How to "power-up" a steel body suit?

• LaloGarcia91
In summary: Enough to build a really beautiful Iron Man-style suit!In summary, Simon is planning to build an Iron Man-style suit for Halloween this year. He has some basic questions about how to power the suit and control it, but he is not worried about the power issue.
shaun curley said:
why not use your own body heat as a power source
Because, even if you were somehow able to maximize the heat capture, it still only amounts to the heat of a 60 watt lightbulb.

256bits said:
If for the suit, the arm weighs 10 pounds one can possibly model the dimensions with a scaled sized spring ( ratio 10/300 ) - not sure how that is going to give the correct spring size, as the number of turns that the spring makes for the movement would be more of a determining factor for F=kx. Add in the friction of the cable through the guides, the extra bulk of the spring and cabling guides and the complexity, and for some reason I feel about 3 to 4 pounds would be added to the suit for spring assist.

Then we have the shoulder, the torso, legs, etc.

I wish to be proven wrong on that, but if "powering up" adds another 30% of hardware to the suit, the 200 pound initial weight quickly becomes 300 pounds by picking off the shelf hardware.

Thanks! You're right when saying the suit must be as light as possible, but keep in mind that even though, if the suit weights 190-200 lbs in total, there won't be any time where I'm lifting that much weight. Those 200 lbs are lifted by the suit itself. Engines or whatever power source (or sources) I use, will need to provide enough power to walk and lift my arms.

Although, I will do it from aluminum at first and depending on how it goes I'll go for steel or stainless steel. Not to mention I already started with the cardboard suit, starting from the hand and forearm this way I'll get the instructions set when I move into aluminum. It won't be too thick of course, maybe as thick as 2 or 3 credit cards on over the other one.

You mention the extra bulk of the spring and cabling guides, the suit won't be slim fit since it's impossible to add any kind of mechanisms that way, the suit will have as much space as needed, if you see this pictures below you can see that the suit is first made from a steel structure at the beginning, then comes the "pretty" stuff which is the already molded steel plates; and getting them molded accurately to set them over the structure. Of course this procedure will need a lot of tools (which I have access to), since it is very very complicated to do exactly and identically the same suit cause' there ain't any instructions plus the curving of the metal like on the chest area will be impossible to replicate, I'm just building my own design of Iron Man keeping in mind what makes Iron Man, Iron Man. Which is the helmet/face, the lights on the hands, chest light, and the red and gold colors. It will be a mixture of many Iron Man suits from the cartoon, movies and people around the world. I already study every single one of them. It'll be a personalized design.

I have a lot of space on the "upper back" of the suit and the front of the suit (chest), there can be hidden a lot of mechanisms or engines. If you've seen the movie, Iron Man is actually powered by some sort of non-existent energy source in the front of the suit, which is the light you see.

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256bits
Hercuflea said:
I've often thought it might be possible using a Stirling engine. This way you could just burn wood and other materials you find as you go to power it. I doubt you could build one that would lift that much steel though.
Thanks you. Any idea that comes up will be tremendously appreciated. Every single one. I'll investigate more about Stirling Engines and see how that might or might not help to power the suit.

Dr_Zinj said:
I would start with several historical and operational suits of plate armor. That's for showing mobility and armor coverage. Obviously unpowered, and uses the human body for skeletal support rather than supporting itself. Then look at the several version of powered assist technologies being done by various companies. Finally, I'd look into the several good iterations of robots, such as Honda's, Asimo; and Boston Dynamic's, Atlas.

