at 3D Print Bureau helped to produce the faces for all of the 27 characters who feature in the three minute and 20-second ad.

Each character was developed by Altrincham puppet makers Mackinnon and Saunders.

But the faces of Dave, his wife Cara, children Anya and Lawrence and everyone else were all made out of acrylic-like plastic – printed on the company’s latest cutting-edge technology.

Company manager Dave Bennett said: “The process of using 3D prints has been used in films before such as Coraline and Paranorman, but this is the first time that anyone has been able to achieve the details and the colours.

“The technology that we have is very niche and we have the biggest capacity in the UK.”

It took the company three-and-half-months to produce more than 1,400 individual ‘faces’ which, once printed, were attached to each character’s body before filming.

View some of the behind the scenes footage here: