Behind The Mask

By Nick Poulos

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We all know about our favorite wall crawler, Spider-Man and some of us wish we could be him. But without great power comes… a need for a super awesome costume. Now being that we aren’t movie stars or millionaires it’s not that easy to get our hands on a professionally made or movie used costume. So what do we do when a $30 costumes just won’t cut it? Well there’s actually a lot that goes into it from the trial and error of fabrics and colors to screen printing on a miniscule brick pattern that most people aren’t even going to notice. Well there’s one more component you many want to consider investing in. A face-shell. That’s right, I know you all think it’s just a face underneath the mask but you would be mistaken, the movie star and stunt doubles all wear a face-shell under the mask to keep the shape of the head clean and smooth, rather than seeing a wrinkled fabric and the actors lips and nose trying to pop through the fabric.

So in my quest to make a movie quality spidey suit I began with a file of shell and some frames to go with it that I had my friend make up for me. Now, there are many ways you could make this but I had my eyes set on one idea in particular, 3D printing. So I got into research and began looking for people with a 3D printer and lo and behold I found the create space right here on campus. Create space has a Makerbot 2 that was available to use so to get it started I used makerware to upload my files into so I could resize and get to fit on the printing tray. Unfortunately the shell as a whole file was too large so I downloaded a program called netfabb, free and easy to use, I used it to slice my 3D model into a few pieces to fit. All that was left was to pick my materials and hit print. Create space only has PLA plastic which was perfect for me but if you need a different material don’t give up hope there are 3D printing services out there that print in anything from rubber, to raw metal, to 14K gold! So in honor of spidey I chose the red plastic and got started. And I have to say I am more than pleased with the results and the fact that it requires almost no physical work in the making, just a bit of sanding and gluing and it was good to go. 3D printing can get you most props or items that you need in a lot of different materials and I can guarantee I’ll be printing a lot more in the future.





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