I have a suspicion that any powered body suit that's going to run for a long enough period of time to be useful is going to entail a miniaturized internal combustion engine strapped to your back with either a micro generator or hydraulic pump. Batteries just don't last long enough to be useful, and the U.S. government frowns on private use of nuclear power.
Thanks man. I'll take a very close look to those things you mentioned at first. And of course I'll need some sort of miniaturized internal combustion engine, strapped either to the back of the suit or the chest (which is another are of the suite where I can hide whatever engine I need to hide and cover). But how big would a micro generator or hydraulic pump can be to be hidden?

shaun curley said:
why not use your own body heat as a power source, like a refrigeration system with the radiator on the back converting the heat to electricity using a TEG.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_generator

as for control, does the suit have to be digital or can it be sensor responsive in an analogue sort of way using op-amps or something.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feedback

would that help.
Thank you! It's good to know that, I'll give a closer look to that info and what can I take out of it. Even if it's not that much energy generated by the heat of my body, it might generate enough power to support any small mechanism inside the suit.. This will be the greatest thing I build myself ever, it'll be tough to do but not impossible. This thermo-electric stuff might give sufficient energy to small task done inside the suit. Thank you!

using your own body heat might help to keep you cool as I'm sure using a suit like that would be enough to make you break a sweat. and every little helps.

shaun curley said:
using your own body heat might help to keep you cool as I'm sure using a suit like that would be enough to make you break a sweat. and every little helps.
Easy to say..

How much extra weight will be required to extract how much useful heat energy?
Will the suit be lined with heat extractors all over the major body parts? Will it need a fluid pump? A heat exchanger? A converter?

billy_joule
Great, every single answer has helped a lot on this thread, I'm finally coming up to conclusions on how to "power-up" the suit, how to create motion once wearing it. How to be able to do simple tasks such as walk freely, move my arms freely as well (up/down/side/front), how to lift my knee 90º angle (just in case) etc etc.. I'm thinking on using more 1 small engine for every region of the suit/body such as left and right knee, left and right side of the hips, left and right shoulder, left and right elbow.. Or at least I'll manage to do something like that, maybe 1 engine for lower body, another for the upper body.

My dad just arrived from a trip, and he's amazingly good at physics and engineering and I started talking to him about all the research I've been doing this last days, hours and hours, every single idea that has came up here on this thread and we'll be starting this project on the next days. I'm sure everything will go alright.

But I'm still doing doing research by myself instead of asking him (currently not at home)... I'm having one question here, regardless of what type of engine or engines I use, how do they activate like for example. If I'll lift my arm to the front, or if I lift my knee 90º, how much time will it take to the respective engine to give the signal to lift my knee (in this case). Will that be as soon as I try to lift my knee? Or will it take a couple of seconds (not worth building the suit if that's the case)? It'll be disappointing if it takes the engines too much time to give the signal to the pistons to pump oil, or whatever.

DaveC426913 said:
Easy to say..

How much extra weight will be required to extract how much useful heat energy?
Will the suit be lined with heat extractors all over the major body parts? Will it need a fluid pump? A heat exchanger? A converter?

i was thinking thin sealed water tubes embedded in the foam lining he want to use inside the suit. then he could circulate the water using convection to move the heat away from his body to TEG units.

if he's going to be sealed in this suit he would need some way to regulate his body temp' to save perspiration issues.

do you have any ideas as to how he can solve any of the problems he's concerned with?

But I'm still doing doing research by myself instead of asking him (currently not at home)... I'm having one question here, regardless of what type of engine or engines I use, how do they activate like for example. If I'll lift my arm to the front, or if I lift my knee 90º, how much time will it take to the respective engine to give the signal to lift my knee (in this case). Will that be as soon as I try to lift my knee? Or will it take a couple of seconds (not worth building the suit if that's the case)? It'll be disappointing if it takes the engines too much time to give the signal to the pistons to pump oil, or whatever.

who said it all has to be one system...each arm, leg etc could be stand alone units. that way you could sue analogue feedback pressure pads to trigger each servo(?), and each servo could have its own power supply removing the need for a large central power unit. maybe that could open the door for induction rechargeable batteries to be used which could solve any "fuel" issues as well.

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LaloGarcia91
LaloGarcia91 said:
how much time will it take to the respective engine to give the signal to lift my knee (in this case). Will that be as soon as I try to lift my knee? Or will it take a couple of seconds (not worth building the suit if that's the case)? It'll be disappointing if it takes the engines too much time to give the signal to the pistons to pump oil, or whatever.
There's no technical reason there should be any delay.

