film, movies, space, suit, sci-fi, special effectsLast year’s blockbuster sci-fi thriller, Prometheus, owes some of its success to the visionary work of FBFX Ltd, a film industry model company, and to the 3D printers that brought their creations to life.

Set on a, shall we say, unhospitable planet, the characters in Prometheus are constantly wearing spacesuits. While the fabric portions of these spacesuits can be mocked up by costume designers, the high-tech, LED-filled helmets had to be created using 3D models. That job fell to Grant Pearmain, FBFX’s managing director, and his team.

According to Pearman, "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.”

In Prometheus’ case, lead actress Noomi Rapace’s space helmet was created using some fairly complex geometries. In years gone by, the modeling of Rapace’s helmet could have taken weeks to produce, which could have held up production. Pearmain explains, “As you can imagine for the Prometheus helmet, the cast were not always in the same place at the same time, so to be able to rapidly recreate a 3D model, in such a supremely accurate fashion, was integral in the design verification phase.” Pearman continues, “Once we had the 3D CAD file, our Objet30 3D Printer was crucial in finalizing the space helmet design, specifically to create the patterns for the collar and helmet locking rings. This type of job would have previously been outsourced, costing us time and money we did not have. However, having the 3D printer in-house allowed us to perfect the design and provide a more comfortable experience for Noomi without worrying about missing deadlines."

Watch the Prometheus trailer:

Images and Video Courtesy of FBFX & 20th Century Fox  

Source: The Sacramento Bee

 

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