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Film industry is relying on 3D printing


When sports cars, luxury yachts or buildings blow up in films or TV productions, viewers ask themselves: How do they do that? The answer is provided by the British company Propshop Modelmakers Ltd: The company, which is based at Pinewood Studios, specialises in the design and production of models and film props, and employs model makers, technicians and artists.

To create models that are so true to life that viewers cannot distinguish them from the originals, the company is increasingly relying on 3D printing technology. Propshop has been a customer of voxeljet's services for some time, and also used the 3D printing service for the new James Bond film Skyfall. The chassis of the 1/3 Aston Martin DB5 model was printed at voxeljet.

At this time, Propshop is operating its own voxeljet 3D printing system. It chose a VX1000, which was delivered by British voxeljet distribution partner Global TCT in September 2012. This was already the fifth voxeljet system to be installed in the United Kingdom. "The film industry opens up an entirely new customer base for voxeljet. With their high performance, large build space and detailed resolution of up to 600 dpi, voxeljet printers such as the VX1000 are ideally suited for use in the film industry," says Tobias King, Director Marketing and Sales at voxeljet AG.

Propshop has high expectations for its machine: "The VX1000 enables us to quickly print out any number of true-to-detail plastic models based on CAD data. The prints are not only extremely accurate but can also be easily machined and painted thanks to their mechanical stability. 3D printing offers fantastic opportunities particularly for the film industry, since it is usually much faster, more precise and more economical than classic model construction," says James Enright, CEO of Propshop.

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