Netflix lands exclusive rights to 3D-printing documentary

The streaming service will soon premiere the award-winning documentary “Print The Legend,” which is about the cutthroat world of 3D-printing startups.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read


Netflix has added another exclusive documentary to its cache. The video streaming service announced Wednesday that it acquired the rights to "Print the Legend" -- a behind-the-scenes film about startups scrambling to get to the top of the 3D-printing world.

"Print the Legend," made by Luis Lopez and Clay Tweel, won this year's SXSW award for special jury recognition for documentary features. The movie will be available to all Netflix subscribers and will premier exclusively on the streaming service in 2014.

3D printing has exploded over the past few years; innovators have gone from printing plastic blobs to human organs, handguns, and 3D selfie dolls. "Print the Legend's" filmmakers bring viewers into the ups and downs of this field, focusing primarily on the startups MakerBot and Formlabs as they fight to compete with bigger companies like Stratasys and 3D Systems.

"It's so rare for a film to capture history in the making, and Luis Lopez and Clay Tweel have done just that in their skillful presentation of the elation and betrayals experienced by young entrepreneurs detailing the groundbreaking technology of 3D printing," Lisa Nishimura, Netflix vice president of original documentary and comedy, said in a statement. "This is a compelling glimpse into a game changing technology as it nears an inflection point going from the fantasy world of a few obsessed visionaries to a must-have technology that may enter every home."

This isn't Netflix's first foray into exclusive documentaries. The company also bought the rights to "The Square," a film about the 2011 Egyptian revolution, which secured an Oscar nomination for documentary feature this year. The company is also continuing to release original fictional content, like "House of Cards" and "Orange is the New Black."

Last year, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said one of his goals for the company was to double down on original content.

"We are focused on moving toward more and more exclusive content," Hastings said during an earnings call last April. "If the content is not exclusive and it's on cable and on other services, it might be pleasant to watch on Netflix, but it's not really reinforcing customers to stay with Netflix."

Here's the trailer to "Print the Legend":