Aaron Pearson
Vice President of Public Relations

sxsw 2015Bright Lights! Big Stars! 3D Printing!? David Leigh, president of Harvest Technologies, a Stratasys Company, and Jason Lopes, lead systems engineer at Legacy Effects and longtime Stratasys customer, will be taking to the stage for a special presentation at SXSW 2015, March 13-22, 2015, in Austin, Texas, to demonstrate the way 3D printing is reshaping the movie making process.

"There has been a significant impact in visual effects through the marrying of CGI and physical models manufactured with 3D printing, creating a seamless transition in the editing and post processing of the final product. There is just something the human eye picks up when it compares a traditional model to CGI designs,” Leigh said. “3D printing provides the best of both - it's an exact replica of the CGI model crafted in a digital space that can now be brought to reality, facilitating a better cinematic experience."

Stratasys’ 3D printing technologies have been used in Legacy Effect’s prop and costume making process for countless movie blockbusters. In addition, Legacy Effects also partners with Stratasys’ service bureaus for custom parts using ID-Light™, cast urethanes and large FDM components. Outside of the silver screen, Lopes and his team also assisted in building Bodock, the giant creature, and the Wired robot at Comic-Con 2013.

Marvel’s Heroes and Villains Come to Life with 3D Printing

3D printing has played a major role in recent movie production, especially several of the recent Marvel blockbusters, changing the way costume and prop shops build some of Hollywood’s most memorable characters.

Lopes’ integration of 3D printing into the creative work at Legacy continues to be transformative in costume development. 3D printing has opened doors to material options and has changed the way actors interact with the set and their costumes. The power of prototyping using 3D printing for costume design is evident in Marvel’s Iron Man trilogy. Iron Man’s suit, articulated gloves and integrative costume pieces were prototyped and produced on a Stratasys 3D printer using PolyJet technology. Lopes and his team also 3D printed numerous costume and prop components, including intricate helmet parts for Pacific Rim and RoboCop.

"The adoption of 3D printing at Legacy Effects has allowed us to take our craft to the next level and create things that before were unimaginable,” Lopes said.

The Star-Lord helmet in Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as Korath’s suit, were both 3D printed by UK costume shop FBFX. The Stratasys 3D printed parts were used directly on  Star-Lord’s helmet featured in the film.

But 3D printing isn’t limited to costumes. Moddler 3D printed the prototypes for the weapons used in Men in Black 3 , and Thor’s legendary hammer Mjolnir came to life with rapid prototyping at the Propshop.

What’s Next on the Big Screen?

According to Lewis Simms, Marketing Manager at Harvest Technologies, a Stratasys Company, "3D printing is now changing the film industry in a manner that hasn't been done since the introduction of computer-generated imagery. Studios and special effects experts are now able to utilize 3D printing to produce everything from concept models to scaled and full-size props, set-pieces, and costumes. These computer-generated designs are literally brought to life, bringing fantasy just that much closer to reality."

Intrigued? Want to learn more?  More details on the SXSW panel are coming! Make sure to join us at SXSW 2015 to hear more about the future of 3D printing in the film industry!