3D Printing on the Big Screen

Published 01/19/2016

3D Printing has grown so rapidly that even Hollywood is using the technology to allow visual effects teams for movies and video games to bring characters, props, and costumes to life.

 While Paramount Pictures was creating “Iron Man 2,” Legacy Effects, an Oscar-nominated effects studio, had already taken advantage of Stratasys Polyjet 3D Printing to print and assemble pieces of an Iron Man suit for scenes that couldn’t easily be generated by any other means.

 This glove in the photo, from “Iron Man 2,” was created using a 3D printer and is part of a full-body suit used in some of the film’s live-action scenes.

 Polyjet technology is similar to an inkjet printer in that it jets a liquid onto a build platform. But instead of jetting ink onto paper, it jets layers of curable liquid photopolymer onto a build tray. These droplets are cured with UV light and the final result is a high-resolution acrylic plastic part. Polyjet 3D printing enabled Legacy Effects to create extremely detailed parts. The 3D Printer that Paramount chose to utilize was a great choice because it allowed the user to print in many different materials and colors, opening the doors to numerous projects.

 Another example of 3D printing used by Hollywood is in the production of the video game “Halo.” The creators of the game asked Legacy Effects to produce a final product that included everything that the physical world uses and to attain exact designs and details that all of Halo’s clients were used to. The outcome of the product amazed everyone and the 3D printed Halo models were a big hit at the Stratasys booth during recent manufacturing trade shows.

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