3D printing wins big at the Oscars with Black Panther and Materialise

Belgian 3D printing service provider Materialise has played a part in an Oscar win at the 91st Academy Awards, for its collaboration with designer Julia Koerner on the film Black Panther.

Taking place in Los Angeles on 24th February, American costume designer Ruth E. Carter won the Oscar for Best costume design for her work in Black Panther. Carter utilized 3D printed designs made in collaboration with 3D printing wearable specialist Julia Koerner and Materialise.

Materialise and Koerner made further collaborations that utilized 3D printing, creating intricate, 3D printed pieces designed specifically for Carter to wear.

Julia Koerner commented:

“I felt very excited about the Oscar nomination. Black Panther was my first time working on a movie, and it is very rewarding to be a part of this success.” 

3D-printed mantel and crown worn by the character of Queen Ramonda. Image via Marvel's Black Panther/ Costume Design by Ruth Carter
3D-printed mantel and crown worn by the character of Queen Ramonda. Image via Marvel’s Black Panther/ Costume Design by Ruth Carter

A landmark for 3D printing in fashion

Materialise was contacted by Julia Koerner to help 3D print a mantel and crown for the character Queen Ramonda in Black Panther, played by Julia Bassett. The 3D printed pieces played a part in one of the highest-grossing films of the year, which has now been recognized by the Academy for its excellent costume design.

The pieces were made using SLS 3D printing, designed so that they were supple enough to be comfortably worn on set, whilst stiff enough to maintain their shape.

Having won the Oscar, Koerner explains that technologies like 3D printing played an important part in creating the intricate designs required for the film.

Ruth E. Carter also asked Koerner to design a statement piece paying homage to the Black Panther film that she could wear to the 21st Costume Designers Guild Awards and the Vanity Fair Oscars Party. Koerner made further use of 3D printing for the piece, collaborating with Materialise once more to create a neck accessory for Carter, highlighting the use of 3D printing in couture and fashion.

The neck accessory was 3D printed by Materialise in PA 12 using SLS. Koerner customized the design entirely for Carter with a 3D scan of her head and shoulders. The pattern was inspired by African designs and motifs, as well as gala dresses by Balenciaga from the 1950’s and the work of Malian photographer Seydou Keïta. The piece also featured hand-embellished Swarovski crystals in order to create a sparkle when viewed at particular angles.

“The crystals intensify, even more, the detail of the piece. This was also the first time that this process of trickling crystals was performed on a 3D-printed piece: it’s a great combination of digital and traditional craftsmanship,” explains Koerner.

Detail of the filigree design of the 3D-printed statement piece. Photo via Materialise.
Detail of the filigree design of the 3D-printed statement piece. Photo via Julia Koerner/Materialise.

Casting the spotlight on 3D printing

This is not the only instance in which the Oscar-winning film Black Panther has made use of 3D printing. Global 3D printing service provider Protolabs collaborated with PepsiCo to create an award-winning method of generating publicity for Marvel’s Black Panther, creating a 3D printed collector’s kit for the movie.

In another example of 3D printing in film, LAIKA studios collaborated with Stratasys to create its stop-motion animated film Kubo and the Two Strings, which was also nominated for an Oscar. The film features a 3D printed puppet, called the Moon Beast, which uses 130 individual 3D printed pieces.

Finally, 3D printing was also behind the scenes for the Oscar-nominated film First Man, which used two BigRep ONE 3D printers to create a scale replica of the Apollo 11 capsule.

Black Panther Brisk promotion produced by Protolabs.
Black Panther Brisk promotion produced by Protolabs.

With the Oscars now over, it’s now your final chance to make nominations for the 2019 3D Printing Industry Awards.

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Featured image shows 3D-printed mantel and crown worn by the character of Queen Ramonda. Image via Marvel’s Black Panther/ Costume Design by Ruth Carter.

 



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