MADE IN VANCOUVER: WORLD OF WARCRAFT FIGURE PRINTS

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This is the first in a series of many features about things being made/manufactured in Vancouver. Originally it was going to be a one-off, behind-the-scenes piece about the Figure Prints facility but, as coincidence would have it, while I was editing this a reader (Dave Tolnai) came to us with the same idea only as a series, so we’re gonna run with it.

With these features we hope to pull back the curtain on some facilities that you may have had no idea were here or that you wouldn’t otherwise be privy to getting a close look at.

This first one is kinda mind blowing and it took some digging to nail down. If you’re familiar with the video game, World Of Warcraft, then you probably already know about these 3D figurines but maybe you didn’t know they were being made right here in an unsuspecting building in East Van. Dan Iosch, who heads up the operation, takes you behind the curtain at the Figure Prints manufacturing facility…

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Perhaps I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here. If you’re unfamiliar with World Of Warcraft it’s essentially a video game where you create your own character and play against/with other people online (sorry to any W.O.W. diehards reading this but I had to boil it down to a single sentence). Figure Prints is a company that you can pay to make an incredibly detailed, full color, 3D figurine of this character, right down to the very last detail that you added to it in-game, for a mere $129.99. Here’s an example of somebody’s character about 3/4 of the way through the manufacturing process…

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The process to make these figurines involves a computer, a 3D rendering of your character, some very expensive printers (shown below), a bunch of humans, some other tools and tricks (which we can’t show you because they’re trade secrets) and a whole lot of “how in the hell is that even possible?” even after you’ve seen it from start to finish…

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The mind blowing part is that the figurines get built up out of “nothing” on a 3D printer with powder, a bonding agent and inks…

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A team from the Discovery Channel were recently in the facility filming a segment, we’ll tell you when it gets scheduled so you can watch it and in the meantime you can watch this youtube video that was created awhile back…

Here’s an example of a bunch of figurines almost ready to be shipped…

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Crazy, right? Visit the Figure Prints site to see more and stay tuned as we bring you more things that are Made In Vancouver!

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Bob is our founder and Editor-in-Chief. A family man and outdoors enthusiast in his 3rd decade of publishing, he steers the V.I.A. ship, hosts our 'BC Was Awesome' history TV show and co-hosts our weekly podcast. bobk@vancouverisawesome.com