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Film Industry Page

TV series and films can transport the viewer into stories and worlds both mundane and fantastic. But to do either, the filmmakers need to construct those worlds with props and costumes. From Hollywood to independent productions, 3D printers are ideal tools for TV series and film producers. 3D printing enables you to create stunningly lifelike props with intricate detail. It can cut lead times, speed up prop design and production, and slash costs significantly. Bring the movie magic to life with the right 3D printer choice.

3D Printing in the TV & Film Industries

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How 3D Printing Drives Creativity in the Movie Industry

Filmmakers are rapidly adopting 3D printers for a wide variety of purposes and applications. From detailed documentaries to intense drama, high-flying fantasy, and the deep space of science fiction, additive manufacturing can help any TV or movie production.

Prop Production

Detailed and life-like props are vital for drawing the viewer into the world depicted on the silver screen. But creating the props manually or through traditional manufacturing can be expensive and slow. 3D printers are prop artists’ best friends.

The wide variety of 3D printing technologies means there’s a machine for every design case. FDM or SLS printers can produce strong and tough parts to support costumes or for set building. SLA printers, on the other hand, create accurate details for models, jewellery, and other uses.

Additionally, 3D printers can produce extremely complex and intricate geometries. You can quickly design and produce futuristic or fantastic props. With the right material choices, you can keep the props light but durable for the actors’ comfort.

3D Printers Crown the Queen in Marvel’s Black Panther

Marvel’s 2018 superhero blockbuster Black Panther made use of 3D printing technology to create the complex crown and mantle of Queen Ramonda of Wakanda. The movie’s production partnered with Materialise and the artist and designer Julia Koerner to create the costume.

Materialise and Koerner used SLS 3D printing to produce the costume pieces out of durable and stiff nylon material. The large crown, inspired by traditional Zulu designs, was flexible enough to keep actress Angela Bassett comfortable as she portrayed the regal Queen Ramonda.

“Materialise’s reliability and ability to deliver complex geometries within tight schedules makes them a great partner. What makes these partnerships extra special is our ability to continuously learn from each other and ultimately push the boundaries of what’s possible,” said Koerner.

Design & Prototyping

No prop or costume is born in a vacuum. To produce everything visible on the screen, designers and artists create dozens of designs until they reach the final model. 3D printers can make this process faster and cheaper.

Before printing, 3D-printed parts exist only as digital CAD models. It’s fast and easy to modify and redesign them based on feedback from directors, actors, and investors. The new design iteration can then be printed in a matter of hours.

3D printers’ high accuracy and repeatability also mean that once the final design is approved, you can rapidly produce multiple props or models.

Aaron Sims Creative Brings the Demogorgon to Life

The 2016 hit science fiction drama Stranger Things features the Demogorgon, a faceless interdimensional monstrosity. The horrifying creature was created by veteran design studio Aaron Sims Creative (ASC).

As part of the Demogorgon’s design process, ASC used Formlabs SLA 3D printers to create a 20-inch tall model of the monster. This intricately detailed model, printed in 20 parts over only a few days, served as a basis for the creature model seen on screen.

“We have four Formlabs printers in-house which have been fabulous to work with … We believe [3D printing] is an essential part of the visualization process and we’ll continue to explore the boundaries of where this medium can help us in our creative process,” said Aaron Sims.

Animation & SFX

Practically every TV programme or movie features a range of special effects and animation. Although these effects are today mostly created digitally, additive manufacturing can help give them a level of realism pure CGI can’t produce.

3D printers enable you to create accurate, deceptively lifelike models. You can create stunt doubles of rare vehicles or entire city blocks for filming disaster scenes, for example. 3D printed objects and props can also add a special touch to physical sets.

It’s also possible to create entire animations through 3D printing. Additive manufacturing has helped revive the genre of stop-motion animation by making it faster and cheaper to produce the countless puppets needed for the films.

Chase Me — A 3D-Printed Animated Film

VFX and digital artist Gilles-Alexandre Deschaud created the short film Chase Me as a demonstration of 3D printing’s capabilities in animation. The film follows a ukulele-playing girl as she brings life and colour to a dark forest.

Deschaud printed more than 2,500 puppets using Formlabs 3D printers to produce the movements and actions of the girl and the monster stalking her. Without 3D printing, this small animated production most likely wouldn’t have been possible.

3D Scanning in Movie Industry

3D scanners are devices that use various technologies to accurately digitise objects or people into detailed 3D models. These tools can help filmmakers save time and money when designing props and costumes.

An accurate model of an actor helps designers avoid costly sizing mistakes and ensure comfort for the actor while still producing stunning costumes. You can also digitise rare items or vehicles and recreate them as 3D-printed copies for TV or film production.

Hollywood Saves Time and Money with 3D Scanners

Multiple large-scale Hollywood productions have used 3D scanners to save time and costs. For the upcoming Black Panther 2, West Coast Customs used a 3D scanner to digitise a Lexus LC 500 to produce perfectly-fitted custom parts for the car.

For 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, actress Cate Blanchett’s head was scanned to make her character Hela’s enormous horned crown both durable and comfortable. For 2014’s Maleficent — recounting the life of the evil witch from Sleeping Beauty — the filmmakers scanned a horse to create an intricate suit of armour that fit the animal perfectly without harming it.

Malificent-Horse

Why Solid Print?

With your purchase from Solid Print3D, you are not only paying for the hardware, but the world-class support and training that we provide is made accessible to you. Whatever your requirement, we, as a leading UK reseller will aim to support you in the operation of your new machine.

World Class Support

At Solid Print, we pride ourselves on our honest, impartial advice and best-in-class solutions.

Our friendly support team are always on hand to listen and understand your exact requirements before we offer any solution. Solid Print support is provided by our own support engineers who are trained on all of our machines.

We work alongside our sister business Solid Solutions, the UK’s largest Solid Works reseller, offering seamless CAD to 3D Print support.

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At Solid Print, we have partnered with Ecologi who support projects across the world & fund the world’s best climate crisis solutions. Buying from us can help you uphold your pledge and commitments to sustainability.

We plant 50 trees on your behalf per machine sale and 1 per consumable sale. Ecologi supports our efforts to be a greener business and help you uphold your businesses sustainability commitments.

Check out our progress here.

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We offer Next Day Delivery (order before 4pm) on all of our consumables and spare parts Monday to Friday, to England, Scotland & Wales, (Excluding Scottish Highlands & Islands).

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