October 4th, 2016

In the fast paced world of Scenic Design, demands and expectations are rising exponentially in regards to the complexity and creativity found in immersive environments and experiences. Sets, stages, themed attractions, and exhibits are continually pushing industry boundaries, and, as a result, Scenic Design companies are integrating new tools and technologies to remain current and competitive.


3D CNC technology is providing Scenic Design fabricators with the much needed competitive edge to optimize their business growth without sacrificing their high-end creative abilities. It might seem odd to suggest that automated production processes lead to greater creativity, and yet, this is a direct benefit from increased production efficiencies. Manual processes can not only slow you down, but they can also limit the scale, accuracy and overall quality of your work – not a great foundation for your business. Streamline Automation’s FROG3D® System is completely changing the world of scenic design production by providing intuitive technology geared to the serious scenic design fabricator. Automation eliminates the tedious, manual processes and the costly, time-consuming manual methods that previously took the bulk of time and energy. With these removed, fabricators can devote their full efforts to the creation and execution of their vision. This results in better and more creative conceptualizations of projects and in amazing fine-detail finishing work. It allows designers and fabricators to think bigger, to tackle more complex and elaborate projects and to devote more time to lucrative custom work. The benefits of this are two-fold: firstly, the more impressive a company’s portfolio the more clients they will draw in. Secondly, developing a reputation for being the go-to source for those “wow” kind of projects is a means of attracting the big clients, the customers looking for high-end, large-scale custom work (the kind that does more than just pay the bills).


From the business perspective, an integrated turnkey 3D CNC fabrication solution offers the highest ROI when looking to automate the fabrication of theming components such as set construction and stage, movie, and theater props. This is because an integrated system (wherein the 3D CNC router, hot wire cutter, 3D scanner, and modeling software are designed and engineered as a cohesive system) offers the greatest increase in production efficiencies. This increase comes from a number of factors:

1. AUTOMATION BRINGS WITH IT AN INHERENT SPEED INCREASE. Processes that are automated, such as 3D laser scanning or milling on a 3D CNC router, do not require significant human supervision nor are they constrained by typical human work hours. Many shops find that running automated functions while they are busy with other tasks or overnight makes for a substantially faster production processes.

2. THE TECHNOLOGY WORKS AT SIGNIFICANTLY FASTER SPEEDS THAN CAN BE ACHIEVED THROUGH MANUAL PRODUCTION PROCESSES. Pieces that might take days to complete by hand can often be completed in a matter of hours. This increase in production speed has far reaching rewards. Not only does is allow for an increase in overall production volume (which has a positive impact on the bottom line), but it also results in more competitive project pricing, quicker turnaround, and more time to focus on finishing details. These qualities are all immensely appealing to potential clients. Therefore, the increased production speed that comes with FROG3D® results in a corresponding increase in revenue.

3. INCREASED PRECISION REDUCES COSTS. Because automated production processes are dependent on computer numerical controlled data (CNC), there is no opportunity for error, such as occurs in manual production processes. A 3D object will be carved exactly as the digital file dictates. If you are using a 3D scanner to generate the digital file, this guarantees the creation of a perfect digital replica of the object. Regardless of the extent to which you then enlarge or manipulate that file, the 3D CNC router will create the 3D object in that file exactly. Maintaining scale and proportion, which are often real production challenges for manual carving, are a matter of course for FROG3D®. This means both that the accuracy of a piece is ensured as well as its repeatability, regardless of scale. A digital file can be reproduced as many times as necessary and each time the finished product will be identical. This level of precision, combined with the aforementioned speed of 3D CNC technology, is a major competitive edge. Clients can be assured of consistent production qualities, and fabricators no longer have to deal with costly rework that comes when the finished project doesn’t match the picture.

4. FOAM PROVIDES DRAMATIC COST SAVINGS FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF PROJECT NEEDS. While FROG3D® works with a variety of materials, foam remains the material of choice for scenic fabrication needs.

♦ Foam is available in large blocks: Foam blocks are easily available in a range of sizes. This allows fabricators to create large-scale props and projects with often a single block. Thanks to 3D CNC foam carving equipment, these blocks can also be carved automatically, dramatically reducing manual labor times and maximizing turnaround.

♦ Foam is affordable: Compared to a block of almost anything else, a block of foam is dirt cheap. And yet, a good EPS foam will hold a high quality of detail and produce a stunning end project. This makes large-scale scenic design projects not only more feasible, but also more lucrative.

♦ Foam is manoeuvrable: Due to its light weight, foam makes managing props and effects much easier. From production, to transport, to installation, foam is simple to handle and can result in a difference of thousands of pounds of material. This also means that foam can be used to tackle projects which are simply not feasible using traditional materials.

♦ Foam is durable: Thanks to special protective coatings that are applied to the foam using a plural component spray system, foam is virtually indestructible. Able to withstand harsh environmental pressures, foam can last for generations. In fact, compared to many traditional mediums, foam is a better long-term material as it will not rust, pit, rot or wear down.

♦ Foam is a chameleon: A host of finishing products and techniques are available that transform the look of foam. Foam can be made to resemble bronze, wood, stone, and a multitude of other materials. Not only does this allow for a great deal of flexibility in the creative process, it also contributes to the economical aspect of foam. After all, a sixty foot foam sculpture that looks like it is cast in bronze is a lot more affordable than an actual sixty foot bronze sculpture!


Scenic fabricators are a creative, passionate, innovative crowd. But, at the end of the day, creativity has to be supported by sustainable, scalable technology to realize true business growth and development. To rise above the competition, to remain above the competition, automated fabrication capabilities are proving to be a major asset. Bigger projects, lower costs, higher margins, and exceptional project quality put fabricators in the sweet spot, and the limelight. FROG3D® helps your company take centre stage in a demanding industry by providing superior production capabilities. Focus the confidence that comes from these abilities on creative processes rather than tedious fabrication details. Wow clients and build your reputation.  With FROG3D® you can capture the imagination of the audience while your company captures the market.

Whether you are replicating the real world or creating a new one, FROG3D® is the best backdrop you can have when it comes to set production. Its automated 3D CNC production technology allows for fast turnarounds, easy alterations and perfect results. Eliminating the need for time-consuming manual processes and the dangers of costly human error, FROG3D® ensures perfect scale, proportion and detail every time.


Learn More About FROG3D® and Scenic Design


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