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3D Printed Iron Man Bust

Article by Rob Greer, CSWP created/updated February 20, 2014

On Saturday Nov.23 2013, Javelin attended the Ontario Professional Engineers Awards Gala (OPEA) held at the Toronto Congress Centre (http://www.ospe.on.ca/events/event_details.asp?id=357660).  We realized that we needed something that would attract attention to our area where we would be displaying various 3D printed samples.  After some thought, it was decided that we would create a 3D Printed Iron Man bust and paint it to look like the real deal.  We managed to get essentially a surface model of the bust but it needed a bunch of work to make it something that could be printed.  Thankfully, our co-worker Scott was up to the task and spent a few hours fixing up the model.  Here it is:

Iron Man in SolidWorks

Iron Man in SolidWorks

First we printed the bust on our Stratasys Objet 500 Connex 3D Printer:

Bust on tray

Bust on tray

It was printed in FullCure 810 VeroClear material and is about 200mm from base to top of head.  I quickly cleaned the support material off of the bust and got to work sanding it.  Sanding is needed with this model because we are painting it and wanted a smooth, flawless surface.  I sanded it with 120 grit sandpaper to remove the printing “grain”.  Next was a coat of primer.  I purchased some automotive grade high-build primer, which is perfect for hiding any surface imperfections and also sands very easily.  Here is a shot of it after the first coat of primer has been sanded:

Bust - one coat of primer

Bust – one coat of primer

Another coat of primer was applied and a then a fine grit sanding (300 to 600) and it was ready for paint:

Bust - 2nd coat of primer

Bust – 2nd coat of primer

Automotive paints work very well on 3D printed models.  The first colour applied was the metallic gold:

Gold paint sprayed

Gold paint sprayed

This was very carefully masked off once dry to allow for the red metallic paint to be sprayed:

Red paint applied

Red paint applied

Thankfully there were some great hard edges at the colour transition points, so that helped to make the masking easier.

Once the red paint hardened up a bit it was time to carefully unmask and reveal the finished work!  Almost there…

Unmasking

Unmasking

Finally here it is complete with some black paint added in a few gaps to make it pop.  The eyes are pieces of white pinstriping tape for a final touch!

Finished!

Finished!

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