The problems are going to be in quickly reading a body movement (sensors have to be sensitive enough to pick up the first sign of movement, yet not too many false triggers), and in the speed with which motor/connections can move the component through its arc. (faster movment == more powerful motor/linkages)

LaloGarcia91
shaun curley said:
who said it all has to be one system...each arm, leg etc could be stand alone units. that way you could sue analogue feedback pressure pads to trigger each servo(?), and each servo could have its own power supply removing the need for a large central power unit. maybe that could open the door for induction rechargeable batteries to be used which could solve any "fuel" issues as well.
That's exactly what I was thinking and talked with my dad, he said something similar. There's not need to have one central system to trigger everything. And as you said, rechargeable batteries can solve any fuel issues as well..

shaun curley said:
I just saw this and wondered if you were aware if it.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/05/22/tech/innovation/exoskeleton-robot-suit/

i thought it might be useful
I saw a lot of exoskeletons this days but this one gave me a great idea, thanks a lot for this image. It really helped quite a lot, the "mechanism" looks really "simple" and gave me a very good idea. I need to show this to my dad later.

shaun curley said:
are these any use?

Thanks, I didn't saw those particular exo-suit before, thing is I need to keep things as simple as possible cause' otherwise it'll be too bulky on the inside of the suit. Don't worry I'll build this suit soon or later and will be posting everything on this thread.

DaveC426913 said:
There's no technical reason there should be any delay.

The problems are going to be in quickly reading a body movement (sensors have to be sensitive enough to pick up the first sign of movement, yet not too many false triggers), and in the speed with which motor/connections can move the component through its arc. (faster movment == more powerful motor/linkages)
That's true indeed, there shouldn't be any kind of delay if the sensors are well calibrated and of course the "linkages" should be powerful. I was just with the wonder that if there was any kind of delay on the movements, the suit would have been worthless. Regardless of the experience and knowledge achieved from the project of course.

LaloGarcia91 said:
I was just with the wonder that if there was any kind of delay on the movements, the suit would have been worthless.

Well, excessive delay perhaps, but you can still have non-excessive delay and be just fine. To throw out a random number based off of playing too many online games with lag, I'd say that a delay of under 50-100 ms would be acceptable. But this whole control issue is not trivial. I honestly wouldn't expect to get anything more than very crude control at best.

LaloGarcia91
Drakkith said:
Well, excessive delay perhaps, but you can still have non-excessive delay and be just fine. To throw out a random number based off of playing too many online games with lag, I'd say that a delay of under 50-100 ms would be acceptable. But this whole control issue is not trivial. I honestly wouldn't expect to get anything more than very crude control at best.

I just want to be able to move relatively freely once wearing the suit. As free as if I wasn't wearing it if possible. It won't be a cheap project I know, that's why I need to be as careful and as perfect as possible with the first one (aluminum).

LaloGarcia91 said:
I just want to be able to move relatively freely once wearing the suit. As free as if I wasn't wearing it if possible. It won't be a cheap project I know, that's why I need to be as careful and as perfect as possible with the first one (aluminum).

Of course. But that's probably about the amount of "lag" you can have before the delay becomes noticeable. So if you're looking at a control system, I'd aim for a delay under that if possible. That's all I was getting at. I'm afraid most of this is beyond me, so I'm probably going to step out of this conversation. Good luck with your suit!

LaloGarcia91
LaloGarcia91 said:
I just want to be able to move relatively freely once wearing the suit. As free as if I wasn't wearing it if possible. It won't be a cheap project I know, that's why I need to be as careful and as perfect as possible with the first one (aluminum).
Metal suits came to a zenith in the perfected medieval knight's armor. A well trained knight could run, jump and do handstands while being protected everywhere by steel plate armor. No power assist needed. You can purchase replica armor, custom made. But it's not cheap.

