Proving a small build volume is no limitation, Reddit user JayLuvLL has 3D printed an entire Iron Man costume using only his Up Mini, plus a few extra components.
In a story adhering to the old mantra of: if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again, Reddit user JayLuvLL has revealed a ridiculously ambitious personal project. He has 3D printed a full completely wearable Iron Man costume.
The twist is that he printed the entire thing using just a diminutive Up Mini Printer. His post states: “Proof that perseverance pays off… my full Iron Man suit, printed in many, many pieces on my tiny Up Mini over 6 months.”
For reference and context for just how crazy this actually is, the Up Mini has a print bed measuring out to just 12 x 12 x 12cm. Amazingly, other than a couple of EVA foam parts (for flexibility), the design was entirely 3D printed. Understandably, it wasn’t a simple process — for example, the chest piece required an impressive 32 pieces.
JayLuvLL prints the parts in ABS because “PLA doesn’t stand up to a power sander well.” After printing, the parts welded together with acetone. The larger pieces are backed with fiberglass. He adds: “They didn’t really need to be, it was more for my own peace of mind.”
To finish the pieces, our patient hero turned to a recent MatterHackers video for a technique that involves primers, putty and various other tools. He explains on Reddit:
“I watched a few videos, but honestly nothing taught me better than trying it out for myself. Went down to local hardware store, bought a kit, followed instructions and it turned out all right! Just remember, protective equipment is key.”
Develop Your Own 3D Printed Iron Man Suit
To develop Iron Man fully, Jay printed 152 pieces. With some 10 reprints due to resizing and breakages, approximately 8kgs of ABS was used to print the parts.
He adds: “I finished each piece using body filler and sanding many many times, before using spray on filler/primer and fine sanding a few times before paint.”
However, Jay wasn’t content with simply building a life size Iron Man suite. He and added the iconic Arc Reactor and repulsor lights too. Powering these are Arduino Neopixels, wired up individually. He intends to wire them up in a network for full color changes in the future.
If you’d like to develop your own, head to Onekura for the files which cost £52 (approx. $68). Jay altered the files to fit, since he was going to wear it. He explains that although the suit is heavy around the shoulders, it is reasonably comfortable to wear.
However, this certainly isn’t a cheap print. With some AUD $600 going toward materials and the files, he explains:
“I could probably have made it cheaper using cheaper paint, simple LEDs and lower quality ABS, but there was some experimentation to get it right and I learned a lot in the process.”
After all that hard work using a small machine, it seems Jay is sold on the idea of 3D printing. He has now bought an Original Prusa i3 Mk2S, which will probably quicken future prints. For more information, check out his work on Facebook.
License: The text of "Patient Redditor 3D Prints Iron Man Costume on an Up Mini" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.