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3D Printing for Film & TV

We’re currently working on some top secret (not to mention very exciting) projects for the Film & TV Industry and it got us thinking about what a vast and varied market multimedia is for the world of Additive Manufacturing.

As part of Film and TV’s natural evolution over the past 5-10 years, the genres of Fantasy and Action have erupted, creating more need for heightened visual effects. As well as 3D visual effects, movie makers are using 3D printing to create props and set-works. According to 3Dprint.com, ‘Aside from advanced technology, computer programming, and superior 3D visual effects software, movie production teams are 3D printing props that are more accurate, realistic, detailed, and customizable to different scenes and purposes.’

It’s clear that there is a huge scope for 3D printing within the industry, especially with such a range of ever-evolving technology at their disposal. In our lab for instance, we have the Massivit 1800 – ideal for large scale and light weight props. The HP Multi Jet Fusion 4200 can create solid and durable parts in high detail, and our Stratasys Fortus machines can produce highly detailed, large form prints with speed and ease.

Back in 2014, when talking to Empire about the Guardians of the Galaxy film, Pinewood’s Amanda Amphlett said, ‘We are changing the way that props are being made, because we design in digital; everything we do is 100 per cent digital. We can scan something, model it, and then print it as a prop.’

So, what might be 3D printed for the Film and TV industry? Well the applications are truly endless, from prototyping and conceptual aids, to prop making and even costumes. No surprise! As we saw at the Met Gala, several guests incorporated 3D prints into their extravagant costumes.

Go Print 3D, discuss how 3D printing can offer a quicker and more accurate alternative to traditional methods of making, as it has in other markets, ‘In this world of green screen and digital manipulation you could be forgiven for thinking that manufacturing physical props is no longer such a necessity for film and TV studios. However, this is where 3D printing comes into its own. New ideas can be printed and communicated in less time than it takes to film a scene and different designs can be tested against each other quickly and cheaply. Whether it be costumes, lightsabers or man-eating monsters, 3D printers are changing filmmaking.’

But you might be surprised at how common additive manufacturing is within the industry, 3D print.com highlighted a few in their article including Black Panther, Jurassic World and Star Wars.

Although the film industry has been using additive manufacturing for over a decade, its starting to become much more commonplace, all3dp.com highlighted some of the best examples of 3D printed props from recent years, including some recognisable award-winning designs.

It’s an exciting time for our industry, and each market that opens up only further cements how the future of making is here!

Image Source: Adam Savage's Tested