Bringing home an incredible 1:1 scale life-size figure is fantastic. Not everyone can make such a dream come true. Still, if you have a 3D printer, nothing is impossible to you. You can scale up your favourite 3D printing character! For example, 3D print life-size Iron Man statue that captures everyone’s imagination and brings so many positive emotions to its owner. Talented hobbyist David Maeseele is happy to show the photos of his fantastic Iron Man 3D print 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 statue and learn the secrets of painting such giant projects.
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 statue just as David Maeseele did it.
Get inspired by David’s 1:1 scale life-size figure of Iron Man and learn more about this 191-cm 3D printed statue.
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.
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.
3. Your life-size Iron Man statue is fantastic! Do you usually print 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.
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 statue is 191 cm tall. Can you please recollect the process of scaling up each part of the 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 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 life-size Iron Man statue.
5. You mentioned that the life-size Iron Man statue was printed on two machines. Which 3D printers did you use?
I used Alfawise U20 and Creality Ender-3 printers.
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 statue of Iron Man?
I can’t remember the exact settings.
I know I printed at 0.22mm layer height, 8% infill, speed of 60 m/s, bed at 0°C and a 0.6mm nozzle.
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 life-size Iron Man statue?
The most significant pieces were parts of the 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 figurine in 20 cm (less than 8 inches) to see if the interlocking was perfect. Then I started with the smaller pieces of the life-size Iron Man statue.
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 to make 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 on 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.
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 with the varnish and the paint. I had to start sanding the grey and gold parts again. I lost one week of work because of this.
12. Which painting technique did you use while working on the 191-cm life-size Iron Man statue? Did it take you just one night to paint this giant model, or was it longer?
I painted the silver and gold parts 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 Iron Man statue 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 a life-size Iron Man statue:
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.
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.
16. At which stage did you introduce LED lights inside this statue? Can you please describe this process in details 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.
17. Did you make the platform for the life-size Iron Man statue yourself? Did you design it? Does it hold the batteries for LED lights?
I found the file on Thingiverse and edited it. I added a polycarbonate plate and LED tape.
18. Where do you display the impressive 3D printed Iron Man statue? 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.
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:
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 the 3D printed life-size statue of Iron Man as much as we do. This project is a fantastic one! It shows that you can scale up the highly-detailed 3D printing models 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 life-size and regular 3D prints as well as miniatures.