3D printers. Whenever I have mentioned these printers to someone a couple years ago, they were confused and did not understand how it worked. Most people I talk to about 3D printers, now, know the basic information about the printers. For anyone who does not know what a 3D printer is, they are machines that create three-dimensional, physical objects for people. There is a type of wire, the most common type is plastic, that is inserted into the machine. The 3D printer then starts melting out the plastic making layers upon layers of the material to ultimately created an object for use. A common software that some people use for a 3D printer is CAD software, which stands for Computer Aided Design. The most common places you hear of a 3D printer being used is for prosthetics, art, toys, and many more useful objects. Now, 3D printed material is located in many places and fields, like the film industry.
People in the film industry can use 3D printers for many different film gear. Some examples are DSLR Rig System, follow focus, camera drone, tripod plate, and many more film gear. Large Hollywood features have already been using the 3D printer to create gear for a while. Indie films are now starting to get into using 3D printed gear. In the past, making props for films took a long time. Now, with 3D printers, the time to make props has decreased and they are making them faster than ever.
3D printers are also helping to lower the cost of buying certain props. For an example, in Zero Dark Thirty, the night vision goggles that were used in the film were 3D printed. This was due to the original goggles costing too much. The prop team took pictures of the night vision goggles and used them to create replicas of the goggles with a 3D printer. They were used to create more cost-efficient objects for the film.
3D printers have also been used in other films for various reasons, such as for costumes. Instead of building costume models by hand, which takes a long time, more filmmakers are using 3D printers to create costumes. In Iron Man 2, for example, most of the suits you see on the screen were 3D printed. All of the live scenes in the movie, not the CGI scenes, used a 3D printed suit on Robert Downey Jr. First, it was created digitally. Then it was printed out in separate pieces. Lastly it was painted and assembled together for the iconic Iron Man suit.
3D printers are becoming a huge part of our society, especially in the Film industry. They are great machines to create props, costumes, and so many more applications to make the production of a film more efficient and lower cost. For more information click here or here.