High-tech from Augsburg featured in the new James Bond film

Innovative 3D printing technology from Augsburg-based voxeljet is on display in the newest James Bond film Skyfall – more specifically in the scene when James Bond’s car explodes in flames. A total of three Aston Martin DB5 models were created at the company’s service centre; the models double for the now priceless original vehicle from the 1960s in the film’s action scenes.

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Action scenes in expensive film production such as a James Bond films must look as realistic as possible. For the model builders working behind the scenes, the high demands of film makers translate into more requirements and detail work. Therefore companies such as Propshop Modelmakers Ltd, which specialises in the production of film props, are always on the look-out for trend-setting manufacturing methods.

The fact that the British company selected the 3D printing technology of a German provider is a special honour for the Augsburg company. “Of course only state-of-the-art technology is used for a new James Bond film. To be considered a benchmark by the model builders from the Pinewood Studios is evidence of the performance and position of our 3D printing system in terms of global ranking,” says voxeljet CEO Dr. Ingo Ederer.

voxeljet is considered a pioneer in the area of 3D printing. In addition to building moulds and models purely based on CAD data in the company’s own service centre, the internationally active company has also made a name for itself as a manufacturer of high-resolution 3D printing systems. voxeljet moulds are very precise and rich in detail – properties that also impressed the British model builders.


“Propshop commissioned us to build three plastic models of the Aston Martin DB5 at a scale of 1:3. Each model consists of 18 individual components, is more than one metre long and was created using the layer building method, exactly according to the CAD data sets,” says Ederer. (Picture 1) The assembly and elaborate detail finishing of the vehicle models was completed at Propshop at Pinewood Studios. (Picture 2) So it seems almost a shame that at least one of the three models, which are the result of painstaking work, goes up in flames in the film. (Picture 3)
An expensive crash, since one of the three models was auctioned off by Christie’s for almost USD 100,000. (Picture 4) The advantages of the new manufacturing method can be seen by the cinema audience too, as the action scenes in Skyfall are impressively realistic. “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.
(Picture 1): Plastic parts of the Aston Martins ©Propshop Modelmakers Ltd
(Picture 2): Plastic parts of the Aston Martins ©Propshop Modelmakers Ltd
(Picture 3): Finished model des Aston Martins ©Propshop Modelmakers Ltd
(Picture 4): Model by Christie´s in London ©Propshop Modelmakers Ltd

Company Profile:
voxeljet specialises in 3D print technology. This globally operating high-tech company is a well-respected manufacturer of 3D print systems that are suitable for industrial applications. At the same time, the company operates one of Europe’s largest service centres for the “on-demand production” of moulds and models for metal casting. www.voxeljet.com