Makers of a new film may have found printer supplies for 3D devices useful during the film process.

Aardman Animations – the team behind Wallace and Gromit – used the technology to help bring its latest characters to life for upcoming film The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, Fox News reports.

While the bulk of the filming was done using the company's trademark clay moulding and stop-motion animation techniques, 3D printers were used to help make the models speak.

Key animator Ian Whitlock stated they produced around 8,000 mouths in various positions for the movie, including 257 separate items for the Pirate Captain model.

Mr Whitlock noted technology helped shorten the shoot of the film by several months.

Senior editor at CNet Rich Brown added the process works much like a 2D printer, explaining: "The layers build up in liquid form. The material solidifies as it prints out each layer and the end result is a 3D object in real life."

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists stars the voices of Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek and David Tennant and is set to be released in the UK on March 28th.