3D Printing Iron Man – Part 1

I watched all 3 Iron Man movies in a couple of days and woke up the next morning just wanting to print Iron Man on my new Anycubic Photon 3D printer.


I’m still relatively new at it and I just wanted to print so I trawled Thingiverse and MyMiniFactory until I found these files:

You can check it out here: https://www.myminifactory.com/object/3d-print-ironman-66267

You can check it out here: https://www.myminifactory.com/object/3d-print-iron-man-mk42-super-hero-landing-pose-with-lights-71025

They are both the same file but the second one is remixed to add lights. It ticked all my boxes, dynamic pose, relatively detailed, ready to print!

They’re based on the scene in Iron Man 3 where he suits up for the first time.


I spent a bit of time fiddling with the orientation and added supports in the Photon print application and sent the torso off to print early on Saturday morning:

The problem with the first few hours is that you can’t see anything! The build plate never gets high enough and you just have to hope that your print is working.

I went back and put the print files together for the legs, arms and head and this time I spent a lot more time on supports making sure they didn’t foul anywhere that had detail. I also put several files together eg two heads and a leg or two arms. I didn’t change the scale or fiddle with the files in any way. That takes time and I just wanted to print although in hindsight, I probably should have hollowed out the torso at least.

I sent them all off over the weekend (starting early Saturday) and they all finally printed by Monday morning.

I got bored of taking photos after the torso but I still loved checking to see how much had built and that first peak when you can see the model on the base plate is a real thrill (I know – sad life)!

I pry the print off the build plate with a plastic spatula then rinse first in a “dirty” 100% Isopropyl Alcohol bath then in a cleaner one using a brush to clean as much of the liquid resin that coats them off:

They come off with loads of supports to make sure that they print properly so I snipped those off with Xuron sprue cutters and put them through a clean isopropyl alcohol bath and another scrub.


Finally, they get UV cured in my home made chamber – check out the video on how I made it here.


Clean Up

And now it begins – the filing that is:

There are little nubs from the supports and even fused in support material if you didn’t quite get it right. Still overall, the prints are very clean:

I did have some areas which needed more filling:

I also hit a major snag – the leg post doesn’t fit in the torso hole – in fact, none of them fit. I’m not sure if that is because the post printed large, the hole closed up a bit or both.

I had recently bought a new Dremel (tool envy from the Great Model Railway Challenge) so I put on a stone sanding bit and filed away the leg post until it fitted. I’m not worried if it wobbles a bit as I’ll glue it with 5 minute epoxy.

The top of the right arm has a bit eaten away in the print file:

The other arm is fine and I think it’s just a lazy way to make the arm fit as it is bent.

There’s also some problems with the print itself. The one arm had a perfect result but the orientation was different. The manky arm had loads of supports on the shoulder.

I am thinking that I will glue everything together before painting now so I can model in the missing armour. In the meanwhile, I added some acrylic putty and sanded what was there smooth.

Here’s a few more photos of his torso that I lovingly filed smooth.

One thing I debated long and hard about was the smoothness. Most areas were fine but his head had a few layer marks:

I actually printed two in different orientations to not only see if I could get the layer lines better but also because I need to drill the eyes out. That’s not fun as they are soooo small.

Here’s the final result:

In the end I decided to paint and see if the layer lines were obvious as they were still there on this print once primed:

0.05mm layer print
0.05mm layer print

All of these prints are at 0.05mm or 50 microns. That’s not the highest definition but my longest print was already 12 hours and I didn’t feel like extending the print time any more.  We’ll see what it’s like when painted and perhaps sand again…

Tool and Materials

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