Cheap Iron Man (Mark 3) Costume with working faceplate, lights, electronics

Displayed here is my halloween 2012 project. After tinkering with Arduino for a few months and needing a costume for Halloween, I decided to mix the two. I didn't just want to make any Iron Man suit though. I wanted this suit to be as technologically functional as possible.

I tried to make this project as cheap and easy for the beginning DIY hobbyist/hacker as possible (being one)!!! The tools required are a hot glue gun, soldering iron, and a dremel tool (and a hole punch lol). Basic electronics knowledge will be required, like knowledge of resistors, servos, circuits, Ohm's Law, and how they all work together to make the unified circuit that powers the suit.

The method for making all the armor parts is the usual pepakura method. My modifications were the use of foamcore as a material, and papier mache as a finish (dont use a papier mache finish! it really doesn't work well!) and then spraypaint in metallic gold and red. 

Electronics wise, I used an Arduino Uno R3 as the controller, along with a few servos (~$2 each), LEDs (~$5 for 50), resistors, microswitches and some wire. Basic soldering skills will be needed to put all of these together. (It's really not hard to solder I promise. Just read up online, start with a cheap iron and upgrade once you start loving this hobby, because you will).

This project took me about three months due to its simplicity, but could've been shorter if I hadn't started from scratch regarding the wiring and programming.

Good luck and happy building!
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Des3rtSn0w1 year ago
I'm using the Mark VI Foam Edits for A4 paper by stealth. Do you think I could get this done in 3 weeks if i work on it very very often?
andyr23511 (author)  Des3rtSn0w1 year ago
Definitely. When I worked the fastest, I could make two copies of an entire part in one night (like two biceps or two forearms). It will take a lot of endurance because almost all of it is mindless cutting, but if you put your mind to it, it's definitely very doable.
JesusGeek1 year ago
And im using the battery pack in the tap light to power an ATTiny85, hacking it to compat w/ Arduino.
andyr23511 (author)  JesusGeek1 year ago
Ah interesting! Why do you need a microcontroller for it though? My arc reactor actually had a separate battery pack from the rest of the suit so it could be removed from the suit and worn around during the day.
JesusGeek1 year ago
Back on the mobile app again, before it crashes - pepakura's printing doesn't work with my laptop. Did you use a laser cutter or X-acto knife?
andyr23511 (author)  JesusGeek1 year ago
Why what is wrong with it? I actually kinda cheated and just taped the paper to the foam and then used x-acto. people say to cut out all the pieces first but I find that tedious.
JesusGeek1 year ago
You can also get an LED tap light from the dollar store and add wire around the outside like I did, got the PERFECT lacquer wire from ferite rings in a computer power adapter.
andyr23511 (author)  JesusGeek1 year ago
Ah that's an interesting way of doing it! I personally prefer to hand craft all the pieces just because I can make them look exactly the way I want. From here on out, I'll be 3D printing all the detail pieces like the arc reactor.
JesusGeek1 year ago
You have some talent with foam and stuff, this is what my helmet looks like.
13 17:06.jpg
andyr23511 (author)  JesusGeek1 year ago
That is exactly how my first helmet looked, trust me! You definitely want to use pepakura templates, in case you weren't. When I tried making my own, the result was so awful I had had to scrap all of it :P
Yah, downloaded Pepakura, but the darn printer wont work, and don't have the budget to get the full version so I can export the 2D templates, just going to use 123D software.
andyr23511 (author)  JesusGeek1 year ago
No hold on! Download the .pdo files from the website! The 3D models are already made!
And if you need the full version, you can try to find the key online.
JesusGeek1 year ago
I don't have any 3D software or the pepperuka stuff (who cares how it's spelt), I just moved so I am only using the mobile app (crashes a lot!)
andyr23511 (author)  JesusGeek1 year ago
Here is a link you might want to try. Download pepakura designer/viewer and then download files for whichever costume you want to make. The templates are pretty to acquire!