I would come at this from a different direction, actually. While I have been a fan of powered armor ever since I read Starship Troopers (the actual book) back in the late 60s early 70s and fell in love with the idea. However, as far as what has been released publicly the control ability is there with direct feedback sensors etc, and that is something that would have to be constructed or fine tuned by the user, and it USED to be that the power for such a system Had to come from elsewhere. Now, with the dense batteries in use it is feasible for short periods of time but not very profitable for the energy expenditure.

Now, if you are wanting something for COSTUME use, I would suggest looking into Medieval Armor and it's construction. It is some sheet metal work for the most part. You can use 18 Ga or thinner and get very good Looking results without having to carry a ton of weight (it will still be heavy enough, but you can easily wear it) and it can have the plates affixed to either leather of nylon strapping and buckled on.

I was a knife and Swordmaker for a decade and would build armor as well, look to information from the Society for Creative Anachronism and they often have patterns for the basic wear and some how-to tips, and maybe even a local armorer to give you some one-on-one pointers. (Most folks in the SCA are also S-F fans as well as history buffs.)

But doing actual powered armor as a costume will be prohibitive in the amount of work needed and tech involved, with doing the 'armor' portion, you are creating what would go over the framework to begin with and since that is the part that shows, that is the easiest to turn into costume.

Also, these folks are quite used to going out in full armor and beating each other up with sticks (actually full contact combat, well regulated) and the armor must meet certain specs. They can teach you a lot about padding and how to build really wearable, comfortable (as possible) armor, whether for use or costume.

(added) Also, I would stay away from tryng to use aluminum first as it is very difficult to work with compared to light Ga. steel sheet metal, for good results I would use 18 to 24 Ga cold-rolled steel sheet as it can be much more easily shaped, such as dishing, bending and even cutting is easier. Aluminum, while lighter for the thickness is really not suitable on the scale you want. Thin steel is easily shaped by comparison and is much much cheaper. The trade off in weight is negilible at this scale and the price and ease of working is well worth the slight extra weight.

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Dotini
Dotini said:
Metal suits came to a zenith in the perfected medieval knight's armor. A well trained knight could run, jump and do handstands while being protected everywhere by steel plate armor. No power assist needed. You can purchase replica armor, custom made. But it's not cheap.
Well maybe the reason they could run and jump with those suits on is cause they weighted around 100 lbs total. That's not a lot of weight when distributed all around your body.

Steelwolf said:
I would come at this from a different direction, actually. While I have been a fan of powered armor ever since I read Starship Troopers (the actual book) back in the late 60s early 70s and fell in love with the idea. However, as far as what has been released publicly the control ability is there with direct feedback sensors etc, and that is something that would have to be constructed or fine tuned by the user, and it USED to be that the power for such a system Had to come from elsewhere. Now, with the dense batteries in use it is feasible for short periods of time but not very profitable for the energy expenditure.

Now, if you are wanting something for COSTUME use, I would suggest looking into Medieval Armor and it's construction. It is some sheet metal work for the most part. You can use 18 Ga or thinner and get very good Looking results without having to carry a ton of weight (it will still be heavy enough, but you can easily wear it) and it can have the plates affixed to either leather of nylon strapping and buckled on.

I was a knife and Swordmaker for a decade and would build armor as well, look to information from the Society for Creative Anachronism and they often have patterns for the basic wear and some how-to tips, and maybe even a local armorer to give you some one-on-one pointers. (Most folks in the SCA are also S-F fans as well as history buffs.)

But doing actual powered armor as a costume will be prohibitive in the amount of work needed and tech involved, with doing the 'armor' portion, you are creating what would go over the framework to begin with and since that is the part that shows, that is the easiest to turn into costume.

Also, these folks are quite used to going out in full armor and beating each other up with sticks (actually full contact combat, well regulated) and the armor must meet certain specs. They can teach you a lot about padding and how to build really wearable, comfortable (as possible) armor, whether for use or costume.

