Zigong city is ocated in Sichuan province, China, it is famous for its long history of ancient ruins and dinosaur fossil relics from the middle Jurassic period. The Zigong Dashanpu dinosaur fossil site is now one of China’s largest dinosaur fossil sites, and is also where the highest amount of dinosaur fossils have been found not only in China, but in the world. Due to its reputation, Zigong is literally known as “The Dinosaur Town”. In addition, Zigong is a major hub of animatronic dinosaur production. My Dinosaur Culture and Arts Co., Ltd. is a famous local animatronic dinosaur manufacturer. Their animatronic dinosaurs and dinosaur fossils have been exported to museums, dinosaur parks, theme parks, etc all around the world
Standing outside the factory you can hear roars of the ancient beasts in the distance. Walking into the factory and you will feel like that you are stepping into the Jurassic period. The spacious production factory is full of all kinds of mechanical dinosaurs in various stages of the creation process. There are Tylosauruses which tower at over 20 meters in height, Tyrannosaurus Rex with a fierce fiery glare, Ankylosaurus covered with body armor…
An animatronic dinosaur needs to go through more than 10 different manufacturing stages before they get to finally appear in front of the audience. Here are the key steps for the production process: 3D designing → Material preparation → Frame welding → Motor wiring → Sensor installing → Anti-rust processing → Electrical appliance adjusting → Backing laying(sponge) → Shape sculpture → Texture carving → Skin making → Color painting → Finished products → Inspection . The model is then packed for transportation. The whole process is finally completed with on-site assembly and installation.
Master Lee, who is 43 years old, is responsible for the step of sculpting. He uses professional cutting tools to carve each and every line, shape, and curvature of a dinosaur’s muscles and physique. He has been professionally modeling dinosaurs for 22 years, since 1995.
“Every cut must be precise,” Master Lee says. “If you cut too much, the sponge will be scrapped”.
The shaping process is carried out according to the blueprints provided by the customer and the scientific data of dinosaur research. Each muscle line of a dinosaur needs to be polished layer by layer to make it look real and detailed. For a dinosaur of 20-meter length, it takes at least three days just to complete the shaping work.
To make the dinosaur more realistic and flexible, motors and drive controls have been installed to control the movements of the front legs, neck, eyes, mouth, tail, breathing and even the body part.
“Each driver controls one joint’s motion, and the movements of over a dozen of body parts per dinosaur can be achieved,” said Mr. Chen, a motor drive technician. After the 3D design, the worker will make the framework and will weld the joints, and then test the control functions on-site for debugging.
Zigong is the world’s largest animatronic dinosaur manufacturing center. More than 80 percent of the world’s animatronic dinosaurs are made in this city by local dinosaur manufacturers. According to the incomplete statistics there are more than 1,000 employees in Zigong city. Zigong’s animatronic dinosaurs are widely used in parks, museums, shopping malls and science and technology centers across the world.