Category: Case Study

How It’s Made: Kalahari Wrath of Anubis Escape Room

Background:
Kalahari Resorts was needing to have a new escape room built for two locations, one in Dells, WI and Poconos, PA. Both escape rooms needed to be completed back to back. The project would need to have all aspects created: concept, storyline, electronics, audio, visual and computer controlled components.

Our recommendation:
Creating a 3 room ‘adventure room’ attraction that was based upon an adventurer making his way through tombs trying to escape the wrath of anubis. The experience entailed creating 3 unique rooms, each with their own unique puzzles, layout and overall ambiance. 

Services used:

  • Multi-Axis CNC milling
  • 3D modelling
  • Concept art
  • Hardcoating
  • Installation
  • 3D Walk-Thru
  • Storyline
  • Audio Mixing
  • Computer Software
  • Electronics Integration
  • Micro-controller design

Amazing project fact…

Over 200 hardcoated foam panels were created for the project!

VECTORWX Props and Foam theming for Puzzle and Escape Room Attractions

We’ve started diving into the Puzzle and Escape Room Attraction Industry and have been having a blast making some really fun props and some themed panels specific to the room’s theme. 

The project we’re currently working on includes a fully themed custom entrance, 3 separate and fully themed rooms with unique puzzles and props in each room, a themed hidden passage, and a photo opportunity prop that allows the customer to either print pictures on-site and charge for the service or load the pictures to Facebook to allow customers to tag, share, and like the picture online (which also results in free marketing for the business and usually results in a “like” on your page). 

While we do work on large projects, we wanted to discuss some options for the majority of the smaller scale businesses in this industry.

VECTORWRX focuses on foam props and foam themed elements to help bring another level of immersion to the experience.  Imagine having an Egyptian Tomb themed attraction and instead of just having some puzzles specific to the theme, you install themed panels that resemble an Egyptian tomb theme so when customers walk into the attraction it looks just like they are actually walking into an old tomb complete with ambient sounds such as torches flickering and scarabs crawling around on the floor.

 

VECTORWRX also offers consulting services for Puzzle and Escape rooms.  An ideal situation for this service is if you know you want a theme or maybe have an idea of the theme and you’re not sure how to execute the plan.  Our team can develop a storyline that would include puzzles, special effects such as ambient sounds or things being triggered by an event, LED lighting, RFID components, and we also have custom built software to help you manage the entire experience.  We also offer an exclusive service where we can design a custom experience with a theme that would only be sold to you so you can rest assured you’ll have something unique that no one else has.

 

Our high density foam props and themed panels can also come hard coated in our VECTOR Tough Coat.  VECTOR Coat adds a durable plastic-like shell over the foam to make sure it lasts.  This coating can also come in a Fire Rated version for companies that must meet specific building codes.

Our company also has the ability to make certain custom puzzles, depending on the scope of the project.  We have the ability to embed RFID components so that locks are unlocked automatically once a puzzle is solved.  We can also include sound or different effects that are automatically triggered when certain events happen.

These are just some of the services that we offer that are specific to the Escape Room and Puzzle Room industry.  If you have a need for a specific prop, theming, or element, feel free to reach out to us at info@vectorwrx.com

How It’s Made – See’s Candies & The Giant Santa

Background:
See’s Candies was needing to have their existing santa replaced in time for the holidays. The santa needed to match the original prop as close as possible, while being easy to transport.

Our recommendation:
Have the santa sculpted on our large 7-axis robot allowing precise details to be replicated from a 3D model. The santa would utilize a light weight foam construction with a tough hard coat. The coatings provided weather protection while ensuring years of outdoor use.

Services used:

  • 7-axis CNC milling
  • 3D modelling
  • Concept art
  • Hardcoating
  • Installation

Amazing project fact…

We were able to go from 3D model to installation within 10 days!

Benefit of Using Foam in Theming

What are the benefits of using foam?
Foam is one of those amazing materials that provide a variety of benefits for theming projects. Foam is light weight, easy to sculpt and extremely versatile. 

Light Weight
EPS Foam (expanded polystyrene) comes in a few different densities. You can think of densities as being how many small foam beads are packed into a square inch. The more beads that are packed together, the greater the overall weight but the more detail that can be captured. We typically use 1 lb EPS for the majority of most props.

Easy to Sculpt
Foam itself is extremely easy to sculpt. Using basic tools such as sanding pads, a hot knife or a rasping pad, you can remove a lot of material quickly. 

Versatile
Foam can be used for wall panels, large props, ceiling elements, practically anything you can think of. Once hardcoated, the foam is encapsulated allowing it to be protected from fires, wind, rain and practically anything else mother nature can throw at it.

Organic vs Complex sculpting…the approach makes the difference.

When it comes to sculpting, there are really two paths to take, either organic or complex, with each method having its own set of pros/cons including precision, pricing, delivery and more.

Sculpting Organic Shapes
Organic shapes can be anything from an orange to a tree to a myan temple…basically anything that is irregular or asymmetrical. If you look at anything in nature, you’ll find organic shapes. These can often be easier to sculpt by hand as they don’t need to be exactly precise which can save time by not having to program a a CNC machine. 

Sculpting Complex Shapes
This method involves precision. When the design must be exact with no room for interpretation, a different kind of approach is needed. This usually entails a CNC machine of some sort that offers precise movements producing an exact representation. Usually these are objects that need to appear perfect and symmetrical in appearance. CNC Machines can vary between flat bed tables with a vertical spindle (basically the drill bit) or a multi-axis machine that is capable of going up, down, side ways, upside down…you get the idea. 

Price
When looking at pricing you have to take a look at the entire picture. With organic sculpting, you’re looking at primarily two costs…labor and materials. Because a human would be sculpting this no 3D model or toolpathing processes are required. The hands are the robot so to speak! With CNC machines, you’re looking at various costs including toolpathing, 3D modeling and then the time to run on the robot. If you want exact precision though, the robot is the only choice.

 

Materials 
Sculpting materials that are low in density (i.e. 1 lb EPS foam) can be performed by a sculptor. However, if you take 2.5 lb density foam (roughly 2X the density and weight as 1 lb foam) the ability to sculpt by hand goes away and the requirement to use a robot is required.