The Iron Man Factory recently debuted a (prototype) 3D-printed Iron Man suit. As Darrell Etherington of TechCrunch reports, the suit weighs in at only 3kg (6.6 lbs) and features metal joints with a carbon fiber/polymer body, along with a number of light-up aesthetic features, powered by AAA batteries.
According to Etherington, the creators of the Iron Man project are a team with an injection moulding factory out of Shenzen including engineers with over 15 years experience in die casting manufacturing.
“They’ve been working with designers in Beijing on the Iron Man project and began producing small runs of the Iron Man helmet alone via 3D printing. To get costs down and volumes up, they’re looking to cover the costs of initial setup for a full-scale, injection moulding production run,” Etherington explained.
“Backers can lay down pledges for either the full injection moulded suit ($1,999), a helmet alone ($1,800) or the full, 3D-printed suit ($35,000). The company also tells me that it’s working on a space-grade aluminum version of the suit, too, which it plans to put into mass production provided the initial campaign is successful.”
Of course, this isn’t the first Iron Man suit we’ve covered on Bits & Pieces. Back in November, a Maker by the name of Ryan Brooks – aka “the real Tony Stark” – created a slick 3D-printed, nod-receptive Iron Man helmet using an Atmel-powered Arduino Pro Mini (ATmega168) and an Adafruit accelerometer.
And in September, 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 repulsor, 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 concluded.