Apr 30, 2018
In celebration of Marvel’s third Avengers movie I decided it would be a great time to make something from one of my favorite characters in the MCU, Iron Man. I started out by downloading the helmet’s STL files provided on Thingiverse (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1779274). I then loaded each helmet piece into Simplify3D and began slicing each part. This version of the helmet has eight parts, plus a ninth print for hardware mounts if you’d like to motorize the helmet. I printed everything at a layer height of .15mm and at 10% infill and made sure to use a brim since most parts have a small surface area on the build plate. Importantly, I decided to increase the number of perimeter layers so that I would accidentally sand down the print to infill later. This had the consequence of essentially turning the prints into 100% infill, but they came out great and feel solid. I printed everything in a gray color filament to save time painting later on but any color, or combination of colors, is fine.
Next, I used duct tape to piece everything together and to check fit. It turned out that the helmet opening was much too small to fit my head into, so to fix this issue I decided to make a single piece from the back of the head connect with magnets to allow my head to fit inside. I verified that this would work by removing that piece and placing on my head.
Next, I began gluing the helmet together. I used CA Glue and Accelerator for this part. I cut some tabs out of some pieces of laminated paper (so it wouldn’t absorb all the glue) and glue them to the parts (on the inside to hide them) on one edge. I then applied glue to the exposed piece of the tab and connect the two printed parts together at that point. This allowed me to anchor them in the correct place. With the two halves attached at a point I ran glue down the seam and carefully separated the halves and stuck them back together ensuring a tight fit. I then sprayed accelerant on the seam to instantly cure the glue. I repeated the process for all the piece that needed to be permanently attached.
After printing everything I found another model that I liked more (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:260152) so I wont be going over any electronics in this build. This helmet I’m going to focus on learning the process of post processing these prints. I have different epoxies, body fillers, sandpaper, and paints that I need to experiment, so the next part of this post will cover those topics. For now, I’ll leave you with a sneak peak of what’s to come for this project, enjoy!