Movie making is moving more and more towards the digital realm with an increasing reliance on digital effects and the emergence of digital film cameras. To stay ahead of this trend UK based film industry model-maker FBFX Ltd. used 3D printer technology when developing the helmets worn by the characters in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus movie.
FBFX Ltd. have been in the model-making business for over 20 years and have worked on recent high profile Hollywood movies including Captain America, War Horse, Hellboy 2, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Star Wars Episodes 1 and 2. They recently invested in a Stratasys Objet30 Desktop 3D printer to improve their ability to create and modify prototype models for the films that they are working on.
“The film industry is rapidly moving towards digital – more and more 3D files are coming in, so we’ve had to align our in-house resources to meet this demand. We can now take 3D data and quickly 3D print a model for our customers to hold in their hands and make design changes if necessary.”, Grant Pearmain, FBFX Managing Director continues, “Having this capability puts us on the frontline, and in this business, having the most cutting-edge technology in-house can be the difference between being called upon for a multi-million pound movie or not.”
For the Alien series prequel movie Prometheus, FBFX Ltd. was tasked with developing the space helmet worn by Noomi Rapace and her crew from 3D digital models. Prior to being sent to the Objet 3D printer, the helmet’s 3D design file sent from the production designers was used to create a 3D CAD file. The Stratasys printer quickly produced accurate models which greatly accelerated the creation of the final design. The helmet has complex geometries, particularly in the patterns for the collar and helmet locking rings. Traditional model making methods would take weeks to produce a final working model, but the Objet30 helped to drastically reduce this development time and improve precision.
For a complex design project such as this helmet FBFX Ltd. would have previously been outsorced, but with their own 3D printer capabilities FBFX were not only able to save time but also money by bringing the whole process in-house.
If you’re a fan of the Alien franchise or sci-fi in general you’ve probably already seen Prometheus, but check out the trailer below and see the 3D printed helmets in action.