One of the most famous cars in movie history is James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5. It made its first appearance in Goldfinger released in 1964 and has made cameo appearances in several Bond films since. For the latest instalment in the franchise, Skyfall, the DB5 was to appear in several scenes, including one where it explodes into flames. Since an original James Bond DB5 is worth millions of dollars the producers decided to create several 3D printed models to take the originals place.
The models were made by British company Propshop Modelmakers Ltd, which specialise in the production of film props. They used large scale Voxeljet 3D printers to create the cars, each a third the size of the real thing. If a model was damaged during filming, the could just print another one. Much cheaper than using a real Aston Martin DB5.
“Propshop commissioned us to build three plastic models of the Aston Martin DB5,” voxeljet CEO Dr. Ingo Ederer.
“We could have easily printed the legendary sports car in one piece at a scale of 1:3 using our high-end VX4000 printer, which can build moulds and models in dimensions of up to eight cubic metres.”
To ensure a high level of detail and accuracy in the models a total of 18 individual parts were printed for each car and assembled onto a steel chassis. After the models are finished it is almost impossible to distinguish the 3D printed model with the original car. 3D printing of models is ideally suited to the film industry as its much faster, cheaper and more realistic than current model building methods.
Judging by the finished DB5 model below, one of which was auctioned off after filming for 100,000UKP, we can only agree that this is the way forward.