Show and Tell: Quicksilver’s Stereobelt Replica

For this week’s Show and Tell, Norm visits our 3D printing expert Sean Charlesworth in New York to learn about a prop replica project. Sean has faithfully recreated Qucksilver’s “Stereobelt” from the most recent X-men movie, a prop that is actually based on a little-known portable cassette player that predated Sony’s Walkman. A little bit of A/V technology history, rapid prototyping, and obsessing over film props–everything we love! (More details about this project here.)

Comments (11)

11 thoughts on “Show and Tell: Quicksilver’s Stereobelt Replica

  1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this looks to me like it would have been much easier to build from ABS sheets than 3d printing it. Kitbash some junk audio gear for the faders and cable jacks and paint it.

    Why 3d print it? Because its the workflow your are most comfortable with?

  2. There’s a million different ways to build something this is just one of them and what I have a knack for. Consider this – other than the paint, I was able to build this entire thing at my computer desk and I would argue that it took less time than tracking down all the parts and fabricating it from scratch. Don’t get me wrong, I wholeheartedly support kitbashing, etc and I do that as well and often combine 3D prints with fabricated parts and real hardware. But when you’re stuck in an NYC apartment with no way to have a workshop, this is hard to beat!

  3. Convince is huge for stuff like this too. How many trips do you want to make, or how much energy do you want to expend doing something?

    Honestly I am more than capable of lathing or building custom parts without 3d printing. But the benefit of producing quick revisions and alternates is nice. Not to mention as someone with an extremely limited amount of energy. It allows me to still build complicated things. Without having wear myself out cutting materials to get started on stuff. Or hours standing at the benching in a freezing and humid shop. Rather than at a much more comfortable chair in a warm house.

    Though I still have a good deal of respect for those that do it the traditional way, credit where credit is due after all.

  4. It certainly is a great model. Maybe its the fact that I make my living sitting in a nice comfy chair in a heated room, building 3d models. Personally, I just like to get my hands dirty and not stare at a screen.

    But I love your column, Sean. There should be more makers with a regular column on the site!

  5. By June 1973 there were hi-fi cassette players– CrO2 tapes and dbx and dolby noise reduction made cassettes in hi-fi a reality. For your home stereo system. With players about the size of a small hi-fi tuner.

    At that time there were portable full-function cassette recorders (mono); about the size of an iPad, but 1-2 inches thick. Some had fairly decent sound, but most were intended as dictation-quality recorders.

    Also at that time were reel-to-reel recorders that use 3″ supply and take-up reels. About the same size as the cassette recorders.

    For both of the portables, battery life was the limiting factor!

    –Paul E Musselman

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