Blockbuster film Iron Man 2 has a direct 3D printing connection: Iron Man's suit, as well as that of arch-nemesis Whiplash, were produced on a 3D printer. And they didn't just print a mould for the suit parts, they printed the actual suit components. After a bit of paint, they were ready to be worn!
The Iron Man technology has advanced significantly since the first film, and not just on the screen. Apparently actor Robert Downey Jr. was in "constant discomfort" wearing Iron Man 1's gloves, which had been made in the conventional manner. Their tightness caused pain and difficulty moving and flexing. Iron Man 2 technology involved a 3D scan of Downey's hands to "create flexible gloves no thicker than a dime". The scan enabled the creation of gloves that precisely fit Downey's hands.
We think this is a tremendous use of 3D technologies, but there's something more to this. If Iron Man could print out his outfit, why couldn't anyone? One can imagine a future where the "Iron Man" suit specs are sold to 3D print services or even to individuals, who then print out their own custom-sized outfit in their favorite materials to kids across the globe.
We're now thinking that customized Halloween costumes could become a big opportunity for the 3D industry. Demand from kids is always insatiable, especially for big time media spinoffs, and costumes are always trouble to make on your own - a problem solved by 3D printing.
Better load up the printer, we have an order for 27 Lady Gaga's!
Via IMDB Iron Man 2 Trailer, exciting! (Hat tip to Rachel)