Deep diving into the world of the dugong

Jeremy Hunt Design
Exhibition model
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The lead sculptor on the BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs turned to the “pioneering techniques” of Ogle when he wanted to create a detailed animal head.

Jeremy Hunt, of Jeremy Hunt Designs, approached Ogle while he was working on a series of animal models, including the little-known dugong, for the National Museum of Qatar.

Having discovered that a dugong is an ocean creature closely related to the manatee, Ogle was ready to start talking details with Jeremy.

To ensure they could deliver to the exacting requirements, they began by scoping the finer details of the project, such as wall thicknesses, how the part was going to be used and the level of surface detail required to recommend the right process and material.

Jeremy is an outstanding sculptor and model maker who started his career at the Natural History Museum, before creating the fabulous Babe – which incidentally won an Oscar.

It was the first time Jeremy had worked with Ogle, but he was full of praise for the quality of the work. He said: “They print at very high quality, which is what I need – I really need a good finish for things like skin texture.

“The materials they use are really interesting to me, like the translucent white material. When I’m doing marine things, you need some translucency which is ideal for adding artwork to.

“They’re a brilliant company to work with. They always deliver solutions if you’ve got specific requirements and try new techniques and are happy to be experimental. The colour room with all the finishes is incredible, but it’s not just the materials, it’s their pioneering techniques.”


So, how do you go about building a dugong’s head? Jeremy had created the foam body, but the head was going to be the focal point and asking for Ogle’s help saved Jeremy time by being able to hand over the more complex part.

Over the past few years, Ogle has invested more than £2m in the best equipment available, enabling the company to achieve the quality required on projects like the dugong. While the process was straightforward using the supplied CAD files, having state-of-the-art Stereolithography (SLA)  equipment meant that the high level of intricate detail was retained. The experience of the Ogle team ensured there was no support structure printed on crucial A surface features, along with care taken during post-processing when removing the supports and washing. It is a part of the build that cannot be rushed and requires patience and detailed knowledge to achieve the best outcome. None of the fine details of the dugong’s head were lost.

Next steps

Jeremy added the final hand-finishing touches and painted the complete model before the 2m dugong was shipped to Qatar where it is now on display in the natural environment gallery.

“Jez at Crawley Creatures, another company I have worked with, recommended Ogle to me and I am hoping to use them again in the future. They have a huge range of CAD skills and were really impressive. I never felt rushed and they were able to incorporate some bespoke changes I needed.”


Matt White, Senior Sales Engineer at Ogle, said: “It was great seeing the whole sculpture come to life and be fully finished. From a clear SLA print and machined part to a fully finished, life-like model…it was quite a transformation.

“For us, it was amazing to see the processes used in a different way.”