May 17, 2015 | By Simon

Although we’ve seen how 3D printing can radically change how we think about everything from hardware design and development to the future of medicine and even food production, some of the more clever uses we’ve seen the technology used for have included marketing campaigns.  

Perhaps one of the most well-known examples of how 3D printing was used in a marketing campaign was when the musical act Broken Bells let their fans 3D print figurines from their new album back in May of 2014.  For the campaign, the band released two sets of 3D printing blueprints for Broken Bells-themed models on their website - including a signature orb that was featured on the cover of the album as well as a spacegirl (modeled off of actress Kate Mara) who was in one of the band’s music videos.  Now, a new movie is following suit with the success of Broken Bells’ 3D printable models and have announced that fans can take home (or print at home) a little piece of movie memorabilia before the movie even comes out.

The movie, Spy, was featured at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas and was met with an enthusiastic response.  The action-comedy features  actress Melissa McCarthy as the character Susan Cooper, a CIA analyst who goes into the field for the very first time after her partner - played by Jude Law - falls off the grid.  The movie is supported by an all-star supporting cast including Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Miranda Hart, Bobby Cannavale,  Allison Janney, Peter Serafinowicz, and Morena Baccarin - however it is Statham who really stands out from his usual fare of action thriller films.    

During a scene in the movie, Statham suggest that one way of catching the antagonist is to use a “Face Off Machine” - a face-replicating machine that, similar to many other spy gadgets seen in movies, doesn’t exist in the real world.

However, to help market the movie, Fox has created a “real world” Face-Off Machine that users can use to create their very own replicas of Jason Statham’s face using a 3D printer.  When users navigate to the site, they are introduced to a process of how the machine would work - which, similar to the real world, starts with a 2D image/scan before being modeled into a 3D file...which users can then download directly onto their computer for 3D printing.  Of course, for those who don’t have access to a 3D printer, any 3D printing service could work, too.

Whether or not you plan on seeing the movie when it releases in theaters on June 6th is one thing, but it’s hard to not agree that the Face-Off Machine was a pretty clever marketing stunt - especially for the 3D crowd!  To try it for yourself, head over to  



Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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Mad Bob wrote at 5/18/2015 12:42:28 PM:

LOL everyone should print caricature models from the data.

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