3D Modeling Homer’s Head For The Sake of Science – And Mythbuster’s
by Kirsten | May 15, 2015
All Simpsons’ fans will remember the scene in ‘The Simpsons Movie’ where Homer Simpson swings through the air on a wrecking ball and absorbs the shock with his potbelly. That’s impossible, isn’t it? Can Homer really stop a 5,000-pound wrecking ball from destroying a house? Mythbusters saw it as their mission to find out!
Mythbusters heroes, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, tested this by making a replica of Homer Simpson’s body, from head to toe. Homer’s head has become an icon in itself, and is one of the most recognizable cartoon characters around the world. Therefore, the Mythbusters team contacted Merrick Cheney from Mechinations to help them with this challenging task and make it look just like Homer does on TV.
To make a full-size rubber replica of Homer’s head, you first need a mold. And in order to make the perfect mold you need the perfect 3D model. Merrick designed this mold using a powerful STL editor: Materialise’s Magics software. He used this software to put different files together, fix the design, orient it in the right way, cut it in different parts, and more.
“The great thing about Magics is that it can fix big STL files”, Merrick explains. “All tools in Magics were useful for making the mold. You can clean up your file to get watertight data that can be used for 3D printing or send your fixed files to a CNC milling machine.”
— MythBusters (@MythBusters) January 11, 2015
With this mold, the Mythbusters team could go to the next step: casting Homer’s head in rubber. Once the rubber congealed, Adam and Jamie could make the rest of Homer’s body, fill it with water to add some weight and add the head on top. Our big yellow friend was then ready for some action! So did he make a difference? Mythbusters put the answer in this video:
Homer Simpson, swung through the air on a 5,000-pound wrecking ball and was smashed against the façade of a house. D’oh! And believe it or not, Homer’s big belly did make a difference. The impact of the wrecking ball on the house was much less when Homer is squeezed between the ball and the house. Don’t try this at home!