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Westworld’s Androids and Costumes are 3D Printed

Picture of Anatol Locker
by Anatol Locker
Oct 28, 2016

HBO knows how to do a great TV series – and Westworld is its brand-new craze. Not only the androids are 3D printed – so are some of the costumes. 

When HBO decided to revive the movie classic Westworld in a modern TV series, the timing couldn’t have been better. With all this new technology around the topic fits in our decade. Robotics are evolving at a high pace. Artificial intelligence and 3D printing have become a fact. And discussions about machine ethics are on the rise since self-driving cars became reality.

Just in case you never heard of Westworld, let us bring you up to speed. The original movie from 1973 was based on a novel by then-ultra-futuristic Michael Crighton. The story? People vacation in futuristic theme parks populated by androids. They help the visitors to live out their fantasies (which often involve sex and crime). But then the android’s programming goes FUBAR. A gunslinger from “Westworld”, played by actor Yul Brynner, goes on a manhunt. It’s an intense performance, definitely worth watching. 

The HBO reboot places the classic setting in an even more futuristic environment. You can watch the robots being pulled out of vats of liquid (which is actually a technology already used by Carbon‘s CLIP technology – not with living tissue, of course). They then are programmed to act as cowboys, sheriffs, gunslingers or prostitute from a typical American Western movie. 


3D Printing Costumes for 3D Printed Androids

In an interview with Racked, costume designer Ane Crabtree shared some insights into the making of the series. For her, it presented the unique challenge of designing historically accurate western 1800s costumes as well as stylized, modern workwear for the staff.

One of them main challenges was to find the right fabrics. Ane Crabtree elaborates:

It’s tough, though, because we were using actual period fabrics to make these clothes, and there’s only so much of it! So we had to find ways to recreate it. You know, fabrics today just aren’t as intricate — they’re not made the same way. With the exception of some places in Italy or maybe England, you honestly can’t find beautiful, intricate fabrics anymore. It’s really sad! So we had to hire 3D printers in Los Angeles to reprint all our vintage fabrics so we could have more — and then beg them to work around our crazy TV schedules.


If you already have seen an episode of Westworld, you’ve probably seen the great dress (see above) of Dolores, one of the main characters of the series.

We had to [3D print the fabrics], because we needed multiples of everything. Dolores’s outfit, for instance, involves a bodice, a skirt, and a petticoat, and we had enough of the original vintage fabric to make three or four of each. But then we reprinted about four more in 3D, because we needed to dress her stunt double, too.

Also, the technical advancements in this field came as a surprise to her:

It’s crazy — I studied fashion a gazillion years ago, but nothing would’ve prepared me for the breadth of industrial and technical knowledge you need to take on this kind of project.

So if you want to get a glimpse of this impressive series, you can take a first look the video below.

(source: Racked)


License: The text of "Westworld’s Androids and Costumes are 3D Printed" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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