Burger King

Deconstructed Burger with a 3D Printed Ketchup Catapult

Deconstructed Burger

Drop that burger! Photographer Steve Giralt made his Deconstructed Burger video with 3D printed ketchup catapults, scalpels, and much more.

If you’ve ever seen a fast food commercial on TV, then you’ll be familiar with the “burger drop”. It’s basically a slow-motion cascade of ingredients across the screen, glistening with fat, coming together to form the perfect burger.

It looks so tasty and delicious. But in reality it’s a very complicated manoeuvre, a challenge for any filmmaker to capture without resorting to computer generated imagery (CGI).

Commercial photographer Steve Giralt decided to shoot his own burger drop as a calling card for future clients. To achieve this, he used a 3D printed ketchup catapult, scalpels, Arduino controllers, Sketchup software, a giant robot camera operator, rubber bands, servo motors…. and much much more!

“I’ve learned that I should bring all my passions and talents into the work I do, not just my passion for photography and video. I love art, science, technology, engineering, and building things with my hands,” Giralt explained in a guest post for PetaPixel. “I decided it was time for me to produce a project that encompassed all my talents and skills.”

The result is the spectacular deconstructed burger video, which you can see embedded below.

Deconstructed Burger Shot in Milliseconds of Real Time

For a video that’s roughly 15 seconds long, the work behind the scenes was tremendous. To begin with, Giralt built an Arduino-based control system for millisecond timing over the mechanical parts of the shoot.

The controller connects to a automated rig that was designed in Sketchup, a tower which suspends each layer of the burger — cheese slice, bacon, beef pattie, tomato, etc — on rubber bands. With split-second timing, 3D printed scalpels cut the bands in succession. Simultaneously, the robot arm swooped past with a Phantom Flex 4K camera to capture the drop as it happened.

With the blasts of ketchup and mustard, these were filmed separately. Giralt built a dual catapult with 3D printed arms to fling the condiments through the air. Once he had a decent shot of them colliding in the air, he composited it into the final video. Giralt said:

“The final video is a synchronized work of art. In the half second of real time, multiple Arduino controlled servo motors with custom 3D printed scalpel blades cut through elastic bands holding up the top bun, pickles, onions, lettuce, tomato, bacon, meat, and lower bun while a 3D printed air powered catapult launched ketchup and mustard blobs into each other.”

The finished result shows the whole burger landing at the bottom in a tidy stack, and then a hand model plonks down a glass of beer. Feeling hungry yet? We certainly do!

No one can deny that Giralt succeeded in his goal. In one glorious orgy of gastronomic porn, he bought together his impressive skills in micro-circuit building, 3D printing, 3D design, Arduino programming, and commercial photography.

condiment catapult