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Flying, 3D printed 1960’s Italian car promotes opera at La Scala in Milan

Massivit 1800 3D printer enabled unusual marketing stunt

Italy-based print provider Colorzenith 3D printed a life-size replica of a classic Italian car, the Lancia B24 for the Don Pasquale opera, performed in Europe’s largest opera house, La Scala in Milan, Italy. The set designers, Davide Livermore together with Giò Forma Studio, required a lightweight car for an iconic scene where soprano, Rosa Feola, descends from the ceiling to the stage while sitting in the car.

Reflecting the growing adoption of 3D printing solutions in scenic design, Colorzenith produced the car on its Massivit 1800 3D Printer. The 4.23-m long and 1.3m high (13.88ft x 4.27ft) car was 3D printed in four parts in under four days.

Once printed, the car was sanded and strengthened with an internal metal frame to withstand the month-long performance. The team also glued headlights, mudguards and door handles to create a more lifelike appearance and provide a whole new immersive experience for theatre audiences.

“Massivit 3D printing was the perfect solution to produce a lightweight replica of the car. Considering the tight production timeframe, it was impossible to realize this with another technology,” says Florian Boje, Founder of Giò Forma.

3d printed Lancia B24

A flying, 3D printed, 1960’s car

The Opera that went on stage on April 3rd at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, was – in fact – an unusual version of the Don Pasquale by Gaetano Donizetti, which the director Davide Livermore chose to set, rather than in the Rome of the ‘800, in that of the’ 50s ’60. Thus, alongside the quartet of the characters – Don Pasquale (Ambrogio Maestri), Norina (Rosa Feola), Ernesto (René Barbera) and Malatesta (Mattia Olivieri) – the splendid Lancia B24 was to be among the protagonists of the work.

Giò Forma provide show architecture and production design for various entertainment venues, from rock ‘n roll to opera. They were commissioned to design the set for the upcoming performance. As Boje looked over the script
we recalled an iconic car scene from Italian cinema and wanted to bring it to the stage. In the 1962 Italian movie, Il Sorpasso, Vittorio Gassmann and Jean-Louis Trintignant fly around Rome in a convertible Lancia Aurelia B24. Boje wanted the opera’s lead soprano to fly over Rome while seated in the same car.

The scenography commissioned by Livermore and skilfully designed by Giò Forma studio offered numerous quotations from the post-war Italian cinema, with the elegance of the car chosen by Dino Risi for the famous ‘The Sorpasso’ ready to amaze the spectators on the stage with Norina on board. A real ‘coup de théatre’ in a car key that will, of course, also steal an open applause.

Making a classic

As reported, the only cost- and time-effective way to make the “flying” automobile for Colorzenith was Massivit’s large-format 3D printer, the fastest on the market thanks to a cold extrusion system that allows the deposition of photopolymer materials that are solidified at the moment through UV laser.

Thanks to the possibility of constructing objects with dimensions up to 180 cm in height and 120 cm in depth and 150 cm in width, the system makes it possible to create a wide range of applications, such as theatrical and fair set-ups, window dressing and interior and exterior decoration, set creation and advertising.

Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as both a technology journalist and communications consultant. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he received his undergraduate degree from SUNY Stony Brook. He is a senior analyst for US-based firm SmarTech Publishing focusing on the additive manufacturing industry. He founded London-based 3D Printing Business Media Ltd. (now 3dpbm) which specializes in marketing, editorial and market analysys&consultancy services for the additive manufacturing industry. 3dpbm publishes 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies related to 3DP, as well as several editorial websites, including 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore.

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