Comic Relief

When Comic Relief launched in 1985, it set out to do one thing – make people laugh while inspiring them to give generously and help people in need.

Before long the charity organised the first ever Red Nose Day and introduced the iconic red nose which has continued to play a key part in the charity’s fundraising efforts to this day.

Towards the end of 2016, D2W were approached by the Comic Relief creative team with the idea of producing one off 3D printed bespoke caricatures of nine celebrities.


At the initial meeting their creative team brought along one of the 2017 Red Noses and asked us to help them create a series of bespoke celebrity noses. It was immediately clear that we could recreate these using Nylon SLS. D2W showed the Comic Relief design team some examples of the material and they were happy that materially this would work well for their purposes. It was then explained that Nylon SLS is always printed in white and to achieve the different colours required (at least white, red and black) these would be hand decorated after printing.

It was decided that we would do a first test version of one of the bespoke nose designs.

To best understand promotional projects of this kind, it’s useful to break them down in to the several stages of production.

3D CAD Work

The final thing to agree was the artwork that we would be provided with in order to produce the 3D CAD models for the 3D prints. All of the art in any 3D print lies in the quality of the CAD files. The better and clearer the source material is, the better and more importantly, faster, it can be produced.

Subsequently Comic relief’s design team provided us with beautiful Adobe Illustrator images of each caricature, both head on and from both sides (no information was needed for the rear, as this was where the slot for the human nose was going) As we knew that once printed, the noses were going to be hand decorated, we modelled tiny channel recesses at the junction between colours on the noses, so that the decorating would be quicker and crisper. This shows that to get brilliant results, it’s not simply a case of producing great shapes, but understanding the downstream processes and modifying the shapes slightly in order to make those further processes better.

We also selected a shell thickness for the noses, so that once printed, they would be flexible enough to pinch open and lightly pinch on to a human nose.

3D Printing

The 9 beautiful CAD files were simply 3D printed in our Nylon SLS technology and then sent for decorating


Comic relief chose the specific Pantone colour references for all of the colours required. The decorator then lightly sprayed all of the noses with a white 2-pack primer and then hand decorated the colours painting up to the edge of the recesses to produce a lovely crisp finish.


The whole process took just over 2 weeks from start to finish and Comic Relief were able to use these to promote the launch of Red Nose Day 17 at the end of January. The resulting noses are so beautifully produced you don’t really have to talk about the technology that made them. They’re just great!

“Just a quickie to say we all love the noses!! They have genuinely surpassed our original expectations!A big thank you to you and your team”Orla Flood - Account Director Creative at Comic Relief