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Iron Man at the Institute

One of the interesting costumes we came across was an Iron Man suit created by Brian Chan ’02, an instructor at the MIT hobby shop. “I like Iron Man because it has a good story of a self-made super hero,” he said, “Also, in the series, Tony Stark is an MIT Alum, so I think it would be a shame if none of the best Iron Man costumes came out of MIT.”

Chan’s costume is not only visually appealing, but it is a functioning piece of engineering. It is “made from a big combination of old-school and modern methods,” Chan said.

After sketching the costume and modeling it virtually, Chan 3D printed the gloves using shapeways.com and the facilities at the Hobby shop. He waterjet-cut and laser-cut many of the panels and CNC-milled the others.

“Even with all the tech, I have to put a lot of handcrafting time into the costumes, with carving, filing, and sewing the components that couldn’t quite be made by machine.”

All the lights on the costume are hand-soldered, he said.