How to 3D Print Life-Size Iron Man Statue: Interview with David Maeseele

Bringing home an incredible 1:1 scale 3D printed life-size statue is fantastic. Not everyone can make such a dream come true. Still, if you have a 3D printer, nothing is impossible for you. You can scale up your favourite 3D printing character! For example, Iron Man 3D print will capture everyone’s imagination and bring many positive emotions to its owner. Talented hobbyist David Maeseele is happy to show the photos of his fantastic Iron Man life-size figure that is 191 cm (75 inches) tall and talk about its creation.

If you ever dreamt of 3D printing something life-size, David’s tips can be useful to you. Explore his vision on how to 3D print a life-size Iron Man statue and learn the secrets of painting such giant projects.

Life-size Iron Man

Iron Man 3D Print

Many fans of Marvel Comics are fond of Tony Stark, and his fictional alter ego, Iron Man. According to the original story, this genius inventor builds a powerful suit and uses the Iron Man Mark 46 costume for performing good deeds.

The 3D printed Iron Man figure always looks impressive and is easily recognized by its red and gold colours when painted.

You can download the Iron Man 3D model STL files for 3D printing on Gambody – Premium 3D printing marketplace. 3D designer Rodman created this fantastic figurine, which you can turn into a life-size Iron Man 3D print just as David Maeseele did it.

Iron Man 3D print
Maker: David Maeseele

Get inspired by David’s 1:1 scale figure of Iron Man and learn more about how to 3D print a life-size statue that reaches 191 cm.

3D Print Life-Size Statue of Iron Man: How to

The Iron Man 3D print created by David is pretty heavy. The hobbyist spent about 16 kg (35 lbs) of PLA, many working hours, much paint and introduced LED lights to this fantastic project.

3D printed Iron Man figure 191 cm life-size
Life-size statue by David Maeseele

1. David, it is nice to meet you! Can you please introduce yourself to Gambody community? How many years have you been fond of 3D printing?

Hello, I am 43 years old, and I live in France. I am passionate about cinema, music, fishing and of course 3D printing that I have been practising for two years.

2. How popular is 3D printing in your country and hometown?

In France, there are a lot of 3D makers.

Iron Man life-size
Maker: David Maeseele

3. Your life-size Iron Man 3D print is fantastic! Do you usually build everything life-size? Or is it a unique project for a contest, show or personal collection?

Thank you so much.

I started printing small pieces of 20 cm (8 inches). Like everyone else, in the beginning, I found them already to be huge.

Then once I started printing a DBZ figure and noticed that I was wrong in the size. So, I went to the end of the project, and my figurine was 60 cm (24 inches) tall. Since that time, I have gained confidence, and I have been printing increasingly large figures.

3D printed Iron Man files
Life-size head by David Maeseele

Then I made other big action figures for the movie theatre, and finally, I made this life-size Iron Man statue. I think it will be the only one in my collection because it is very expensive to have this quality.

4. Your life-size Iron Man 3D print is 191 cm tall. Can you please recollect the process of scaling up each part of the 3D model? How much time did it take you to prepare each STL file for 3D printing? Which software did you use?

I collected all the Iron Man 3D model STL files in the 3D Builder software. Then I increased the size to 755% and got the one I wanted.

I spent about 100 hours slicing all the files so that I could save printing time and material while 3D printing a life-size statue of Iron Man.

David’s video on how to 3D print Iron Man

5. You mentioned that you 3D printed Iron Man files with two machines. Which 3D printers did you use?

For this life-size Iron Man figure, I used Alfawise U20 and Creality Ender-3 printers.

3D printed Iron Man
3D printed Iron Man parts by David Maeseele

6. It would be incredible if you could please share the printing settings used on Creality Ender-3 and Alfawise U20 with hobbyists who never tried to 3D print anything life-size. Which settings worked perfectly for your 3D printed Iron Man figure?

I can’t remember the exact settings.

I know I chose to 3D print Iron Man at 0.22mm layer height, 8% infill, speed of 60 m/s, bed at 0°C and a 0.6mm nozzle.

3D print Iron Man figure
Maker: David Maeseele

Today as I have made further progress, I think I could print at 0.32mm layer height (always with the same machines).

7. Do you remember the size of the biggest 3D printing part of this 3D printed life-size statue?

The most significant pieces were parts of the Iron Man life-size bust. I had to cut it into eight pieces.