(added) Also, I would stay away from tryng to use aluminum first as it is very difficult to work with compared to light Ga. steel sheet metal, for good results I would use 18 to 24 Ga cold-rolled steel sheet as it can be much more easily shaped, such as dishing, bending and even cutting is easier. Aluminum, while lighter for the thickness is really not suitable on the scale you want. Thin steel is easily shaped by comparison and is much much cheaper. The trade off in weight is negilible at this scale and the price and ease of working is well worth the slight extra weight.
Thanks! This was a great answer, just did some research on what you mentioned above. But what do you mean by "prohibitive" ? I didn't know it is "illegal" to build something such as a superhero suit (Iron Man) on my own blacksmith shop.. Since I count with everything I need here, literally speaking. I could even work with titanium if I want to, but I'm not interested on that at the moment. The hard part is to shape the plates to assembly the suit (no matter if it's steel, aluminum, stainless steel or titanium).. It is hard to shape the plates and do the assembly, that's why I'm going to build my own Iron Man suit design, or a combination of different suits since it'll be impossible to replicate the "real" one, there are no instructions. Although, I want to build my own instructions for future suits, and not just for me but for who ever want to build the suit as well.

Well, I used to build armor, as I said, complete with full flex riveted joints and all, the actual weight of such a suit is closer to 70 lbs max, usually less than that, closer to 50 lb, especially for a footman, most knights who wore the super heavy stuff only could because they were horseback, that and foot armor differed greatly. Jousting armor was not built for actual warfare but was a rich man's sport instead.

(added) Doing the internal framework is a whole year's worth of science project to begin with, as one of the earliest posters on this thread already pointed out. It would be an awesomely FUN Project, and one I would dearly love to play with myself, in fact. Even unpowered there are several obstacles to overcome, the degree of flexibility and the weight of the overall pieces. Spring-loading some portions of it can help to at least neutralize some of the weight, but may also restrict movement in difficult or awkward situations. Most of the ones that they have now will allow one to kneel, but going prone has it's difficulties and is slow compared to being able to throw one's self down into a ditch and crawl, presently they do well in helping carry extra ammo in and do well for 'mulework'. I have had ideas for the internal framework for decades, with refinements over time to match the changing and upgrading tech. I would happily correspond with you further. And I do not think that it would be illegal, just for a lot of us it would be cost prohibitive. I live on a very fixed income due to disability and only get $733/mo, but even when I was doing the Swords, Knives and Armor as a living, full time plus (doing up to 26 shows a year from knife shows to medieval recreation events) but even then I would always much, much prefer to work in steel as you can get the details easier since steel forms so much easier than aluminum does, even with just cold forming, heating is rarely required with sheet metal like that, if ye know what you are doing with a hammer. Of course, I tended to regrind the faces of my hammers and made a lot of my own stakes and forming faces, dishing stumps and the like so that I could get exact detail. An example: An unfinished leg section, before full planishing and sanding work:https://scontent.fsnc1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/1937103_1196935407410_393946_n.jpg?oh=ff6951c28da9b4a17ea3316522282236&oe=579F475B Why I said that aluminum would be prohibitive is normally cost: The material cost and the extra equipment jigs and labor required. However if you have the money and expense is no problem, I would STILL say to go with the thin steel as it is actually lighter and stronger for the amount of work involved and is much MUCH easier to shape and bend and at least as strong as a finished product. Aluminum wants to crack while bending and it is very difficult to shape and unless you Really Know what you are doing, welding thin aluminum will be quite the trick ( I was a Navy Welder, I well know) and it is not at all like shaping steel or iron (especially from a blacksmith perspective). Steel can be easily dished with hammer, just like doing Body work for a car, but MOST folks have lost the techniques on how to do it smoothly. For much of the detail you will find it incredibly easier using light gauge steel sheet rather than trying for aluminum because while it is lighter, it is also a lot harder to work. I could teach you a lot about patterning and the forming processes for such a project, having built full suits of armor myself already and having a vast knowledge of the materials and how they may be formed, you would be vastly disappointed if you tried doing that type of forming, with any kind of detail, in aluminum and Titanium would be right out unless you had access to a full anaerobic casting facility. Believe me. Last edited: Dotini Steelwolf said: Well, I used to build armor, as I said, complete with full flex riveted joints and all, the actual weight of such a suit is closer to 70 lbs max, usually less than that, closer to 50 lb, especially for a footman, most knights who wore the super heavy stuff only could because they were horseback, that and foot armor differed greatly. Jousting armor was not built for actual warfare but was a rich man's sport instead. (added) Doing the internal framework is a whole year's worth of science project to begin with, as one of the earliest posters on this thread already pointed out. It would be an awesomely FUN Project, and one I would dearly love to play with myself, in fact. Even unpowered there are several obstacles to overcome, the degree of flexibility and the weight of the overall pieces. Spring-loading some portions of it can help to at least neutralize some of the weight, but may also restrict movement in difficult or awkward situations. Most of the ones that they have now will allow one to kneel, but going prone has it's difficulties and is slow compared to being able to throw one's self down into a ditch and crawl, presently they do well in helping carry extra ammo in and do well for 'mulework'. I have had ideas for the internal framework for decades, with refinements over time to match the changing and upgrading tech. I would happily correspond with you further. And I do not think that it would be illegal, just for a lot of us it would be cost prohibitive. I live on a very fixed income due to disability and only get$733/mo, but even when I was doing the Swords, Knives and Armor as a living, full time plus (doing up to 26 shows a year from knife shows to medieval recreation events) but even then I would always much, much prefer to work in steel as you can get the details easier since steel forms so much easier than aluminum does, even with just cold forming, heating is rarely required with sheet metal like that, if ye know what you are doing with a hammer. Of course, I tended to regrind the faces of my hammers and made a lot of my own stakes and forming faces, dishing stumps and the like so that I could get exact detail. An example:

