Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

New RoboCop suit was made with a 3D printer


June 13, 2014

Stratasys 3D printers were used to help produce the RoboCop suit for the new movie

Stratasys 3D printers were used to help produce the RoboCop suit for the new movie

Image Gallery (3 images)

If you're looking for an excuse to buy a 3D printer, how about the ability to print your own RoboCop? 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys has revealed that its tech was used to produce RoboCop's suit in the new movie. The Objet Connex 3D was used to create both the master mold pattern and final parts.

Stratasys is no stranger to Gizmag. We've featured the company numerous times over the past few years, most recently for its roles in producing a blood recycling machine and for creating the world's first color multi-material 3D printer. Significant though those stories were, this is perhaps the company's most high-profile.

Hollywood special effects company Legacy Effects was tasked with producing the RoboCop suit based on computer designs. Legacy used the Objet Connex 3D to mold patterns for each part of the suit, such as the helmet and the boots, from which variants could be made as per the requirements of each scene. In other instances, parts were printed directly and, on occasion, comprised up to 90 percent of the final on-screen costume.

The Objet Connex 3D was used to create master molds and actual parts for the final suit

Stratasys uses the iconic visor as one example of a part that was directly printed. The dark, transparent visor with its striking red stripe was printed in one section using Stratasys transparent printing materials. Legacy Effects lead design engineer Jason Lopes, meanwhile, says in a press release that the chest armor used by RobCop is arguably the best example of how 3D printing can benefit the production process.

"First, in terms of the size of RoboCop's chest piece specifically, only Stratasys' 3D printing technology would allow us to print something at the actual size; the part virtually fills the entire build-tray," explains Lopes. "Second, the same part comprises a blend of smooth areas, as well as other areas that feature an extremely high level of detail, such as the police badge and other logos, which we needed to retain for the molding process. There isn't a technology currently available beyond that provided by Stratasys that affords us this level of intricate detail, together with the hard surface modeling of the shells all together in one print."

In addition to benefiting from the size and detail capabilities of the Stratasys printer, Lopes says that 3D printing in general has helped to speed up the prototyping and production processes. Parts are now much easier to test and produce than previously.

"Doing everything by hand meant that we couldn't run tests as it would have taken forever," says Lopes. "Also, 3D printing allows us to work in symmetry, which enables us to build an entire left side of a suit, then mirror it and output the right side as well, all from one file with the click of a button. You can't do that by hand."

Source: Stratasys

About the Author
Stu Robarts Stu is a tech writer based in Liverpool, UK. He has previously worked on global digital estate management at Amaze and headed up digital strategy for FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology). He likes cups of tea, bacon sandwiches and RSS feeds.   All articles by Stu Robarts

Cost? They always leave out the cost. Inquiring minds want to know.

16th June, 2014 @ 09:22 am PDT

can it do same for Iron Man suits too

& or scan medevil armor suits from 1200s-1600s AD era. Awesome

Stephen N Russell
16th June, 2014 @ 03:49 pm PDT

i that why it looked so bad?

17th June, 2014 @ 06:18 am PDT

iron man? phui! i want it in cermet! and a custom fit please.

Walt Stawicki
17th June, 2014 @ 04:46 pm PDT
Post a Comment

Login with your gizmag account:

Or Login with Facebook:

Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our 31,272 articles
Recent popular articles in Electronics
Product Comparisons