Anything’s possible with 3D printing !

http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/smallbiz-tech/anythings-possible-with-3d-printing-20150422-1mr9w6

A 3D printed reef unit after eight months.

Anything’s possible with 3D printing

The rapid technological development of 3D imagery and 3D printing is so advanced that actors will only have to be filmed once before their image can be replicated for any facial expression; reefs can be transported and rebuilt around the world and soon you will be able to design and print your own surfboard at home.

And it is all happening right now.

Mark Ruff is an internationally acclaimed photographer who has received awards from around the globe. He has set up a company, 3D Body Scan, where 3D imaging is changing the future of motion pictures around the world.

“I didn’t invent the technology but I am certainly using it to my advantage,” Ruff says. “I use an 80 camera, 24 Mpx array, which instantaneously captures a body or face in what is called a near real-time system. Multiple cameras capture a decisive moment in time from many angles. When these frames are edited together, the moment appears frozen as we move it around.

“Time splice is able to provide all levels of production to provide a turnkey solution. This style of imagery resembles 3D modelling: a technique creating a model of a subject and manipulating it in 3D space. The big difference is that time splice captures the real world in 3D.”

Ruff says that in the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, where Brad Pitt is born old and dies young, the actor was shot at his own age in every sequence, but 3D modelling and Paul Ekman’s FACS (facial action coding system) allowed post-production to age him and make him look younger, as well as transporting his head onto other people’s bodies.

“The reality is that you only need to shoot actors once now and you can manipulate their image to anything you want for the future,” he says.

Ruff, who says he is the only person in Australia developing this type of technology, is working with Hollywood producers and Australian sports bodies on 3D imagery.

He says the possibilities are endless.

“With broadcast, you can create a ‘fly-through’ effect where a sports player, for example, could appear in your living room; you can create characters for games based on real people; and for the fashion industry, you will only need to photograph people once and you will be able to fit and design garments for them interactively.”

Ruff says once a 3D model is created, it can easily be turned into a figurine and printed in full colour up to 34 centimetre tall.

However, that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to 3D printing.

David Lennon and Alex Goad have co-founded the Reef Design Lab, which is dedicated to advancing the effectiveness of purpose-built reef units, as well as marine infrastructure such as jetties, rock walls, marinas and canal estates.

Lennon and Goad have designed the modular artificial reef structure (MARS) to recreate a highly conducive environment for sea life in areas in which natural habitats have been damaged or destroyed by pollution, climate change, destructive fishing practices and other human activities.

Locking together to form a lattice-like structure, each of the modules is rendered with various indentations, undulations and holes to mimic the calcified skeletons of dead coral.

“Another application is repairing reefs damaged by ship groundings,” Lennon says. “It would be possible to survey the damaged reef section, create 3D units on the computer, email them to the 3D sand printer, print the required reef units, ship them to site, deploy them and the reef scape would [be] . . . extremely natural and function very effectively for providing immediate refuge for fish and stable substrate for natural coral regrowth or planting of corals.”

Lennon has worked with James Gardiner, a Sydney-based architect who identified 3D printer manufacturer D-Shape in Italy as a potential manufacturer of constructed reef units.

“James and I created the first prototype design we built and deployed off Bahrain,” Lennon says. “My other company, Sustainable Ocean International, with Environment Arabia in Bahrain won a two-year contract to design and build 10 reefs for Bahrain to help increase fish stocks. We saw the need for a Bahrain-based company that could manufacture artificial reef units to supply the Arabian Gulf market and, hence, Reef Arabia was born and founded in 2012.”

The one issue Lennon faces is cost. The reality is that 3D imagery is expensive and like any new technology, it gets cheaper as more and more people use it and more companies start manufacturing machines.

“The current printer we use would cost around $1 million to buy and set up in Bahrain, so it’s not a simple investment, but anecdotal evidence suggests that this specific unit deployed off Bahrain is performing as well as a comparable-sized concrete unit.”

While 3D printing artificial reefs is a big job, something of a smaller scale is a lot easier and cheaper, such as surfboards.

Gary Elphick started Disrupt Surfing just over a year ago because of his frustration with surfboards being mass produced.

Elphick, who ran a surfing accessory business, thought the individuality of surfboards was getting lost.

“I really believed that there was a better way to design surfboards,” Elphick says. “We originally started looking at the technology and realised that through 3D, we could design and print a surfboard.”

Disrupt Surfing uses 3D printing design technology to make a digital set-up of the surfboard and then the customer can direct the art, finish and design.

“We make a digital file from the customer’s request; we then create a 3D render before we 3D print the design using a new heat-sensitive moulded plastic,” Elphick says. “Next, we refine the design until the customer is happy and then we start shaping before uploading the 3D digital file to the shaping machine before being glassed and sprayed. The board is then ready for surfing.

“At the moment, the process takes four weeks, but the aim is to get it down to four hours.”

Elphick initially started working from home before renting premises on Bondi Beach. However, he only takes online orders.

“We had queues outside our building and it was annoying the landlord and other tenants, so we decided to move to our own premises,” he says.

“At the moment, the business is growing 20 per cent per month and we are intending to expand into Europe in June. We have already formed partnerships with companies in Sri Lanka and Hong Kong.”

smh.com.au

by Louis White | May 10, 2015

3D printed props and costumes

Sky News Features A Few Awesome 3D Printed Movie Props

http://goo.gl/mFyFD7

Film studios are turning to special effects companies with 3D printers for quick turnarounds of detailed outfits.