An unfinished leg section, before full planishing and sanding work:https://scontent.fsnc1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/1937103_1196935407410_393946_n.jpg?oh=ff6951c28da9b4a17ea3316522282236&oe=579F475B

Why I said that aluminum would be prohibitive is normally cost: The material cost and the extra equipment jigs and labor required. However if you have the money and expense is no problem, I would STILL say to go with the thin steel as it is actually lighter and stronger for the amount of work involved and is much MUCH easier to shape and bend and at least as strong as a finished product. Aluminum wants to crack while bending and it is very difficult to shape and unless you Really Know what you are doing, welding thin aluminum will be quite the trick ( I was a Navy Welder, I well know) and it is not at all like shaping steel or iron (especially from a blacksmith perspective). Steel can be easily dished with hammer, just like doing Body work for a car, but MOST folks have lost the techniques on how to do it smoothly. For much of the detail you will find it incredibly easier using light gauge steel sheet rather than trying for aluminum because while it is lighter, it is also a lot harder to work. I could teach you a lot about patterning and the forming processes for such a project, having built full suits of armor myself already and having a vast knowledge of the materials and how they may be formed, you would be vastly disappointed if you tried doing that type of forming, with any kind of detail, in aluminum and Titanium would be right out unless you had access to a full anaerobic casting facility. Believe me.

Thank you very much, this is just helping me wonders! And that's a great steel leg, even though it is unfinished as you said, it's impressive! Of course that's for a medieval type-suit, it looks impressive.. Now that you're telling me about aluminum, I think I'll definitely go with steel and in my case, the cost won't be a problem. I'll get this project done as perfect as possible but of course it won't be just 1 suit, it'll be a prototype. And as soon as I finish the prototype (with steel sheet), and the mechanisms are doing well, the exoskeleton and engines are doing fine etc. There will still be details I would have liked to incorporate or whatever to the suit. But that'll be built on the next suit which might be done with steel plate, make it thicker. Of course, that'll depend on how well everything worked on the first suit, I might use stronger engines or whatever.

Right now we are basically starting from the inside to the outside, I'll go:
1. Exoskeleton/engines/pistons/power (test it.)
(This way I determine how much overall volume/space it'll take before building the framework)

2. Internal framework, get everything on the point #1 strapped or welded to the framework, plus add some comfort padding. (test it.)
3. I can now design the suit from the outside based on the point #1 and #2.