8. Did you do test prints? And you used a piece of paper for writing down mathematic formulas. What did you count or keep track of?

I printed the Iron Man figure in 20 cm (less than 8 inches) to see if the interlocking was perfect. Then I started with the smaller pieces of the Iron Man life-size statue.

3D print Iron Man
3D printed Iron Man figure by David Maeseele

I located all the parts and wrote down the times on a piece of paper so that I could organize myself.

9. You spent several weeks making the life-size Iron Man 3D print. Did you work on it every day, from dawn to midnight? Or did it occupy you a couple of hours a day?

If memory serves me well, I spent a total of 7 weeks 3D printing it.

I worked every day before I left for work and when I got home from work. As soon as a part came out, I began working on it.

Iron Man 3D model
Maker: David Maeseele

10. How did you control the quality of each 3D printing piece to make sure the printers are doing their job well and no errors occur during the process?

I just let the machines work. I had small problems, but I caught them in post-processing.

11. How simple or challenging was the sanding, post-processing and assembly? Did you face any issues? Or was everything smooth?

For the post-processing, I only had one big problem. I was almost done, but there was a reaction of the varnish and the paint. I had to start sanding the grey and gold parts of Iron Man 3D print again. I lost one week of work because of this.

3D print life-size statue
3D printed Iron Man by David Maeseele

12. Which painting technique did you use while working on the 191-cm life-size Iron Man 3D print? Did it take you just one night to paint this giant model, or was it longer?

I painted the silver and gold parts of this 3D printed life-size statue in my garage and applied the varnish on them.

Then the red was done in a paint booth by a professional. I could have painted it myself, but I was afraid of having small flaws. I wanted it to be perfect. And since the paint was very expensive, I didn’t risk with the red.

The painting of the 3D printed Iron Man figure took over two days.

13. How did you pick up the right colour for red and gold? Can you recollect your painting tests?

I saw this video of Iron Man life-size model:

The life-size Iron Man figure that motivated David

And I said to myself, “this is the colour I want!”

I talked to the body painter about it, and he showed me samples of colours.

Iron Man 3D print files
Maker: David Maeseele

14. Did you have to mix paints on your own to achieve the right shade?

No, I let the professional do it.

15. Did you add lights and shadows to the 191-cm Iron Man statue?

I hesitated to shade at first. But I added very light accents on the silver parts. I did them with an airbrush.

Adding LED lights to 3D printed Iron Man
Maker: David Maeseele

16. At which stage did you introduce LED lights inside this 3D printed life-size statue? Can you please describe this process in detail as it was your first ever experience in adding lights to the model?

Yes, it was the first experience for me. I prepared everything before painting. And after the painting, I fixed everything.

Iron Man base 3D printed
Maker: David Maeseele

17. Did you make the platform for the 3D printed Iron Man figure yourself? Did you design it? Does it hold the batteries for LED lights?

I found the 3D print files on Thingiverse and edited them. I added a polycarbonate plate and LED tape.

Iron Man platform with LED lights
Maker: David Maeseele

18. Where do you display the impressive 3D printed Iron Man model? It looks like it requires some space.

At first, I wanted to display it in my cinema room, but it does not fit. So, the Iron Man 3D print is on display in my dining room.

19. Do you have plans to showcase your project in a museum or exhibition in your city or a nearby area?

No, because I wouldn’t want it to be damaged.

3D printed life-size statue
Iron Man 3D model printed by David Maeseele

20. How do you think, can a hobbyist 3D print a life-size statue at home? Or is a big workshop a must for such giant projects?

Not everyone can do it. You have to have special tools for post-processing. It also takes much place to paint it. Besides, it makes dust.

21. Which life-size statue are you working on now?

I have no current project at the moment. I just made some small figurines that can be found on Instagram (@davidmaeseele) or my YouTube channel:

David’s YouTube channel

22. Thank you so much for your time! Is there anything else you would like to say to Gambody readers?

Thanks to you for this interview.

To make great prints, be patient and do a lot of research. Have a good print, everyone!

We hope you love David’s 3D printed life-size statue as much as we do. This Iron Man 3D print is a fantastic one! It shows that you can scale up the highly-detailed 3D print files found on Gambody – Premium 3D printing marketplace and create impressive figures. Make sure to join Gambody community on Facebook to let other hobbyists adore your giant and regular 3D prints as well as miniatures.

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