May 2019

And the Academy Award for best machine in a movie is… the 3D printer

We’ve spoken before about the growing influence 3D printing is having on the film industry before, but now we’re taking a look at those occasions 3D printers have been on-screen talent.

Here are a few of those occasions a 3D printer has featured in films.

Jurassic Park III (2001)

In the third and, well, weakest film in the Jurassic Park series, Sam Neill’s character Dr. Alan Grant’s apprentice Billy uses a 3D printer to create a replica of a velociraptor resonating chamber, which is later used to communicate with the raptors on the island. Well, as you’d expect, being able to talk to herds of angry cloned raptors does have its downsides. Quite a few downsides, as it turns out. Obviously.

Small Soldiers (1998)

Only 90’s kids will know just how good this movie was and just how small those soldiers were. The film revolves around a conflict between two factions of action figures, the Gorgonites and the Commando Elite. In the opening scene, Globotech Industries use a version of an SLA 3D printer to create the toy figurines.

Darkman (1990)

You’re forgiven if you’ve never heard of this classic superhero movie, but Darkman makes our list due to it being the first film to feature a 3D bioprinting. Liam Neeson stars as Darkman, a scientist who is attacked and left for dead by a ruthless mobster, before using a particular set of skills to seek his vengeance; one of which sees our hero use 3D bioprinting to print human skin in order to disguise himself, before beating up more bad guys.

The Fifth Element (1997)

As well as being one of the last films to feature Bruce Willis with hair, this may well be one of the most iconic movies on our list. The story sees a massive 3D bioprinter used to 3D print Milla Jovovich’s character Leeloo. Sure, Chris Tucker’s performance as the flamboyant Ruby Rhod is impressive, but we know who the biggest star in that epic film was.

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