Epoxy Resin at the Movies

Props & Sets are Designed & Built to Create Realistic Cinematic Experiences

The introduction of the VCR, and later the DVD, led many to believe that they would be the death nell of the movie theater. And while home video services have taken a bite out of the theater industry, there are still good reasons to experience movies in a theater including the big screen experience, the social and date-night aspects, advanced audio systems and the chance to turn off the small screen and just enjoy without distraction or interruption for a while. (No to mention the popcorn and previews!)

Some of the things that help make going to the movies so magical, are the props, sets and special effects used to enhance the experience. (Especially the invention of all those innovative props used in today’s science fiction and superhero/fantasy blockbusters.) And, quite often one of the materials used in this creative endeavor is our favorite polymer – epoxy resin.

A wide variety of polymers including resins, plastics, rubber and foam are used to create myriad set pieces, props, masks and costumes for both stage and cinematic productions. The idea of course, is to create a realistic looking world for the audience to enjoy, and possibly escape to, for a couple of hours. In order for this endeavor to be successful, attention to detail is paramount – and set pieces have to be painstaking created to look as “real” as possible.

Case in point, one of the most famous movie characters of all time isn’t actually a character at all, but a prop. (Albeit a very beloved, lifelike and charismatic prop). And you can build your own life-size R2 D2, as many have, out of premanufactured resin parts, or by creating original 3D resin printed parts. Both methods are described in Make: Magazine’s ( whose motto is ‘Connecting People and Projects that Shape Our Future’) article ‘The Comprehensive Guide to Building a Realistic R2 D2 Replica.

For those interested in instruction in epoxy resin prop making, popular social site Meetup, offers workshops for making anime and stage props in many areas. A recently highlighted workshop covered resin casting, 3D modeling and printing and hand-crafting realistic props.

Anything your imagination can dream up can be created using today’s high-quality polymers. And if you do decide to try your hand at building your own R2 D2, well then…May the Force be with You!

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