Lightning Cosplay is a German company that designs tailor-made costumes for characters of popular books, games or movies. The whole story started as a passion with Laura and Ralf, before turning into a real business. Over time, as their work increasingly gains popularity, it was crucial for them to leverage hardware that will highlight the quality of their creations. Part of these hardware is 3D printing technology.

“Most of our projects are created on commission of game producers who want to “revive” their virtual heroes during promotional events. First of all, we receive and analyze numerous screenshots
of a particular character to determine how its outfit presents at different angles. Afterwards we begin 3D modeling of the full costume. Once we know its complete appearance, the individual details that will allow us to achieve the desired result can be finally worked on
– says Ralf Zimmermann from Lightning Cosplay.

The team uses Zortrax 3D printers to implement their projects. Initially, they only used the M200 printer and later supplemented their studio’s equipment with a resin Inkspire printer. This device has revolutionized their work allowing the creation of elements with the final height of less than
2 cm measured with a precision of 0.025 mm each layer height. The use of printers with complementary features is crucial for the efficient implementation of such designs. The technology with which the element of a costume will be produced should be chosen at the first stage of work.
All decisions regarding the material and method of implementation have to be well thought out in order to avoid wasting time on changes and corrections. Sticking to deadlines is crucial when completing orders for giants of a computer games industry. And technological solutions are sometimes the only way to achieve a desired effect in a short period of time. Therefore, Ralf, who is responsible for all 3D prints in the company, uses default printer settings only. Manual set up for each piece
of a costume would be too time-consuming. This could hamper the work at the manufacture, where dozens of different elements are created within a day. The “plug ‘n’ play” option enables almost
an immediate start of work on the device, without wasting time on calibration and testing.

“Before we started using 3D printers, we cut out the elements of our costumes of foam or formed them from thermoplastic materials. Sometimes we still use such solutions. You don’t need a 3D printer
to create fancy costumes. You can play and design without this technology. However, if amateur creation of artifacts and costumes becomes treated as a business, you will need to use the right equipment. With tight deadlines and demanding customers, an accurate and precise printer,
such as Zortrax Inkspire, improves the design process greatly and allows us to achieve better results
– adds Ralf.              

This complementary business activity has proven to be especially effective during the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The events where the company usually presents its costumes have been canceled. Orders for many new costumes are still being postponed or suspended. Fortunately, with some creativity and the help of a flexible technology, the company managed to adapt their projects
to the needs of a volatile market.

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