Hey I’m Bob at I like to make magic…stuff. I got my letter from Hogwarts to make a portkey in real life!
Portkey games, the developers of the new Hogwarts Legacy game – reached out to us to make the coolest object from the game. Before the game was officially released, we only had a few renderings from game play to make the magical object. Because of that, we had to start from scratch in designing it in Fusion 360 to get the portkey from the game into the real world.
- Remake the Assets
- 3D Print and Build the Portkey
- Make the Portkey Look Real
- Add the Magic to the Portkey
Josh spent hours in Fusion 360 designing every aspect of the portkey based off the in game renderings. We had a little bit of wiggle room as far as the details of the design. To get this thing together, we needed to do a lot – I mean A LOT – of 3D printing. Not only did he have to re-create the portkey design, but he had to factor in all the electronics to make it magic. With so much to do in such little time, the build process really wasn’t linear. We really just had to move forward with what we had in the moment then go back as each piece of the portkey was completed on the printer. We’re basically working on all the different parts simultaneously in different stages.
We used our resin 3D printers at the office and in my shop to get everything for the portkey printed – we had to use FDM printing and SLA printing to get every different piece printed. As Josh would print and sand, I would begin the painting and finishing. Honestly, it took us several SEVERAL failed prints before we got exactly what we needed for the portkey.
When Josh designed the portkey in Fusion, he made sure to include the hingeing mechanism for the clam shell opening. Then, I used a bronze rod that fit perfectly to capture those hinges together. Once those were functioning properly, I added tiny magnets to ensure that it held itself in place.
Painting the exterior and making the portkey look super old was honestly easy – the problem was that every section was a different shade of gold. It took some time to really make each section it’s own. The detail work made this entire portkey really look real – which was a huge component of our to do list. I’m super proud of the different colors and mixtures it took to made the portkey look finished.
The exterior canister of the portkey was meant to look black marbled and it took me some time to try and figure out how I was going to make that happen. I ordered about 6 different adhesive backed contact paper to try and find the best fit. Ultimately, I chose one that was very dark with minimal design on it since we were adding more to it. To finish, I sprayed a clear matte finish over the contact paper to allow other things to stick to the portkey as well.
For the key within the scroll, I airbrushed a beginning layer of gold then went back in to make it look old and worn. From there, I went back in and added some copper Rub n Buff. To hold the key in place, I added a thin piece of foam to laser cut wood piece; I used spray adhesive to hold a layer of crushed velvet to the wood to cradle the key. Within the scroll doors, I added the same crushed velvet.
Underneath the key is the hidden electronic components. At the very edge, I added a tiny leather flap that will allow you to pull out the key and change out the battery for the electronics. The cool part about all of this is that the electronics are hidden through the hinges up to the exterior emblem.
On the exterior of the portkey, the emblem needed to appear to glow as if by magic. To do that, I needed it to be as clear as possible for it to glow with the electronics. I printed the emblem and then we cast it in silicone to make a mold. From there, I used Total Boat Tabletop Epoxy so that it will level itself within the mold. The electronics took a lot of trial and error to end up where we needed to be. In the end, I used some tiny fairy looking lights that were manipulated by a tiny arguing to shine and sparkle. On the backside of the tube, I embedded a button that would be pressed to turn on the lights.
The portkey in real life looked exactly like in game play. We worked as a great team to design, build, and add the magic to the portkey. Make sure to check out Hogwarts Legacy and let me know what you think!
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- Ultimaker 2 Extended 3D printer
- Ultimaker 3
- Original Prusa i3 MK 3
- Form1+ SLA 3D printer
- Silhouette Portrait (vinyl cutter)
- All filaments, 3d printing supplies from MatterHackers
- Arduino Uno (just the Uno)
- Arduino Uno Kit
- jumpers (Male to Female)
- Soldering iron
- Wire strippers (not the ones I have, but good ones)