While many projects are indeed one-hit wonders, innovations with a clear beginning and end, we see some that just keep building upon brilliant momentum—with one continual step after another. Clearly, that’s the case with a 3D printed exoskeleton that just continues to grow, thanks to the creative spirit of one Alex Czech, an Aussie designer who was inspired after seeing Matt Damon’s character decked out in sci-fi gear as he took on a very difficult mission in Elysium. Not just making this design for himself, he’s ready for you to suit up too. And all it takes is one look at the images to see that anyone would feel pretty powerful wearing this sturdy getup.
Beginning with the idea of making 3D printed universal joints, Czech ended up going so far as to make an impressive 3D printed exoskeleton hand, consisting of 13 fabricated parts produced on his Up Plus 2 3D printer with a 14 x 15 x 15 cm build area. Indicating that his plans included a full suit, Czech has continued to make progress from a fully 3D printed arm to now, an entire 3D printed exoskeleton for the legs and feet.
And while we’ve reported on numerous 3D printed medical devices from robotic prosthetic arms to 3D printed orthotics, Czech’s creation is meant purely for fun, most likely appealing to the ever growing cosplay community, but we’d venture to say that the design beckons for nearly anyone to try it on. First, you’ll need to download the files from Cults, where they are available for $21.00.
Czech printed all of these parts, again, on his Up Plus, but also used the Australian manufactured Wombot Exilis, which offers a build area of 10″ x 10″ x 13″. He reports too that the exoskeleton parts are quite comfy to wear—and the future may hold robotics as the ‘suit’ design continues to expand.
“What you are downloading is the result of countless hours of test printing to give you the most freedom of movement whilst still feeling strong and solid,” says Czech. “I feel that this model brings us one step closer to Matt Damon’s exoskeleton suit from Elysium.”
Once you’ve purchased and downloaded the files, you’ll want to check out free access to the instruction manuals for 3D printing and assembly of both the exoskeleton legs and exoskeleton feet. There, Czech explains that the print is meant to be made with ABS 3D printing filament.
For the legs, you will need to purchase on the following extra supplies:
- (16) Metal screws – (Sheet metal self-tapper pan screws 8G x 15mm)
- Super glue
- (4) Buckles (print from Thingiverse or use old buckles)
- (1) Old belt
- (4) Some black plastic — Consolidated Alloys 500um Black Poly Dampcourse
And for the feet:
- (8) Metal screws – (Sheet metal self-tapper pan screws 8G x 15mm)
- (12) Metal screws – (Sheet metal self-tapper pan screws 8G x 40mm)
- Super glue
- (4) Buckles – Print from Thingiverse or use old buckles
- (2) Some black plastic — Consolidated Alloys 500um Black Poly Dampcourse
From guiding you through the 3D printing process to assembling the pieces with both instructions and accompanying visuals, Czech makes the process of creating your own exoskeleton fairly simple. He offers tips and shows you how he built out his own design in terms of some of the trickier assembly steps.
This is definitely a challenging project, but the instructions truly are as step-by-step as you’ll ever find. If sci-fi cosplay is one of your interests, this should you be a project you enjoy completing—and showing off—as well as forging ahead fearlessly to 2154 to battle evil robots and save all those poor people living in the ruins of earth. Be safe, and report back to us on your progress, please!
To follow Alex Czech and check out some of his other designs, take a look here. Is this something you might consider downloading and printing? Let’s talk about it further over in the 3D Printed Exoskeleton Legs & Feet forum over at 3DPB.com.