Custom display ideas: Bringing a printed polar bear to life!

Custom display fabrication by TPH The Printing House

You may have seen some coverage of the awesome polar bear installation we created for the WWF CN Tower Climb back in April. The custom display included a larger 6 ft. tall bear, as well as a smaller bear, constructed using a combination of 3D and traditional printing processes. This was one of the more unique custom displays we’ve created, and event goers had a hard time believing it was constructed using print!

How it was made


Step 1: The Idea

The idea for this project developed when we were challenged to think of a way to build upon the traditional step and repeat backdrop. A step and repeat wall is traditionally printed on vinyl or fabric, and used to display a repeated pattern of brand logos at events where photos will be taken. We wanted to create fun and creative photo booth opportunity for attendees of the climb. This led to the idea of having the step and repeat appear on a giant, three-dimensional polar bear – fitting with the wildlife theme.

Step 2: The Design                     

3d model design of the polar bear

To create the design, we used 3D design software to adjust a rendering of the polar bear that could be used to make the print. The specialists at our 3D location were able to take an existing model of the bear and deconstruct it into a 2D information that could be read by our custom cutting machine. This was an awesome experience for our team, as we were able to utilize and combine all the different technologies the company has to offer.

Step 3:  Fabrication

The assembly is where everything came together! The polar bears were constructed out of materials available in house – a sturdy card stock for the individual pieces and a strong adhesive holding them together. Pieces were cut using our equipment and reassembled into 3D form by hand. From idea to installation, the whole process only took our team two days to complete!

The CN Tower


Exhibit display case from TPH The Printing House - 3d printing and fabrication The CN Tower

The display wasn’t complete without a nod to the host city! We recreated Toronto’s famous landmark using a similar process, incorporating 3D design software. The structure was created using 3D printing with ABS plastic for the main pod, and Sintra PVC for the tower. We added in battery powered LED strip lights, PVC piping, a few nuts and bolts and a touch of spray paint – and ended up with a light-up miniature tower, perfect for an awesome photo opp.

If you’d like to explore a creative idea for your own brand, we’d love to help you bring your vision to life! TPH has the right equipment and knowledge to help you create the custom fabrication of unique installations that you didn’t know were possible with print. 3D really represents a new way to engage consumers – it’s interactive, tactile, in your space and stands out in a crowded marketplace. Whether it’s a retail display, an event set-up, or another opportunity to engage – we can help!