Massivit 3D discusses the benefits of projection mapping or video mapping. Projection mapping projects still or moving 2-dimensional images onto flat or 3D surfaces, often irregularly shaped surfaces.

Projection or video mapping software adapts the video content to the object’s 3-dimensional curves and edges with precision. Thus, the projection becomes part of the object. This lets you animate the object by enhancing its texture, colour, and even adding motion.

Disneyland implemented one of the earliest versions of projection mapping in their famous themed ride, the Haunted Mansion. Those who experienced the ride would remember the three singing busts. These ghosts were video projections onto plain-old mannequin heads.

Projection technology has improved since those early days. Now you can customise and 3D print the object you will use in the projection mapping exactly as you intend. This makes anything and everything possible because with 3D printing, you can create anything.

This SESI man above was created by Global Oficial. He was the attraction at a conference focused on innovation, and his role was to demonstrate health care in the business environment. Using projection mapping, parts of the circulatory system were displayed on the 2.7m (8.8 feet) tall 3D-printed model. The projections helped deliver the message with lively, colourful graphics.

Across the ocean and months earlier at the Man’s World convention in Zurich, Dekom 3D Plus created a gorilla-themed stand. There were gorilla shirts as well as 3D printed gorillas of various sizes. They 3D printed the one below to be used for projection mapping to attract visitors to their stand.

Benefits of projection mapping

Besides the attention-getting wow-factor, the display technology packs additional benefits as well.

Digital simplicity

With one 3D object, you can create many video variations. Or you can customise one as needed, depending on venue, audience, or some other factor. Because you are working with a digital file, changing or duplicating the video is easier than creating duplicate 3-dimensional models.


You do not have to design, build and transport large, elaborate sets. Projection mapping lets you turn a surface or a backdrop into any scene you desire. Changing the background is as simple as changing the video file. You will need to transport the projector.


Projection mapping on unique surfaces will turn heads and attract attention. You can suggest to your clients to use projection mapping at trade shows, events and exhibitions. If the lighting will not be right, you can add walls or curtains to create the right environment. This is what happened at the 2019 International Automotive Festival in Paris.

Famed car designer, Takumi Yamamoto, and his team presented a unique 3D-printed concept car at the renowned event. The full-size car was a tribute to Yamamoto’s creative mentor, rock legend David Bowie. Yamamoto not only dreamed of creating this car, he dreamed of using projection mapping to sync Bowie’s music to a video display on the car. Watch how they achieved this in the sunlit room:

Cost effectiveness

Video mapping saves the need for multiple customised props or many models or mannequins to show varieties of the same product. For example, it would take 20 mannequins to display 20 outfits to shoppers. Video mapping requires one video, one model (or more if desired) and unlimited usage.

Easy finishing

3D printed models used in projection mapping require very little finishing. It is better for viewing if the model has a matte finish, so no polishing is necessary. And in most cases, it’s best to use a white model for the projection map, and that is how Massivit 3D’s Dimengel 100 comes out: white.

Start your first projection mapping project

If you do not know how to design for projection mapping, no problem. There are studios offering this service. It doesn’t matter where in the world they are; they can still deliver the video files you need. And together with a Massivit 3D printer, you can create and deliver anything you or your customers desire and enhance it with colourful, animated, attention-getting projection mapping.

This article was originally published by Massivit 3D.