February 2019

Why 3D printing is the new star of the silver screen

There are few industries who evolve as frequently as the film industry. With home entertainment now a very real competitor for movie studios, filmmakers are now under more pressure than ever to produce even more spectacular and mind-blowing films. Without the cutting-edge technology, the motion picture industry would likely lose the battle against all of those competing options such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and others. Fortunately for us, 3D printing can bring realism to a film that you just don’t quite capture on your home flat screen.

While we might be a bit biased towards 3D printing, here are some of the reasons the technology has been such a blockbuster hit with the movie industry over the past 20-plus years.

Prop Design

3D printing removes a lot of human error out of prop design, helping ensure a prop looks a lot more realistic than before. If you’ve ever watched one of the original Godzilla movies, it’s clear straight away that we’ve come a long way in terms of movie props. There wasn’t much chance you’d mistake one of these movies for something real, although that’s not to say these older productions don’t still have their charm.

By producing parts directly from 3D CAD data, building them up one layer at a time, 3D printing provides the greatest efficiencies and results with highly complex, low-volume and ever-changing parts – offering greater freedom to those prop designers looking to create a truly memorable piece. 3D printing technology allows movie makers to bring their creations to life in vivid detail – and here at Ogle we know the journey 3D printing has been on within the movie industry.

Star Wars

Our work in the film industry dates back to the first ever Star Wars film in 1976. Who can forget Luke Skywalker’s iconic Landspeeder – an antigravity hover craft driven by the film’s hero – or the Snowspeeder? Well, every one of the models of those two vehicles featured in the iconic movie were created by us here at Ogle. The models, which had to be shot from certain angles to disguise the wheels and hide the broom attached to its underside to create the illusion of kicking up dust, were created using, at the time, state-of-the-art technology.

Recent Examples

Black Panther: Last year’s big movie hit was Black Panther, which featured an incredible 3D printed outfit for one of the film’s lead characters, Queen Ramonda; mixing traditional African culture with 3D print technology. By using 3D printing, the costume designers were able to really push the limits of creativity – and the finished product was truly memorable.

Jurassic World: 3D scanning and 3D printing were used to create replications of prehistoric artefacts for the movie Jurassic World. By 3D scanning original bones and fossils to create 3D printable models, the team were able to 3D print replications of real dinosaur bones to create effects even closer to the reality.

Ironman: While there’s a good chance you’re a fan of the Ironman movies, you could be forgiven for thinking the famous Ironman suit was created using CGI. Well, not so. The gloves that were used by Tony Stark were actually 3D printed.

To find out more about our work within the film and entertainment industry, click here.


Want to talk?

For more information about this article or to speak to one of our expert team, call us
on +44 (0) 1462 682 661 or email us at [email protected].