Tag Archives: Iron Man

Building a life-size Iron Man Hulkbuster suit


A Maker has designed a Hulkbuster costume in homage of the upcoming Avengers 2: Age of Ultron film. 


With Maker Faire Bay Area just around the corner, there’s nothing like some life-size cosplay to spur a little excitement. While we’ve seen a number of pretty impressive Iron Man suits in the past, James Bruton’s latest creation may take the cake. The UK-based Maker has designed a slick Hulkbuster costume in homage of the upcoming Avengers 2: Age of Ultron film.

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“I had planned to build a real life suiting up robot gantry for my Iron Man MKVI build. However, since the suit and its strapping system have progressed, the idea has become less practical. Also, as the Iron Man/Avengers series of films has progressed, Tony Stark has moved away from a special room full of robot arms to do the suit-up, towards suits that put themselves on,” Bruton writes.

With that in mind, the Maker had taken it up himself to create a next-gen getup with Hollywood-like appeal. To complete this task, Burton wanted the suit to not only be self-supporting for when the wearer climbs in and out, but 3D-printed using his Lulzbot TAZ machine and powered by several embedded electronics as well.

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In order to make the suit free-standing, Bruton designed a set of stilts with space for a remote locking mechanism for the feet and legs. The stilts, along with portions of the frame, were comprised of plywood pieces coated in silver paint and connected by domestic door hinges at its joints.

The Maker included an end stop to prevent overbalancing, along with 3D-printed bearing blocks hinged around the costume’s thigh section and a locking bolt/pin to keep the joint in an upright position. Meanwhile, the joint between the torso and thighs consist of a bungee cord, a 3D-printed rubber buffer piece and plenty of padding to ensure comfort. Bruton also added some snowboard bindings to serve as locking mechanisms for the feet.

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The suit’s 3D-printed hands and forearms even feature Iron Man-esque animatronics, which are powered by an Arduino Uno (ATmega328) in each arm that trigger servos to drive the hand plates. The forearms were designed to have “pop-out weapons” that required various mechanics to hinge backgrounds to point the repulser forward. Another Arduino is embedded within the torso of the suit, and connected by data connectors to activate features located in the body from joysticks in each arm. As for the hand itself, there are three fingers, with the middle one being a bit wider to resemble the suit from the soon-to-be-released flick. These hands are mounted to the suit, and Bruton says cordless screwdriver motors were used to enable the grippers.

“I’m using cordless screwdriver motors to drive the features, these are mounted in pairs on each arm on a 3D-printed bracket with a pulley assembly to pull the finger cords. These parts have to support the arms and allow movement in multiple axis, so I have two spaces for bearings on each axis,” Burton writes. “The elbow hinge will also act as a pulley with another motor to drive the joint, I’ll be springing the arm in the middle of it’s range of motion so that the motor only needs to pull it off centre rather than supporting the whole load around the pivot point. The arm is suspended with a combination of bungee cord and wooden dowel with 3D printed ends. I’m using some larger metal geared motors to drive the elbows — this are Como-Drills 919D motors with an 810:1 gearbox. The bungee and dowels are covered with fake pistons made from PVC pips and 3D printed spacers.”

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As for its shoulders, these will also be open to not only allow the helmet to hinge back, but for the “weaponry” to be revealed. This will be made possible through four-bar linkage and some additional frame parts. One end is hinged on the existing M8 studding which the arms are mounted to, while the other runs into a channel. Bruton notes that the lever mechanism is sprung so that it can stay in either position or be activated by cable control.

Beyond that, the back of the suit is completely open to let a wearer easily hop in and out. As the Maker reveals, its rear panels needed to be able to be remotely activated and while the wearer is inside the suit, in addition to having a safety release for a quick exit in the event of power failure.

Like a number of its other parts, a majority of the chest plates were comprised of foam PVC, plastazote foam and 3D-printed components. The main plate is mounted, enabling the opening of panels on each side of the Unibeam to later hold internal detailing. These parts will be driven by an R/C servo so that they can open and close.

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And, what would Iron Man be without an Arc Reactor? Designed in collaboration with Adafruit, both the Unibeam and Arc Reactor unit are illuminated by a series of NeoPixel LEDs and driven by a GEMMA microcontroller (ATtiny85).

Overall, this may be one, if not, the most elaborate and truly impressive cosplay projects we’ve seen. We wouldn’t be surprised if a few Hollywood producers call Bruton for prop jobs after this display of creativity. Intrigued? You can find an extremely detailed breakdown of the build here, or simply watch his 29-part video tutorial.

The Power Suit is an Arduino-powered costume

Just in time for Halloween, a Maker by the name of Michael Teeuw has created a slick costume entitled The Power Suit. Though the ATmega168 MCU powered suit originated as just a fun idea to win a theme night competition with a couple of friends, the end result was actually quite stunning!

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“Every once in a while you are looking for a nonsense reason to build something completely useless but absolutely awesome. This year’s trip to the Belgian Ardennes is the number one reason to achieve my childhood dream,” Teeuw prefaced.

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The Maker aspired to create a suit which was equipped with built-in sound effects and voiceover, full-color LEDs, real-time audio and manually controlled lighting, independently powered wings, Bluetooth connectivity, and to round out the Tony Stark getup, a mobile app to act as his J.A.R.V.I.S.

