Did you know that Formlabs 3D printers have played a major role in bringing some of your favorite movies and TV shows to life? We often underestimate the hard work and talent behind the scenes, where dedicated individuals combine traditional craftsmanship with cutting-edge technologies like 3D printing to bring props to life. From the epic Marvel Cinematic Universe to the far, far away galaxies of Star Wars, and even the creepy Upside Down from Stranger Things, our printers have helped bring fantastical worlds to life!

Read on to discover how a touch of Formlabs 3D printing technology can feel like magic.

Crafting Imagination: 3D Printing Transforms Prop Creation in Entertainment

The entertainment industry is always looking for the next big thing and the best technology to work seamlessly and effectively. Russell Bobbitt, Property Master at Marvel Studios, known for his work on Iron Man, Avengers: Endgame and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, says that “3D printing is just an everyday event. It’s a very useful tool” in the entertainment industry.

Marvel’s Prop-Making Marvels: The 3D Printing Magic Behind the Scenes

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has made use of 3D printers on many occasions during the prop-making process. On average, Bobbitt estimates that about 100 props per film involve 3D printing.

The famous prop master gives the example of Thor’s new hammer, Stormbreaker, seen for the first time in Avengers: Infinity War. The iconic prop was 3D printed in 34 different pieces that were then assembled similarly to a trophy.

Additionally, Bobbit mentions Tony Stark’s Arc Reactor, which he defines as the most labor-intensive prop he’s ever made. Indeed, this legendary prop that makes Iron Man who he is takes quite some time to develop. It’s a lot of back and forth, especially since Robert Downey Jr. is very involved in the development and design of the Arc Reactor. Bobbit and Downey Jr. worked together on the initial drawing and design, Bobbitt 3D printed it, and together they tested it for visual and mechanical performance.

3D printing movie props

The different Arc Reactors for each Iron Man movie or appearance.

“This is probably the most intricate prop that we make,” Bobbitt states. “The Arc Reactors are the most difficult parts we make, but they’re also the closest to my heart.”