That should be the right steps, I can't start over from the outside, you know. And after ell of this, depending on how well I did on the 2nd suit, I'll move on a 3rd one. There will always be details you'll like to add or whatever, and there's when the 3rd suit comes in.

The hard part is the flexing one. But I think I could find a way to fix that; I want to cover every single part of my body with steel. Cost won't be a problem, this project will be done. one way or another. It's not an overnight project though.

Expected or similar result:

Again, I can't build something exactly the same since there are no instructions on how to build this in real metal. That's why I'll build a personalized design and just take ideas from more than 100 different Iron Man suits, while keeping what makes Iron man, Iron Man. Which is the face/helmet, the light on the chest and palms, and the colors (red/gold). I'm new on building a suit, and I'm sure you should have vast knowledge on suits, even though you built medieval steel armors. I'm open to any idea and/or opinion regarding the suit. Literally speaking. I really believe or at least I have the hope that this could be possible, I can do this on my backyard, I count with any machinery regarding steel. And good ones. I can't imagine how much knowledge I could gain if I get to finish this suit some day.

What do you think?

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[QUOTE="
The hard part is the flexing one. But I think I could find a way to fix that; I want to cover every single part of my body with steel. Cost won't be a problem, this project will be done. one way or another. It's not an overnight project though.

Expected or similar result:

A quick concept note. As already in this discussion steel is a remarkably easy to work with material. Possibly an adaptation of some of the old style construction would help with flexibility. Many styles of ancient armors relied on sections of chain mail so as to maintain protection while still allowing movement. I am thinking about this concept while looking at the segmented construction of the Iron Man you are showing (and I think modeling). Would it not be possible to construct a fitted leather or other durable material suit. Even possibly just tailoring a set of welding leathers. Then with the aid of a Stud welder and a small bucking bar one could place individual pieces and bend over ie. single staple the metal pieces to the suit in a couple places for each segment. With a stud welder there would be no external reveal for the attachment and you could fit a minor overlap with each segmented plate. Your previous thoughts of a foam lining would cover and protect you from the peened studs.

Just a quick reaction to the turn this is taking.

Ketch22 said:
[QUOTE="
A quick concept note. As already in this discussion steel is a remarkably easy to work with material. Possibly an adaptation of some of the old style construction would help with flexibility. Many styles of ancient armors relied on sections of chain mail so as to maintain protection while still allowing movement. I am thinking about this concept while looking at the segmented construction of the Iron Man you are showing (and I think modeling). Would it not be possible to construct a fitted leather or other durable material suit. Even possibly just tailoring a set of welding leathers. Then with the aid of a Stud welder and a small bucking bar one could place individual pieces and bend over ie. single staple the metal pieces to the suit in a couple places for each segment. With a stud welder there would be no external reveal for the attachment and you could fit a minor overlap with each segmented plate. Your previous thoughts of a foam lining would cover and protect you from the peened studs.

Just a quick reaction to the turn this is taking.

That sounds really good.. So, basically. It is possible to build something similar to that suit, notice I said similar of course. And regarding the flexibility, I was thinking on chainmail as well, and of course I'll search for a good one on the internet, but the first step is build my own exoskeleton before everything else. And as you said, as for the bending; I'll need to place individual pieces to make motion a lot easier as it is actually shown on the Iron Man I'm showing.

[QUOTE="but the first step is build my own exoskeleton before everything else. And as you said, as for the bending; I'll need to place individual pieces to make motion a lot easier as it is actually shown on the Iron Man I'm showing.[/QUOTE]

I have also done a similar project although not in metal. Let me also suggest a trick I learned from my sweetheart. For your first step do a Google search for "Duct tape dress form." I sure you can see how it goes and fitting a bunch of metal, leather foam, etc will be way easier

Steelwolf and LaloGarcia91
Some ideas :

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