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Based on a set of football shoulder pads and chest protector, the Iron Man-inspired suit was brought to life using an Arduino Pro Mini to serve as the brains of the system, a Bluetooth Low Energy shield to enable wireless communication, a series of Adafruit NeoPixels to add the visual effects, a spectrum analyzer to transform audio into usable data for the Arduino, and a step-down power converter to run the electronics.

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Using the shoulder pads as its base, Teeuw added a pair of ATmega168 controlled servos under each of its flaps to create wings capable of lifting themselves up.

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The Maker then attained 72 Adafruit NeoPixels. The center of the suit was fitted with a 24 pixel ring and two-8 pixel strips along the shoulders, while another two-16 pixel rings were situated around the eyes using Adafruit’s Kaleidoscope Eyes tutorial.

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In order to enhance its next-gen appearance, Teeuw used a 300 million megawatt speaker connected to a 18 watt amplifier.

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Additionally, in order to control the lighting effects, color and wings, the Maker tasked a Nintendo Wii nunchuck connected to the Arduino.

Rounding out Teeuw’s must-have function list was the suit’s coinciding iPhone app. Besides a futuristic designed interface, the iPhone app has five features:

  • Playing looping background sounds
  • Playing speech sounds with a manual or random trigger
  • Playing sound effects with a manual or random trigger
  • Playing speech sounds based on Bluetooth feedback from the suit
  • Feedback about the current actions and connectivity in a console

Oh, and for those wondering as to whether or not Teeuw won the competition, you bethcha!

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Inspired to go make a Power Suit of your own? You can find the detailed breakdown of Teeuw’s build here, and see it in action via the video below.

The Makers of Iron Man

A Maker by the name of Ryan Brooks – aka “the real Tony Stark” – has created a slick 3D-printed, nod-receptive Iron Man helmet.

According to Terry Chao of DVICE, an Atmel-powered Arduino Pro Mini (ATmega168) and an Adafruit accelerometer allows the helmet’s faceplate to open and close based on which way the wearer nods.

“By nodding backwards, the faceplate seamlessly opens and locks into place, while nodding with a forward motion will close it. Brooks is currently selling iterations of his servo mechanism on his website, starting at $150,” wrote Chao. “Because the helmet’s base is tapered towards the bottom by design, Brooks made it possible to keep the shape of the original helmet through reticulating back neck flaps that allow the wearer to comfortably put it on.”

Brooks also equipped the helmet with some “Jarvis” voice action to inform the user if it is booted up and ready, along with appropriate air lock and “whoosh” sound effects when the faceplate opens and closes. Meanwhile, light blockers are tasked with protecting the wearer’s eyes from the bright LEDs in the mask.

Of course, this isn’t the first Iron Man project Bits & Pieces has covered. Back in September, we reported how a Maker by the name of Thomas Lemieux turned numerous heads when he showcased his rather impressive Iron Man suit at the 2013 World Maker Faire in NYC.

“Everything is Arduino powered. There are four Arduino UNOs (ATmega328) in the suit; one for each bionic replusor, one for the sound board, and one for the arc reactor. All of the components are powered by ten 2600 mAh batteries that had to be ordered from Hong Kong,” Lemieux told Electronic Design. “The sound components for each repulsor and the sound board are wave shields from Adafruit. The SD cards with all of the sound files are located there.”

According to Lemieux, the project actually began with the arc reactor.

“I wanted one to sit on my desk at home and thought it would be cool to build one myself. So I walked the aisles at Home Depot and found any part that would seem to work,” he explained.

“The fins are cut from a solid sheet of metal and I used copper coils to bend around them. I used a sink tap as the center piece. And the rest is washers, rubber tubing and erector set pieces all J-B welded together. I got all of the electronics and LEDs from Radio Shack.”

Lemieux also told Electronic Design that the biggest challenge in designing the suit was fitting all the electronics into such a constrained space.

“It was very much trial and error… I started building on May 2nd, spending about four hours a day plus many all-nighters.”

Lemieux says his next suit will be more streamlined and easier to assemble.

“I also want to make Ultron. I have some great ideas on lighting his face up,” he added.

The Arduino-powered Iron Man suit

Thomas Lemieux was turning heads as he showcased his rather impressive Iron Man suit at the 2013 World Maker Faire in NYC this past weekend.

“Everything is Arduino powered. There are four Arduino UNOs (ATmega328) in the suit; one for each bionic replusor, one for the sound board, and one for the arc reactor, All of the components are powered by ten 2600 mAh batteries that had to be ordered from Hong Kong,” Lemieux told Electronic Design.

“The sound components for each repulsor and the sound board are wave shields from Adafruit. The SD cards with all of the sound files are located there.”

According to Lemieux, the project actually began with the arc reactor.

“I wanted one to sit on my desk at home and thought it would be cool to build one myself. So I walked the aisles at Home Depot and found any part that would seem to work,” he explained.

“The fins are cut from a solid sheet of metal and I used copper coils to bend around them. I used a sink tap as the center piece. And the rest is washers, rubber tubing and erector set pieces all J-B welded together. I got all of the electronics and LEDs from Radio Shack.”

Lemieux also told Electronic Design that the biggest challenge in designing the suit was fitting all the electronics into such a constrained space.

“It was very much trial and error… I started building on May 2nd, spending about four hours a day plus many all-nighters.”

Lemieux says his next suit will be more streamlined and easier to assemble.

“I also want to make Ultron. I have some great ideas on lighting his face up,” he added.

Interested in learning more about the the Arduino-powered Iron Man suit? You can check out Lemieux’s website here.