Giant Exhibition Prop Superbooths Europe
Manufacturing A 2m HTC Smartphone
Over several years, Butler established a strong working relationship with Superbooths Europe, exhibiting a can-do approach and working on multiple bespoke projects that demanded unique solutions.
After successfully refreshing and rebranding the graphics on several refurbished arcade machines, Superbooths asked for Butler’s help in producing a giant replica HTC smartphone photo booth.
“The Butler attention to detail and precise engineering made this a truly one-of-a-kind project, and the giant smartphone was a hit at the event.”
Design & Consultation
Modelling Existing Handset
The project called for an exact replica of a brand new HTC M9, blown up to 2 metres high.
There were no 3D models or technical drawings available, so the design team at Butler used digital callipers to take exact measurements of the phone and its detail, such as buttons, microphone, ports, camera lens, and flash.
These measurements were then translated into a 3D model that could be precision scaled.
The client supplied a “tech kit” that included a camera, flash, PC, and screen, along with associated technical drawings and spec sheets. Based on these materials, the designers at Butler calculated the positions of the internal support structures and created 3D CAD drawings that detailed the internal workings of the prop.
The client and Butler held consultations on the feasibility of the design, and any necessary adjustments were made. The final drawings were signed off, and CNC files were created and adjustments were made. The final drawings were signed off, and CNC files were created.
One of the great challenges of this project was producing the convex rear panel, which doubled as an access door. The success of the project was centred around getting this right, and Butler achieved this by laser cutting and rolling mild steel.
Achieving the domed top and bottom (above and below the antenna bands) was equally challenging, and Butler used lamination techniques to create the smooth replica.
Look and Feel
The next challenge was ensuring that the various substrates had the same finish. To achieve this, the MDF and steel were primed and then vinyl wrapped with a brushed aluminium effect.
Great care was taken to ensure that the vinyl was a perfect match to the original phone, with multiple vinyl samples sent to the client for approval.
The detail of buttons, front and rear camera, and flash was achieved through a combination of layered acrylic, printed vinyl, and other techniques. For example, the rear camera was replicated by applying a reverse-printed vinyl to a 3mm clear acrylic panel, with a 10mm black acrylic surround added.
The entire front of the phone was a large sheet of one-way mirror, which concealed the screen when turned off. When turned on, the screen shone through the mirror, creating a unique and eye-catching, interactive display.
The End Result
The end result was a perfect replica of the HTC M9 smartphone, functioning as a photo booth and serving as an incredibly effective marketing tool. The Butler attention to detail and precise engineering made this a truly one-of-a-kind project, and the giant smartphone was a hit at the event.
If you are a similar events company in need of a bespoke prop, look no further than Butler.
With our expertise in design and manufacturing, we can bring your vision to life and create a unique, eye-catching display for your event.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help make your next project a success.