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Stratasys 3D Prints Costumes and Props for "Guardians of the Galaxy" Blockbuster Movie


Korath's outfit from 'Guardians of the Galaxy' was 3D printed using Stratasys'Polyjet technology. It was the first time special effects company, FBFX Ltd. Had made a fully 3D printed costume worn in a movie.
Photo courtesy of Stratasys Ltd.

MINNEAPOLIS—3D printing landed a starring role of its own in one of this year's movie blockbusters, "Guardians of the Galaxy," with a Stratasys Objet500 Connex printing some of the movie props, as well as the entire "armor" outfit for the character Korath, played by Djimon Hounsou.

This Objet500 Connex technology represents Stratasys's first time it has produced a fully 3D printed costume worn for a movie. The movie's Star Lord helmet worn by lead actor, Chris Pratt, was also 3D printed for this off-beat, science fiction, adventure movie, according to director of costume and props, Grant Pearmain, at special effects company, FBFX Ltd., in a press release.

Several prototype versions of the Star Lord helmet were 3D printed, as well as vacuum-cast versions created from a 3D printed mold. The actual prop worn in the movie featured a 3D printed interior and exterior detailing using Stratasys's VeroGray material.


The Star Lord helmet from 'Guardians of the Galaxy' features various Stratasys 3D printed parts.
Photo courtesy of Stratasys Ltd.

According to Pearmain at FBFX Ltd., 3D printing technology has moved things to a new dimension for his company, specifically in quality and turnaround times in comparison to traditional methods involving model makers working with clay. Underscoring the rapid advance of digital technology within FBFX's operations, the company now utilizes 3D printing in 90 percent of its projects—a leap from a mere 10 percent about three or four years ago.

"Quite simply, Stratasys's PolyJet technology delivers a level of quality with precise detail that is better than anything else available," Pearmain said in a press release " We no longer have to contend with repeatability issues like variations in skill level from one craftsman to another. We know exactly what the 3D printed piece will look like, regardless of how many pieces we're producing."

Workflow times slashed by half

Lead times were cut by 50 percent, a precious commodity when working on a film because there never seems to be enough time, Pearmain explained. "This faith in the 3D printed piece and the speed at which we can have it in our hands also gives us the flexibility and confidence to regularly experiment and to try new things, something we've not always had the time to do," he said in the release.

These time savings have allowed Pearmain and his team to go from design to virtually completed, accurate prototypes in a few days, as opposed to a few weeks. FBFX Ltd. can now show highly-detailed pieces to production companies much more quickly than using traditional methods, while also rapidly turning around pieces in response to directors' sudden demands for camera tests, Pearmain explained.


Using Stratasys 3D printing, special effects company, FBFX Ltd., was able to produce realistic props in a matter of days for the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' movie.
Photo courtesy of Stratasys Ltd.

Seamless transatlantic workflow and collaboration

For Pearmain, the capability of 3D printing to allow different teams in different countries to work on the same project further demonstrates its process-enhancing benefits.

"We will often receive digital files from concept designers in Los Angeles that we finalize and 3D print via our service bureau IPF, with whom we've collaborated on a number of major motion pictures," he said in the release. "Similarly, we might send concept files to the team there to tweak and return for outputting here, so it's all about a fast, seamless operation that again helps us save time."

From a technological aspect, deploying 3D printing within this particular field of use offers a number of new benefits previously beyond the reach of companies like FBFX Ltd., said Simon Brandon, UK Marketing Manager at Stratasys, in a press release.

"The high quality and precision detail achievable from our sixteen micron layer PolyJet-based 3D printers ensures fully-functional props with unprecedented realism, which, together with the printers' high print speeds, fulfill two of the foremost prerequisites demanded by companies like FBFX," he said in the release.

Stratasys Ltd. (www.stratasys.com), headquartered in Minneapolis and Rehovot, Israel, is a major global provider of 3D printing and additive manufacturing services. The company's patented FDM®, PolyJetTM, and WDMTM 3D Printing technologies produce prototypes and manufactured goods directly from 3D CAD files or other 3D content.

Systems include 3D printers for idea development, prototyping, and direct digital manufacturing. Stratasys subsidiaries include MakerBot and Solidscape, and the company operates a digital-manufacturing service, comprising RedEye, Harvest Technologies, and Solid Concepts.

This technical information has been contributed by
Stratasys, Inc.

Click here to find suppliers

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