3D Printing

Legacy Effects & SSYS at SXSW to Talk 3D Printing in the Movies

Who’s goin’ to SXSW next year? If you’re the 3D printing type, you might be tempted to.  The tech and music festival has, for the past two years, been welcoming 3D printing onto the scene with open arms.  In the past, you could have seen Bre Pettis unveil the Digitizer, eaten 3D printed Oreos, or watched the Print the Legend documentary. This year, you’ll get to see David Leigh, president of (Stratasys-owned) Harvest Technologies, and Jason Lopes, lead systems engineer at Legacy Effects, wow the crowd in a panel on 3D printing in the movies.

Legacy Effects has long been incorporating 3D printing into the movie making process, creating props and elaborate special effects pieces to bring films to life, and Lopes has become the go-to guy for 3D printing in film.  With Stratasys printers, the firm created articulated gloves and other pieces for the Iron Man trilogy, as well as a number of helmet parts for Pacific Rim and RoboCop.  Lopes explains, “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.”

Leigh will be able to speak to the use of the technology outside of Legacy Effects, too, including the Star-Lord helmet and Korath’s suit, printed by UK costume shop FBFX for Guardians of the Galaxy.  He elaborates, “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. 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.”

3D printing iron man suit

Together, the two will dicuss at SXSW the ways that the technology has changed and continues to change prop-making and animatronics in general, something Stratasys and Legacy embodied in the Bodock monster the companies made for Comic Con this year.  They’ll also be able to speak to the future of 3D printing in the industry, as Harvest Technology’s Marketing Manager, Lewis Simms, explains, “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.”

If you’re planning to hit up SXSW next March 13-22, this may be something you’d want to check out.  And if you go, save me a seat! And some 3D printed Oreos!