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Yes, those are 3D printed costumes in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Costumer designer Ruth E Carter collaborates once again with 3D printing expert Julia Koerner

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After a very successful collaboration on the first Black Panther installation in the Marvel franchise, it is no surprise to hear that designer and 3D printing specialist Julia Koerner has helped to produce 3D printed costumes for the film’s sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Koerner has once again teamed up with Academy Award winning costume designer Ruth E Carter to bring to life stunning, Afrofuturist props, including a 3D printed crown and neck-piece worn by Angela Bassett in her role as Queen Ramonda.

Black Panther (2018) was groundbreaking in many ways. Not only was it the first Marvel film to have a Black director (Ryan Coogler) and predominantly Black cast, it also brought Afrofuturism to the big screen and mass audiences. The film’s set and costumes combined traditional African elements of design with technology and science fiction themes. This was true on screen as well as off, as Carter turned to cutting edge technologies to bring some of the film’s costumes to life.

Black Panther 3D printed crown
Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” (2018). (Photo: Matt Kennedy ©Marvel Studios 2018)

In the original Black Panther, Queen Ramonda’s tall crown and intricate shoulder mantle (seen above) were made with 3D printing. These were featured once again in the new film along with a newly designed crown and neck piece for the royal character. Koerner and Carter combined their skills in costume design, digital design and 3D printing to take the pieces from concept to wearable. Both props feature complex structures that would be impossible to produce using traditional manufacturing and were made using selective laser sintering technology.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premiered earlier this month and has received overwhelmingly positive reviews, with particular emphasis on the film’s poignant way of dealing with and honoring late actor Chadwick Boseman, who played the titular character in the franchise’s first instalment.

Julia Koerner is among the most prolific designers in the 3D printing world: not only has she worked on the Black Panther films, but she has also collaborated with renowned designer Iris Van Herpen, Chanel’s Maison Lesage and very recently Swarovski. Koerner is also a professor at UCLA’s School of Arts and Architecture and has founded her own 3D printing brand, JK3D, which has locations in Vienna and Los Angeles. Her work has been recognized around the world, being showcased in numerous institutions, including the MET in New York, MAK in Vienna, the Art Institute of Chicago, and more.

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Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault is a Montreal-based content writer and editor with five years of experience covering the additive manufacturing world. She has a particular interest in amplifying the voices of women working within the industry and is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM sector. Tess holds a master's degree in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam.

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