3D printed blue steampunk dragon. Source: WhiteClouds
3D printed blue steampunk dragon. Source: WhiteClouds

WhiteClouds is a 3D printing service company. And when one of our designers, Kyle Gifford, combined paleontology and steampunk technology to create a steampunk dinosaur, he didn’t know his idea would grow into something much bigger. The steampunk dinosaur model led to an onslaught of Facebook comments, an idea for a new product line, and a Kickstarter campaign.

“One-upping Jess was kind of the catalyst for the whole thing,” said Gifford. “I had been trying to fill the Steampunk category, but all I had come up with was pendants/charms at that point. I wanted to breathe some fresh ideas into this category, and dinosaurs seemed the perfect way to do this. It’s been really fun because I have creative freedom when it comes to designing these dinosaurs.”

Steampunk technology meets paleontology: Our innovative dinosaurs and dragons bring together Jurassic Park and Sherlock Holmes. What had started out as just “a fun thing to do” has become much bigger than we planned.

What is Steampunk?

Steampunk is a mixture of Victorian-age fashion and steam technology combined with modern punk elements. The result is an alchemic vision of Jules Vern, Iron Man, and the Clash.

Steampunk fashion is derived from the steampunk literary tradition. Steampunk began as a genre of books that combined Victorian age steam technology with futuristic inventions. Steampunk fashion takes its leaf from the pages of such books as The Time Machine by H.G Wells and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne.

In a PBS video about Steampunk, David Bruce, a steampunk musical composer, said that “It’s imagining an alternative direction that the universe took. It’s kind of Victorian, but yet you have these futuristic steam-powered contraptions.”

Steampunk Dinosaur Materials

Our 3D printed dinosaurs and dragons are made of either UV-cured resin or multi-color sandstone-like material.

UV-cured resin is a translucent material used in either our ProJet or Connex 3D printers. It starts as liquid and then is cured with ultra-violet light. UV-cured resin is very suitable for artistic designs and decorative pieces as it shows very fine details.

Full-color sandstone-like material is used in our Zprinter. As the name implies, the sandstone can be printed in full color. It has a rough, grainy surface and is hard and somewhat brittle. This material starts out as a powder and then is colored and hardened when a binder fluid and ink is precisely applied in many layers.

The dinosaur and dragon models are fragile and should be display-only items.

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