As comic book fans, we've all seen this kind of thing coming, from a long ways off. The tendency for life to imitate art, for science fiction to drive real innovation, and the desire on everyone's part to emulate their heroes from time to time was always going to converge in a place like this. Sure, we can quibble that this suit doesn't have true Iron Man capabilities quite yet, but bulletproof, wearable, flying Iron Man armor is a pretty impressive milestone.
It seems that Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame has a new series on Discovery called Savage Builds, and to kick it off, he wanted to build real, working Iron Man armor. The first episode is available for free in the US right now, and I have to say… Savage appears to be very, very serious about this stuff.
To start with, he sought and received Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige's blessing, and was even able to get the Mark II prototype digital model files from Legacy Effects as a starting point. Savage then collaborated with the Colorado School of Mines Advanced Manufacturing Program, and EOS, which makes industrial equipment for 3D printing of metals and polymers. While this is not exactly the same thing as furtively cobbling together advanced Iron Man armor in a remote cave while facing near-certain death, I'll give Savage a pass on that — he's pretty clearly genuinely enthusiastic about this project. And who wouldn't be?
There's a little moment of magic during this episode that's made all the better by the fact that the participants don't seem to be consciously aware of its significance. While discussing the development and manufacture of the titanium shell, the people involve note the need to make it durable enough to be bulletproof, yet thin enough to be lightweight — a balancing act also discussed a few times in comic books over the decades by Tony Stark himself.
The debut episode of Savage Builds is available online in the US now, or you can check out a few previews below.