James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 was put through a series of huge explosions and stunts during the filming of Skyfall, including one scene which saw the priceless vehicle explode in flames.
However, producers have revealed the secret behind the stunts – if they lost a car, they could simply print another. Yes, that’s right, print another one.
Three replica cars, a third of the size of the real thing, were created using a large scale 3D printer.
18 individual parts were printed to create the Aston Martin seen on screen
The models double for the priceless original vehicle from the 1960s in the film’s action scenes.
They were made by British firm Propshop Modelmakers Ltd, which specialize in the production of film props, and used Voxeljet to print the cars.
‘Propshop commissioned us to build three plastic models of the Aston Martin DB5,’ voxeljet CEO Dr. Ingo Ederer.
‘We could have easily printed the legendary sports car in one piece at a scale of 1:3 using our high-end VX4000 printer, which can build moulds and models in dimensions of up to eight cubic metres.
‘But the British model builders were pursuing a different approach.
Once assembled, the models were finished by hand, and were indistinguishable from the full sized versions, according the their makers
‘To ensure that the Aston Martin was as true to detail as possible, and for the purpose of integrating numerous functions into the film models, they decided on an assembly consisting of a total of 18 individual components.
‘The entire body is based on a steel frame, almost identical to how vehicles were assembled in the past,’ said Ederer.
‘In addition to the automotive industry, foundries, designers and artists, the film industry represents an entirely new customer base for voxeljet.
‘3D printing is on the cusp of a great future in the film industry.
‘The technology offers fantastic opportunities, since it is usually much faster, more precise and more economical than classic model construction,’ says Ederer.
HOW TO PRINT BOND’S ASTON MARTIN DB 5
voxeljet CEO Dr. Ingo Ederer with one of the 3D printers used
Voxeljet started the printing process once the computer files with the design data for all components were available.
The models are produced with the layer-by-layer application of particle material that is glued together with a binding agent.
As each layer is finished, another is printed on top to build up a 3D model.
The parts are then individually cleaned.
A total of 54 individual parts for the three vehicle models, including mudguards, doors, bonnets, roofs and more, were then packaged and transported to Pinewood Studios near London.
The model builders at Propshop then meticulously assembled and finished the components, painted them in the original colour and added chrome applications along with realistic-looking bullet holes.
The finished model, which was seen in several key scenes of the film
After the finishing process, it is impossible to distinguish the Aston Martin models made with the voxeljet printer from the original, even in the close-up shots, the firm says.
‘The priceless Aston Martin DB5, which was used in the first James Bond film exactly 50 years ago, remains unscathed, while one of the elaborately and meticulously constructed models explodes in flames in the film,’ it said.
‘An expensive crash, since one of the three models was auctioned off by Christie’s for almost $170,000.
Daniel Craig with the real Aston Martin DB 5
Real or model? A close up of one of the model car’s bumper and bonnet