Dec 9, 2015 | By Kira

Whether it’s Wilson the Volleyball from Cast Away, the gold watch from Pulp Fiction, or Indie’s bullwhip from Raiders of the Lost Arc, movie props rarely take center-stage, yet they are the secret ingredients that help bring our favorite and most compelling stories to life. And now, digital manufacturing specialists PartWorks is helping movie studios make those props faster and cheaper than ever before through 3D designing and 3D printing technology.

The Atlanta-based, one-stop digital manufacturing service has just announced its Industrial Concierge service for designing, prototyping and manufacturing props of all kinds through 3D scanning, reverse engineering and 3D printing technology. Thanks to cutting-edge FDM, SLS, DMLS, and SLA 3D printing machines offered through their extensive network of partners, the company is then able to 3D print the parts in either plastic or metal, helping filmmakers meet tight deadlines while staying under budget. In addition, the Industrial Concierge service will combine 3D printing technologies with quick-turn CNC machining, injection molding, and sheet metal fabrication to answer all filmmakers' manufacturing needs.

“3D printing is dramatically changing the motion picture, home video and television industry. PartWorks is uniquely positioned to provide a one-stop digital manufacturing solution that studios and production houses can rely on to quickly and efficiently bring fantasy closer to reality,” said Scott Geller, PartWorks CEO. "In a business where each prop is custom and can be quite extraordinary, our customers demand quick, reliable response and premium service. Our unique combination of custom part design and production services dramatically reduces turn-around time and lowers the risk of involving multiple partners.”

3D printing was also used to create the props for 2014's RoboCop

Using a side range of 3D printing materials, including clear, rubber-like, biocompatible, and even high-performance thermoplastics, PartWorks’ service can 3D print everything from quick-turn props to larger set-pieces to costumes. Their clients range from Hollywood effects studios, to independent filmmakers to Broadway.

In one recent case, Cine Stables, an Atlanta-based motion picture equipment rental company and PartWorks customer, needed to reproduce an intricately careved tombstone for the History Channel movie Roanoke: Search for the Lost Colony. Whereas normally, Cine Stables would have had to commission an artist to create a handmade prop—a timely and expensive task—PartWorks simply used 3D scanners to capture the carvings on both sides of the tombstone. PartWorks partner CloudDDM then 3D printed them in perfect detail.

“PartWorks not only helped us produce an amazingly accurate reproduction, but they completed the job with astonishing speed,” said Michael Johnson of Cine Stables. The reproduction ended up being so precise and realistic, it was featured in several close-up shots during the film.

Image of 'Dare Stone' from the film Roanoke: Search for the Lost Colony

In addition to movie prop production, PartWorks offers digital manufacturing services for the aerospace, automotive, industrial, and medical sectors. Their extensive network of partners includes global plastic and metal manufacturers that provie access to CNC machining, plastic injection molding, metal stamping, and precision sheet metal and fabrication.

The movie industry is a fast-paced, incredibly demanding business, with needs changing on the fly and budgets that are often too tight to meet them. However, we've already seen 3D printing used to create stop-motion films and television commercials. Thanks to PartWorks and similar initiatives, it might not be long before directors start to call "action!" on 3D printing technology.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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