About the team

Industry: Industrial Robotics

Product: Animated 3D characters

Location: Nashville, TN

Why Fictiv

Customer challenges: Great customer support and fast response time with competitive prices

Favorite features: Excellent quality machined parts and a scalable business model: They will make 1 part or 1000 parts

Result: Produced hundreds of parts extremely fast, all with the precision required to successfully build multiple high function animatronics

Since its start in 1989, Animax Designs has operated with a simple, yet inspiring vision: to create industry-leading 3D characters built with artistry, using cutting-edge technology.

Animax Designs has established itself as a leader in the theme park industry, designing and engineering some of the most famous animatronics seen every day by attraction-goers around the world.

Animax Designs HQ

The members of the team at Animax Designs, however, face unique challenges with every character that they create. Aside from the engineering and design maze that they traverse just to bring these characters to life, they also have to focus on the variables they can’t control. Often, it’s understanding that these animatronics need to reliably last for years in potentially rough environmental conditions, like earthquakes, hurricanes, and more.

Design and Engineering Manager Kurt Oetken has been with the company for 3 years and routinely faces these problems.

“In the theme park industry, we design around a character going into installation and running for 20 years at 16 hours a day, 7 days a week,” said Oetken. “A character is going to see somewhere in the 20 to 30 million motion cycles.” 

Animax partnered with Fictiv for the first time early 2018, when they realized they needed high-quality parts at speed. Since their parts require that they stand up to years of wear and tear, they needed a partner on whom they could rely. 

With Fictiv, Animax Designs knows that they will receive the quality parts they need, when they need them. 

“With the hundreds and hundreds of parts that we’ve ordered, they come in with an inspection report with actual dimensions marked on the print,” said Oetken. “Fictiv is the only group that does that for us.” 

For John Dawe, a senior mechanical designer at Animax Designs, the partnership with Fictiv has provided peace of mind. 

“Here at Animax Designs, we take a lot of pride in our design work and the engineering involved to bring that design to life,” said Dawe. “We’re always looking for ways to help us get accurate parts quickly and easily.”

“Fictiv has allowed us to accomplish a lot of work in a very short time, work that we didn’t think we would be able to handle,” Dawe added. “If we ever had any questions, we knew that we could have a great conversation with their team and receive answers quickly.”

Ultimately, Oetken and the team at Animax Designs are looking to continue to push the industry forward. 

“We’re an extremely diverse group of people that has come from all different walks of life,” said Oetken. “This mix of artists, artisans, engineers, and designers all have one common goal: to produce beautiful characters that the rest of the world can enjoy for years to come.”