Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man, is a fictional character from the movie, Iron Man. In the sequel to the first movie, Stark upgraded his suit with a little help from technology that isn’t actually fictional at all, with a 3D Printer. 3D Printing helped massively with this movie as artists and the production crew were able to design and create many iterations of the suit to use in the movie which would have cost thousands of dollars to do so, however with the help of a 3D Printer, Marvel was able to cut the cost and time down drastically. Below are examples of the “prototype” designs for Iron Man’s armour.

Another great thing about the suit being 3D Printed is the aesthetic and quality. Before 3D Printing this suit would have been made using CGI (Computer Generated Image) which at times can look obviously fake (I mean, a tech billionaire making a pacemaker in the middle of a desert isn’t THAT much of a stretch) and this can ruin a movie’s quality, but this isn’t just the case for Iron Man though, many other films use 3D Printing for this purpose and since the fewer CGI effects you use and the more practical/real effect then the better your movies appears and viewers will not be distracted by cartoony looking men flying in the skies of Manhattan!

The process used in Iron Man 2 has been described as  “print-to-wear” – objects are printed, get applied with paint, primer and anything else the team requires to make the armour authentic, and then make their way to the actors. The 3D Printed pieces are also very ergonomic since they are scanned from the user’s body using 3D Scanners (We have a blog on this using an Xbox Kinect!). Now, Iron Man 2 was released in 2010 and you may be thinking this is old new. Well, you’re right it is, however, the concept of 3D Printing and its uses have grown tenfold since 2010, movies, games, TV and all sorts of industries that require props and other objects to be made are using 3D printing due to its low cost of prints and time compared to the traditional methods. For example, another one of Marvel’s latest movie “Black Panther” used 3D Printing everywhere it could to really bring the people, clothing, jewellery and world to life.

Black Panther may have reached massive miles stones in the film industry in regards to money, but the real milestone is their use of 3D Printing!
The movie featured costumes worn by the actors, the most notable is the Wakanda Queen, Ramonda. The costumes used African traditional styled clothing mixed with the futuristic elements of Wakanda. Julia Koerner, an architect and 3D printing fashion specialist, helped Ruth E. Carter, a costume designer, to integrate 3D printing into the costumes especially of those of Queen Ramonda.

Thank you for reading, if you have access to a 3D Printer, why not try printing some awesome things from Iron Man like this Iron Man Helmet, Full Body Statue or if you’re feeling adventurous, try this Arc Reactor with LED lights!

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