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Published on July 7th, 2016 | by Raja Sekhar Upputuri

3D printing gives wings to Nagaland hornbill festival

Project Background

Nagaland hornbill festival was touted as the Woodstock of the Northeast India and is celebrated every year in the first week of December in Nagaland, North-East India. Hornbill festival depicts the way of life of the Naga tribes, involving a spectacular display of color, dance and music. For the 2015 hornbill festival, the organizers wanted to present something unique to the dignitaries and approached think3D after hearing that 3D printing can help them come up with unique items at affordable cost.


Joy, the organizer and his team wanted to present miniature models of the great hornbill bird as mementos to hundreds of dignitaries during that year festival. The time was very short and the process involved high expertise and intricate details. The window of error and the possibility of multiple iterations was non-existent.

Solution & Execution

Designers at think3d developed a digital model that features the anatomy and posture of the bird memento. After approval from the client multiple 3D models were created using rapid prototyping processes like selective laser sintering (SLS) and steleolithograpy (SLA). The best finished 3dprinted model was chosen as a master copy and was used to prepare rubber molds. The final phase included creating a rubber mold with the master copy, creating the first outputs, correcting the molds, creating the souvenirs, finishing in antique gold and finally dispatching.


700 Replicas of the bird were created using fiber molding technique with antique finish with in 2.5 weeks. Joy and his team were a happy lot and went on to make the event a grand success. They are planning to repeat the process with a different concept, for the next year

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