With the recent release of Solo: A Star Wars Story, we take an adventurous dive alongside the Millennium Falcon and journey to discover how 3D printing makes the galaxy far, far away, actually a bit closer to Earth.

Like many Hollywood movies these days, the creators and designers of Star Wars turned to 3D printing to create the film’s props and costumes which resulted in some “out of this world” pieces of work. We’ll take a look at how 3D printing brought Star Wars: The Force Awakens to theaters in 2015. From the story:

“Fans got their first look at exactly how much 3D printing was used in the film when Disney debuted a truckload of costumes and props at both the 2015 Star Wars Celebration and the Disney D23 Fan Expo. Costumes were presented in enclosed glass cases with plaques detailing how each part of the costume was made, and 3D printing was integral to quite a few of the props. In fact, it is probably safe to say that many of the costumes wouldn’t have been possible without 3D printing, at least not in practical terms.”

For Anthony Daniels, who has played C3PO since the beginning of the franchise, his costume needed to be 3D printed for his comfort:

“I said, ‘I want to be in the costume, but I want it to be faster.’ So what they did was 3D print it. It weighs about the same, I would say, because the plastic is quite heavy, but it allows you to prototype things. So it looks exactly the same, but there are differences to the way it fits together that make it much faster to put on and take off, which is most important. It gets hot in there.”

Costumes and Fashion

The Shapeways community is filled with creatives and designers who love to show off their fandom through 3D printing, and our marketplace features some amazing custom products inspired by their favorite movies, games and more. With that said, it’s really cool to see that movie studios are using 3D printing for more fashion-related reasons. As the fashion industry continues to turn to the technology to elevate garment design, we’re seeing more “real life” use cases pop up, such as the Kinematics dress from Nervous System.


Kinematic Dress in motion

Seeing 3D printed fashion on the big (and small!) screen will continue to move this trend further. Even if it’s not a full dress, we’ll see more accessories and jewelry going to market thanks to 3D printing. As 3DPrint.com states, “it’s clear that with the next few years of blockbuster science fiction, action and superhero movies already slated that 3D printing will continue to play a major role in their creation,” and we think this means we’ll see it more in our own lives too.

Do you have a fashionable idea you want to bring to life? Check out the various ways you can get started!



*Edited May 30, 2018 by Darren Ho