Hollywood costumes are made with a 3D printer

A Viennese specialist creates clothes and costumes in a modern way. The process is long and quite expensive, but there is no better way to produce unique pieces.

Among other things, Julia Körner made costumes for the Marvel film Black Panther with a 3D printer. In the artist’s studio, modern computers and 3D printers hum softly, creating new sculptures, as the specialist uses modern tools to turn her ideas into physical form. The media noticed him when he designed the costumes for the Marvel film Black Panther.

Körner established his first studio in Salzburg in 2015, creating 3D-printed works primarily for haute couture houses in Paris, before receiving a call from Hollywood in 2016 from African-American costume designer Ruth Carter, who was working with director Ryan Coogler on a vision in which the royal families wear tech-inspired costumes. At the time, the artist did not know that she would be working on the Black Panther; the film was made under the pseudonym “Motherland” for the time being. A Google search led the Austrian designer to an African film from the 1970s, and accordingly he created his first designs based on patterns from Zulu culture. He later learned the start of filming dates and the name of actress Angela Bassett, whose crown he designed. It wasn’t until much later that he heard the name “Black Panther”.

“It was only two months before the premiere, when the tickets were sold out in advance, that I realized how big the project was. I wasn’t a Marvel fan until then, but now I am” – he stated Corner. Carter later became the first African-American woman to be nominated for an Academy Award. The Austrian artist designed the stole for the occasion in three weeks, which was made with a 3D printer. Carter mentioned the specialist in numerous interviews, and the following assignments did not take long: in 2019, he worked on Captain Marvel, and this fall another job will follow.


“There are many more requests, but 3D printing is very expensive and the design processes are long, especially when it comes to custom production,” the designer discussed. It currently manufactures in Austria and the United States of America, both for local markets – with small teams and expensive equipment. In addition to costumes for films, he also creates other design objects that are featured in various art exhibitions. In Vienna, for example, vases of different sizes and shapes are produced using the so-called Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) process, in which the printer first melts the plastic, then adds it layer by layer based on a 3D model until the finished object is created.

The studio’s largest 3D printer is approximately 1.70 meters high and can produce objects up to 90 centimeters high. The vases are made in different sizes and shapes. The printing time varies between one hour and two days depending on the frame and size. The different forms are created based on an algorithm, the script of which was written by the team itself in eight months. The algorithm calculates the appropriate dependencies, so that a change in one part of the framework automatically causes a change elsewhere and thus the final object will be stable.


Körner also likes to experiment with clothes and accessories. Handbags, for example, are made using a so-called resin printer: this is a process in which objects are created by hardening liquid synthetic resin. This has the advantage that the finished work looks like it was cast from a single mold, whereas with FDM prints, trained eyes can pick out the individual layers. In another project, the creator created a jacket by using an FDM printer to print small rods onto a piece of fabric. The multi-colored print creates the illusion of colorful tentacles. The vases are designed to be printed without a “support”: this support material is required for printing horizontal objects and is usually thrown away after printing. This way, however, waste and environmental pollution can be avoided. The resin of the resin printer consists of plant material, specifically soybeans and corn.

The artist draws inspiration from walks in nature. The jacket in question is based on a macro photo of a rainbow butterfly, while elsewhere mushrooms or dried seaweed were used as models. “The plant is made of the same material, yet it can take on different shapes and colors. The same is the case with 3D printing. The same material can create objects of completely different thickness, shape and function, depending on the geometry,” Körner finally emphasized.

Source: SG.hu Hírmagazin by sg.hu.

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