Picture of 3D Printing an Ironman Helmet

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, 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. :)

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Step 1: Modeling

Picture of 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.
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ehudwill3 years ago
Great work. Wish I had access to a 3D printer now more than ever.
best use for a 3D printer yet! great work, now i want a 3D printer even more, thanks alot!
elbrujo196628 days ago

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 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?

guysmilez2 months ago

is it possible to get editable source files so i can cut the pices up for my printer?

jasbury iii4 months ago
What companies will do this?

Think.Print 3D can print a helmet our printer can print 16x14x16.

bkasun5 months ago

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.

I tried to print your files but they aren't scaled in mm or in inch.

astral_mage6 months ago

also use a good fan with a hepa filter on it to suck the dust away from you as well.

afenrir11 months ago

how much time it took to 3D print it!!!!!

JoeyP2 afenrir7 months ago

it takes about 3-6 hours

Please upload the zip file

Hi man!!

Where is the zip for download?

Hi, where is the zip?

JeppeMikkelsen11 months ago

Is it possible for you to share the files, or do you sell this commercially? :)

JeppeMikkelsen11 months ago

Is it possible for you to share the files, or do you sell this commercially? :)

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??
Rance1 year ago
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
DanK11381 year ago
what material is it made of?
samern1 year ago
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?
samohtep (author) 3 years ago
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.
man, would you help me, i can't open the file
cadej111 year ago
Hello I'm going to try to make this before Halloween, I was wondering around how long did it take for you to make the entire helmet (I'm not a pro and building stuff...) and also how much did it cost?
Hi there did u happen to have templates when u made this cool ironman cowl because if I did could in ur spear time can u please email me them if that's ok with u
jeno451 year ago
Good work mate! I'm working on a iron man suit so this has come in handy!
Redmario1 year ago
I'm a big fan. Just amazing !
I am loving the design for this, but I was wondering how much the printing cost you?
cmckinstry2 years ago
Hey, what are the dimensions of the fully assembled helmet? I'm just thinking about whether it will fir me without being too big.
BeYourself2 years ago
Ok ! 3D printing is really amazing thing ! I can see that this is going to be more and more popular everyday and it has caught me too :) I have one place where I can print mine 3D models and for now I want to print Robots that I will buy because I just started 3D modeling and didn`t have lot of skills to make perfect robots yet. I am going to print lot of them and make little army to make fantasy little movie. What is the best , I can add mine things to the robot model and print robots that I want to :) Thanks for advice in printing 3D models !
Hi could you please tell me the dimensions of the helmet. thanks
The .STL model is really distorted. It's very warped in places. I've included a screengrab of the model loaded into Maya 2012. Do you have a .MB file I could use?
7uty562 years ago
if i send you cash can you send me one helmet?
TayTayBob2 years ago
can i buy one from you?????
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