Movie props and costumes are getting more elaborate and intricate because of an unlikely new character in Hollywood – the 3D printer.

Film studios are increasingly turning to special effects companies with 3D printers so that outfits can be created more quickly and with some impressive detail.

The process isn’t cheap – but there’s less of a need for actors to stand around nearly naked in plaster casts anymore.

Grant Pearmain, director at FB FX, told Sky News the design process has been revolutionised by the technology.

He said: “A 3D printer can make something that a normal person just can’t physically make, by the way it prints, kind of overlaps and underlaps.”

Among the many blockbuster movie pieces co-designed by Mr Pearmain’s company is the helmet worn by actor Chris Pratt when he starred as Star Lord in Guardians Of The Galaxy.

It was printed ready to wear straight away.

The A-lister’s co-star Djimon Hounsou – who played the baddie Korath – also received the 3D printer treatment.

Mr Pearmain added: “The designer wanted a look on that film of a kind of armour that you just wouldn’t traditionally be able to make – it would be really impossible to do.

“We worked quite hard to create 3D-printed parts that were strong enough that that entire costume could be built that way.”

Parts of Christian Bale’s helmet and armour, as he played Moses in Exodus: Gods And Kings, were also 3D printed.

Gary Miller, head of 3D printing facility IPF, told Sky News: “It’s got to the stage now where if you don’t have access to this technology you’re kind of working with one arm tied behind your back.

“It’s so fast. We’re printing in the evening on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and supplying the studios on Monday morning to go fitting straight onto the actors.”

The method also means special visual effects designers in the UK can send over prototypes to US studios for approval more quickly.

However, 3D printing has been criticised for being expensive. There have been rumblings over potential job losses too.

Technician Jack Rothwell operates a digital 3D body scanner for actors at Shepperton Studios.

He said: “I think there are fears, I think especially for people who haven’t grown up with computers who are traditional model makers … it’s a struggle to incorporate this into their work flow.”

However, film journalist Tom Butler, told us the situation may balance itself out in the long run.

“You will always need a skilled engineer at the front end to design the thing in the first place.”

And as the cost drops and the tech improves further, there are high hopes for the future.

He added: “I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to think that in the future Star Wars films the storm troopers will be wearing 3D-printed costumes.”

NEWS.SKY.COM
by Gemma Morris, Sky News Presenter | Friday 20 February 2015 20:30, UK

The movies – inspiration to 3D printing

Our latest blog post: A look at how and why Tinseltown is focusing on 3D printing for movie production!

http://malta3dprinting.blogspot.com/…/why-hollywoods-intere…

In theaters across the world, fans watch in amazement as lifelike costumes and props take centre stage in blockbuster movies. We’ve all been spoiled by advanced CGI (computer generated imagery), sitting back as we admire an ultra-realistic ocean glistening below a hovering alien mother-ship on screen.

The list of computer generated images is endless, and some movies rely entirely on these graphical reproductions.

Luckily, 3D printing is stepping in to add some much needed realness to our favourite flicks. The Iron Man movie series serves as a prime example – with an untold number of suits having been 3D printed by Legacy Effects for all 3 Iron Man titles.

One can only imagine the amount of time and precision required to produce such works of art, and Lead Systems Engineer at Legacy Effects, Jason Lopes, can attest to this.

In this short interview with Bloomberg, Lopes gives a quick breakdown on why 3D printing is rapidly replacing older methods of costume creation.

Lopes states that, as a traditional special effects studio that once relied on high-qualityanimatronics and sculpting (to name a few), it was essential that they kept up to date with the latest technological trends.

Besides the impressive Iron Man suit on their resume, Legacy Effects have also produced models for other smash hits like Real Steel and Pacific Rim. The ‘Noisy Boy’ a fully-operational, hydraulic robot created for the Real Steel feature film, reportedly costed tens of thousands of dollars to complete.

While Legacy Effects remains an alpha male of the 3D printing prop and costume world, others are also making a name for themselves. According to 3DPrintingIndustry.com, Terry Gilliam – the world famous writer, director and actor – requested a cutting edge movie prop for his new movie, ‘The Zero Theorem.’
Of course – it had to be 3D printed – and Gilliam reportedly selected FATHOM and North Design Labs to craft this space-age device. North provided the creative mojo while FATHOM delivered in the technical department, a combination which resulted in this movie prop:

This convincing, alien gadget gets plenty of screen time, housing a Samsung Galaxy Tablet and acting as a interactive mini-computer. According to 3DPrinterWorld.com, the entire device was 3D printed and assembled within a couple of days.

It was printed by an Objet500 Connex, a high-range printer capable of printing numerous materials in a single session.

Not only are these exciting products being sold to mega-rich movie companies, but mega-rich customers too. According to techeblog.com, the cleverly named ‘Iron Man Factory’ situated in Shenzhen, China, is producing replicas that cost an arm and a leg.

At $35,000, the 3D printed, carbon-fiber Iron Man suit is hardly going to be selling like hotcakes, but is sure to tickle serious fans’ fancy.

Less wealthy Iron Man aficionados out there can also settle for the non-3D printed version for only $2,000 dollars.

These are only the beginnings of a very promising lunge into the movie industry. It’s no surprise Hollywood is taking notice of 3D printing – as time constraints become greater – faster, rapid prototyping methods of production will quickly gain precedence.

Albeit expensive, 3D printing has too many advantages not to be taken seriously.

MALTA3DPRINTING.BLOGSPOT.COM
by  | 19 August 2014