Summer movie season is upon us and it’s time for aliens, bad guys and car chases to invade our local theaters. 3D printing has become a staple in movie special effects and costumes. From RoboCop’s helmet and suit to a yacht on Wolf of Wall Street, it’s now a common tool for special effects engineers. Back in the 70’s digital special effects, miniatures were the norm and used for some classic scenes like the space battles in Star Wars (great video above). Then in the 90’s there seemed to be a huge shift to computer graphics and “green screen” work with mixed results in terms of realism as the technology was still in its infancy. There now seems to be a bit of resurgence of models, but also the use of 3D printing to help make costumes or 3D scanning actors or props for digital special effects. This is evidenced further by 3D Systems recent acquisition of Gentle Giant Studios, a well respected maker of models for movies.
Of course if you’re like me, the previews are one of your favorite parts, so check out a preview for another new movie about 3D printing called The Man Who Prints Houses!