Early last year, before The Avengers came out, I approached the rapid prototyping department at my company and asked if they would be able to help me produce a replica Ironman helmet. I had tried building the helmet with pepakura files produced by a member of the thereplicapropforum.com, but I found I did not have the time/patience/skill to sit and trim out hundreds of pieces of paper and reassemble them. This is my first instructable, but I wanted to share my process for anyone who has been interested in going this route. I took photos and screen caps along the way, but I may have missed a few steps that I'll just have to explain.

I've added separate zip files with OBJ and STL files of the Ironman helmet pieces for others to use. Please credit the Replica Prop Forum and I, if you use! As I outline in Step Two, the build envelope of the printer that was used to produce this helmet was 10" x 14" x 8", so I had scaled the pieces to fit that and it is sort of a happy accident that it worked out. :)

Step 1: Modeling

As I mentioned, I had gotten the pepakura helmet file from the RPF forum. I had also purchased a copy of the Pepakura software. With a full version that allows you to create files rather than just view, I exported the pepakura file as an OBJ which I could would with in Maya. The conversion process was easy, but because the pep file is meant for paper usage, it was relatively low resolution and had no thickness.

The first step, while the poly count was low, was to extrude the model inward to give the helmet thickness. Thickness is important, it provides stability to the final product which can be brittle when it is printed too thin. Because I planned on wearing this, (and probably walking into walls/doors/people) I wanted it to be thick enough the handle a bit of abuse. The final helmet varies in thickness because while the outside has grooves and ridges, I wanted the inside to be smooth. That way, the sides and bottoms of the grooves would have extra material around then to prevent fractures. The overall helmet averages between .125" and .25" thick.

When I was done adjusting the silhouette of the low poly helmet, I subdivided the model to provide a smoother finished surface. As you'll see later, I could have gone even further with this step.
Great work. Wish I had access to a 3D printer now more than ever.<br>
<p>You could run the files through pepakura and create a cardstock version.</p>
best use for a 3D printer yet! great work, now i want a 3D printer even more, thanks alot!
<p>what software did you use to make that one?</p>
<p>would there be a way to fit it in 270*210*200mm and be wearable</p>
Hi love the work and just HVE one question I'd like to purchase a 3D printer soon and wanted to know what printer would be good for a beginner but would also be powerful enough and large enough to print armor pieces I'm a HUGE iron man and comic book fan and plan on spending 99% of my materials and time printing armors than anything else and wanted to know what printer would suffice for such work thanks and have a great day
<p>Congratulations! You have been featured as one of the Top Halloween models for the year! To see your model and other Halloween models http://3dprintingninja.blogspot.com/2015/10/top-10-3d-printed-models-for-halloween.html</p>
<p>Ive ran the models through an STL viewer, but the scale for the face mask is small enough to be a pencil eraser topper. Can you offer this in proper scale <br>(slightly oversized)?</p>
<p>I have sadly lost the original files for this, so what is available is it. :( <br>Though as I said in the steps, I had originally only scaled it to fit within the build envelope of the machine that was being used. It was basically by accident that it ended up fitting my head and just barely at that...(tips of my ears are rather sore after wearing it for short periods.<br><br>Someone else in the comments had mentioned to try switching the STL from MM to inches. That might work for you.</p>
<p>I freaking hate Iron man but this.... this is sooo awesome! Many Kudos to you good sir!</p>
<p>Could you explain a bit more how the light shining out of the eyes effect works. I have a plastic store bought helmet that i'd like to try this on.</p>
<p>I sort of cobbled those pieces together. I cut a small piece of circuit board and soldered several LEDs to it, then with some index cards and tape, I shaped an enclosure to mount the LEDs. Once I was satisfied with the shape and size, I cut a thin piece of frosted plastic. If I remember correctly, it was from a tupperware container. I then heavily wrapped the sides and top edge in electrical tape to prevent any light leakage from behind. Not a super elegant solution, but it worked.</p>
<p>IMPOSSIBRU ( Translation: awesomeness....)</p>
<p>What application did you use?</p>
<p>is it possible to get editable source files so i can cut the pices up for my printer?</p>
<p>I use Sketchup, and import the STL... Then you can slice and dice to your hearts content.</p>
<p>I have a Dremel 3D printer, and when i load the file provided on to the software for the printer, each piece is microscopic. What is the scale I should use to make the helmet fit my head?</p>
<p>Usually when this happens it is because the printer is expecting mm as the unit of measurement, but the stl is using inches... I usually bring it into sketchup (importing it with the options of inches) to ensure this is correct, and then re-export it in mm...</p>
<p>what I meant to say is that the printer software is expecting it in mm... Same overall meaning, but trying to avoid confusion.</p>
Hi, but the size of helmet is it ok for every size of head or i should edit the helmet size in its file?
also what material did you use?
Hi! Wow, excellent job, may I ask what kind of 3-D printer you used for this? I am in the market for one and could use something that keeps detail real well
<p>can I buy this?</p>
<p>Sorry, not for sale.</p>
<p>Very nice. I just bought a makerbot z18 (after returning the other 5th gen replicator I purchased when they first launched a year or so ago) and it has been nothing but incredible. The first one I sent back due to constant clogging of the extruder. But this is great.. I have printed 5 things so far and 4 of them are 50 hours plus. I just finished the SPACE NEEDLE which was a 72 hour print w/o a single issue...so now I want to print this helmet. You did an awesome job on. Oh, once I put it on the platform it is really tiny....what size is full scale?</p>
What companies will do this?
<p>Think.Print 3D can print a helmet our printer can print 16x14x16. </p>
<p>I notice that the STL files you provided are not to scale (they are very small). Can you provide dimensions of the helmet so I can scale the STL files properly? I have a FlashForge Dreamer and I don't think it will fit all in one shot. Therefore, Ill need to cut the STL's in to a couple peices and glue together.</p>
<p>I tried to print your files but they aren't scaled in mm or in inch.</p>
<p>also use a good fan with a hepa filter on it to suck the dust away from you as well.</p>
<p>how much time it took to 3D print it!!!!!</p>
<p>it takes about 3-6 hours</p>
<p>Please upload the zip file</p>
<p>Hi man!!</p><p>Where is the zip for download?</p>
<p>Hi, where is the zip?</p>
<p>Is it possible for you to share the files, or do you sell this commercially? :)</p>
<p>Is it possible for you to share the files, or do you sell this commercially? :)</p>
woooa genial quiero hacer uno
please help me, i can't open the file
Gridlock, you have to use Makerware (search it up) or 123D print.
when I downloaded the stl file, the objects were tiny. Can you tell me what your dimensions of it were? Also, do you think it will fit on a Makerbot Replicator 2? Thank you!
is your back part removable or not??
I hope to see you print the rest of the armor in the near future.
could you modify the obj files in Autodesk Inventor and do the same thing you did in Maya? I was thinking about doing this with the Mark 42
what material is it made of?
Do you have any recommendations to 'cut' the helmet to fit an 8x8x8" build cube? Thanks!
i need an application that can open the files
what application did you use?
Thanks all! It was a lot of work, but very fun. Glad to see others appreciate the work that went into it. I can't believe that it's gotten so many views in such a short time.

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