Soldier On

 “Run if you can. Walk if you have to. Crawl if you must. Just never give up.”— Bobby Body

 

When local creative agency Leo Burnett Detroit reached out to us with the idea to use 3D printing to communicate the story of a United States army veteran, we knew we had to be a part of the project. We worked with their production team to capture and tell the story of, Bobby Body, airborne infantryman whose military career was drastically altered in 2006 when he was struck by a roadside IED while on tour in Iraq. After enduring multiple repair operations, Bobby’s doctors recommended that he undergo an above-the-knee amputation surgery. As Bobby returned to work as a tank mechanic, he didn’t allow the physical change to slow him down. He started competing in powerlifting; achieving four state records, four national records and one world record. 

 

Scanning Process Underway

Scanning Process Underway

In helping Leo Burnett tell his story, our team took a scan of Bobby weightlifting, capturing his full body image in one scan and a separate scan of his prosthetic leg on the ground next to him. Because each scan took about 5 to 10 minutes (and because Bobby is strong but not invincible), Bobby held the barbell without weights. Back in our design studio, our designer pieced together the scans. She added in the weights and prosthetic leg, while adding the traditional army-man base, creating one uniform 3D design. We then used the CAD to print replicas of Bobby in the size of a traditional, toy soldier using high detail plastic. 

 

After initial review by Leo Burnett, and some final tweaks, we had a final model for production. We ran our machines non-stop, creating one hundred and fifty Bobby Body models. After printing, we removed the supports, we sanded and spray painted the soldiers for a polished finish. 

Army Men Curing

Army Men Curing

 

We think that the 3D printed soldiers captured the essence of Bobby’s life motto, “Run if you can. Walk if you have to. Crawl if you must. Just never give up.” 

Completed Models

Completed Models

 

View the full process here: https://www.soldieron.us/

 

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