3D printing goes Hollywood
Every now and then we hear about the use of 3D printers in newer work areas. Be it in printing a nanometer car model or a large sandstone building or a working limb, 3D printers have found a home almost everywhere. However, you would be surprised to know that even the motion picture industry of the U.S. (or more popularly Hollywood) is not spared from the mesmerizing spell of 3D printing. At least when it comes to making the costumes and other props for a particular movie, a 3D printer is definitely a gizmo that creates a connect with the under production movie.
Props, water scene in Caroline
The makers of the film Caroline used the stop motion approach depicted in the film with a twist: an Objet Connex500 3D printer was used to print various model components. This enabled the Caroline producers to print many more custom components than would ever have been possible previously. The makers of the film also enacted an animated shower scene with 3D printed water. For that, they again made good use of the Objet Connex500 3D printer. Many props used in the film including silverware to doorknobs to VW Beetle, were also created with a 3D printer.
Downey’s costume in Iron Man 2
The costume of Iron Man and his foe Whiplash, in the Hollywood blockbuster Iron Man 2 were produced on a 3D printer. And no, not just a mould or a 3D prototype of the suit parts, but the actual wearable costume, which Robert Downey Jr. and Mickey Rouke wear while enacting their respective characters in the film. A little paint and viola, the 3D-printed costume was ready to be worn. Apparently, during the shooting of Iron Man 1, Robert Downey was in constant discomfort while wearing the gloves that were made in the conventional manner. They were tight for his hands and caused him discomfort while flexing and moving. In Iron Man 2, a 3D scan of Downey’s hands was done. The scan enabled the creation of 3D-printed gloves that would comfortably fit in his hands.
And the list doesn’t end here
The list definitely doesn’t end here by any stretch of imagination. Some other 3D printer-Hollywood connections include Kenneth Branagh’s Thor, The Hangover or Cowboys and Aliens and Daniel Craig’s alien wrist weapon in Cowboy and Aliens and Star Trek’s Sci-Fi pieces to name a few. The fact of the matter is that 3D-printing reduces the cost of production. Therefore, especially when it comes to a motion picture where props come in plenty, the use of a 3D printer results in indirect cost control for film producers. In fact, Hollywood has its very own 3D printed props master, Russell Bobbitt. Bobbitt is a 27 year veteran in making props for the U.S. motion picture industry and he makes good use of 3D printers to yield cost-effective props for its producer customers in Hollywood.