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It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s 3D Printed Superman!

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superman5When it comes to superheroes, there are few who have garnered the attention that The Man of Steel can attract. Superman has been an icon representing heroism since artist Joe Shuster and writer Jerry Siegel conjured up his character back in 1933. Since then, he has appeared in comic books, movies, TV series, and cartoons. There are numerous action figures, coloring books, and amusement park rides that have come about based on his character as well. When it comes down to it, Superman is one of the first superheroes to have really dominated American culture.

superman4There are literally millions of people around the world who would consider themselves to be fans of Superman, in one way or another. One of these individuals is a 46-year-old man named Peter Mitchell. Mitchell, who had been working in a call center for a long time, recently decided to leave his job to focus on 3D printing and prop making for the TV and film industry. He has made several large-scale sculptures for an upcoming movie and actually just finished doing work for Season 3 of Da Vinci’s Demons.

“My Superman sculpture came about as my partner loves Christopher Reeves and his Superman was also part of my growing up,” Mitchell tells 3DPrint.com. “I remember seeing it in an old style cinema back in the day.”

So Mitchell set out to create a large 3D printed Superman sculpture, one which would certainly make Christopher Reeves quite happy if he were still around today. To begin the design, Mitchell started off concentrating on getting the face just right, as this he says was the hardest part to design. He used Sculptris and Zbrush for most of the facial work.

“I divided him into parts, so his legs, torso, arms, head and hands were printed at a finer layer height,” Mitchell tells us. “All pieces were printed on my homemade Rostock [3D printer].”

superman2Actually everything except for Superman’s cape was 3D printed. Mitchell had originally intended on 3D printing it as well, but he found that it would have just taken him too much time to complete, so he had to find another solution. He decided to create a clay form in the shape of the cape and then soak the material in resin. Once it was hardened, it provided for a very strong, yet thin cape which greatly complemented the rest of the 3D printed sculpture.

superman3Once the cape was ready and the 3D printed body parts of Superman were finished printing, they were all assembled together, and painted. As you can see in the images provided by Mitchell, he created a very nice bronze-like effect, using acrylic paints.

“I wanted something iconic and statuesque,” he tells us.

The cape actually bends down under the entire statue and connects to the base. The rest of the Superman statue is then hung from the cape using hidden magnets so that it can be removed quite easily. When completely assembled, this statuesque Superman actually stands 12 inches tall without the cape, and 17 inches tall with the cape and base attached. It took approximately 12 hours of print time to complete.

What do you think of this unique 3D printed Superman statue? Discuss in the 3D Printed Superman forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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