3D Printing At The Movies: How A Costume Was 3D Printed For Black Panther

Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the last decade or so, chances are you’ve already watched (or at least heard of) the Marvel cinematic universe, including hits like Black Panther.

This blockbuster was acclaimed by the public and movie critics for many reasons, including the impressive costumes worn by the characters.

Tradition meets 3D printing

The movie’s amazing outfits were inspired by the colors and shapes of African tradition and the cutting-edge technology of Wakanda. One of the main characters, Queen Ramonda, wears an elegant crown in the movie, reminiscent of the traditional crowns worn by married Zulu women.

Queen Ramonda wearing the 3D-printed crown

Queen Ramonda wearing the 3D-printed crown

This crown was 3D-printed by Materialise. It’s a perfect example of the Wakandan blend between old and new!

When Ruth Carter, Head Costume Designer for Black Panther, was faced with the challenge of designing a crown for the mother of T’Challa — Black Panther himself — she sought the collaboration of an experienced designer for fashion and 3D-printed wearables, Julia Koerner, and put it together using the 3D printing technologies available at Materialise.

The results are out of this world!

Black Panther cast

Marvel’s Black Panther Cast

Read more about this fantastic 3D print and the designing process on the Materialise blog.

A 3D printing technology worthy of a queen’s outfit

The technology chosen to 3D print Queen Ramonda’s crown was Laser Sintering, and the material was Polyamide12 or Polyamide (SLS). This option offers the highest freedom of design, one of the best options for such a creative project!

Queen Ramonda and his son T'Challa in Black Panther

Queen Ramonda and his son T’Challa in Black Panther

Julia’s 3D design skills were key to achieving a crown that was stiff enough to retain its shape but also flexible enough to be comfortably worn by the actress Angela Basset who was playing Queen Ramonda.

Polyamide is also a great material for beginners in 3D printing and designers because it gives the possibility to print the most intricate shapes, and it comes in many different finishes and colors.

You can also print your creations in Polyamide (SLS) by uploading your 3D designs to the i.materialise 3D printing platform.

You’ve never been closer to Hollywood!

During the shooting of Black Panther

During the shooting of Black Panther

Look for more inspiring stories about 3D printing in fashion and shoe design on our blog.

All images courtesy of Marvel’s Black Panther / Costume Design by Ruth Carter