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Gentle Giant Studios

Gentle Giant Studios, with 30 years of experience in the entertainment and technology industries, has been providing data acquisition, product development, and digital services to clients worldwide. Their services include a complete range of digital and traditional prototyping and fabrication services. Its clients include major motion picture studios, toy and collectible companies, fine artists, VFX departments, museums, industrial design and architectural firms.

In collaboration with Walt Disney Studios marketing team, Gentle Giant Studios was faced with the challenge of promoting Disney’s upcoming film, Elemental. With the primary goal being to create excitement among the viewing public, the idea of developing life-size versions of the film’s characters for photo opportunities at various locations worldwide was conceived. To make this vision a reality, Gentle Giant Studios needed a 3D printer that was both fast and accurate to complete the job in time for the movie premiere. This was especially challenging since marketing budgets were not released until the schedule was already tight up against the movie’s release.

Gentle Giant Studios took their expertise to new heights with help of the ultrafast XiP desktop 3D printer. With its cutting-edge resin 3D printing technology, Gentle Giant has been able to produce incredibly detailed character models for Disney’s Elemental movie promotion on an extremely tight timeline.

Disney Pixar Elemental Movie Characters 3D Printed on Nexa3D's XiP Desktop 3D Printer


Meet tight deadlines by the Disney team and deliver high quality maquettes

Gentle Giant Studios required a 3D printer that could produce high-quality prototypes in the form of maquettes quickly for two main reasons. They needed to obtain the green light on manufacturing the 1:1 life-size versions for the Pixar Studio team and they also needed to meet tight deadlines due to challenging painting and lighting effects. The maquettes needed to be approved in days in order to meet the fabrication timeline of the life-size pieces which would go on to be displayed at key movie premiere events around the world.

“With the extremely tight deadline and challenging manufacturing process we could not have met our manufacturing dates with any other process as the iterations involved very challenging painting/lighting effects. The XiP enabled us to move revisions into physical form faster than printing in other slower technologies.”

Jason Lopes, Dir. of Additive Manufacturing at Gentle Giant Studios

Jason Lopes, Dir. of Additive Manufacturing at Gentle Giant Studios


Gentle Giant Studios for Disney Pixar




  • XiP Desktop 3D Printer
  • xMODEL17-Clear Resin


Maquette Production


  • Print Speed: XiP provided fast printing capabilities, enabling Gentle Giant Studios to meet tight deadlines and secure approvals quickly.
  • Part Quality: high-quality prototypes printed with xMODEL17 resin allowed the artisans to capture intricate details and bring the Elemental characters to life.
  • Surface Finish: translucent, smooth surface finish was required for the intricate painting job.
XiP Desktop 3D Printer
Gentle Giant Studios chose to use Nexa3D's XiP Desktop 3D Printer


XiP desktop 3D printer was used to quickly produce high quality prototypes

Gentle Giant Studios chose to use Nexa3D’s XiP Desktop 3D Printer given its industry leading print speed and high-performance capabilities. The team used xMODEL17-Clear resin, a rigid and durable modeling material with enhanced optical clarity. It is perfect for prototyping applications that require fine feature details and high-quality translucent or transparent finish. Its characteristics include high optical clarity, fine feature detail, and smooth surface finish. Part clarity was of utmost importance on this project since the parts needed to be painted to provide the illusion of both fire and water, the two main characters in the movie. The team at Gentle Giant Studios worked with Disney to create more than five different design iterations within days. Due to XiP’s fast print speed and high quality parts, the teams were able to settle on the final design in record time.


Final designs delivered to Disney’s team in just 2 days

With the help of fast printing XiP, the Gentle Giant team was able to iterate on different designs quickly, and ultimately obtain Pixar’s approval on the final design in less than two days. The life size pieces were used at various movie premiere events around the country as well as in a promotional pop-up exhibit in Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan. Dubbed The Elemental Experience, Disney’s pop-up exhibit recreates the metropolis at the center of the movie, which depicts a world where the different elements – Fire, Water, Earth and Air – learn whether they can co-exist.

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XiP Desktop 3D Printer