Unless you have been living under a rock of some sort, then you have probably heard of a little indie film called The Avengers: Age of Ultron. In the film, one of the starring superheroes, Iron Man, tries to save the world, but unfortunately ends up creating a robot that wants to destroy it. Oops. But I’m sure it will all work out okay in the end, these sorts of things usually do. But half of the fun of a superhero movie isn’t wondering if the hero will win but finding out how they win. And the new Avengers movie is probably going to have a lot of people buying tickets to find out how Iron Man beats his accidental creation, Ultron.
So given his popularity, Iron Man is probably a pretty smart subject for 3D printer manufacturer Mass Portal to show off what their new Pharaoh ED delta-style 3D printer can do. And they used some of the great new metallic filaments from ColorFabb to do it.
ColorFabb’s special metallic filaments are examples of just how advanced 3D printing material science is becoming. Each metallic filament is a combination of standard PLA plastic and actual metal powder, so it can be used on just about any basic 3D printer just like any other filament. And once the object is printed, it can be polished to a pretty amazing metallic shine.
Each 1 kg spool of their metallic filament will only set you back about $54. Although, at that price I would do a quick test print in an inexpensive standard PLA first–you don’t want to be wasting your metallic filament on a misprint or slicing error.
Iron Man’s helmet was printed using CopperFill for the bulk of the helmet, while the face plate was printed with the BronzeFill material. Latvian 3D printer manufacturer Mass Portal clearly had some fun recreating Iron Man’s iconic helmet, and while some supports were needed, they said that because of the way they orientated the individual parts they didn’t need very many. In total, it took them about four hours of post-processing on the helmet using only a standard nail filing strip to polish the surface.
The real story is how great the final print looks thanks to Mass Portal’s new Pharaoh 3D printer. A well made delta always manages to create a quality print, but I must admit I’m even a little surprised about the minimal striation on the helmet. Not to mention the fine detail that they managed to print.
The Pharaoh ED isn’t a cheap 3D printer option with its €2965 (about $3,250) price tag, but that’s honestly rather competitive to most printers with similar specs. It has a respectable 32 x 31 x 63 cm build volume and a printing speed up to 300 mm/s. The all metal print head is heated with two ceramic heaters that can easily reach temperatures in excess of 300° Celsius (574° Fahrenheit) and is optimized to use 1.75mm PLA filament. However any thermoplastic material should work quite well, including ABS, PET, PVA, or HIPS. Mass Portal has also packed in a brass heated printing surface that is completely self-leveling. We’ve taken a look at the Pharaoh 3D printer before, and were impressed with its capabilities.
What do you think of ColorFabb’s metallic 3D printing filaments? What Avengers prop would you print with them? Let us know over on the 3D Printed Metal Iron Man Helmet forum thread at 3DPB.com. And please, Avengers: Age of Ultron doesn’t open in the US until May 1st so any international fans who have already seen it, please be nice and keep the spoilers to a minimum!