EDIT: Initial funding goal reached! Thank you so much to everyone who donated! Any additional funding will allow me to further my use of different materials and start adding gear to the suit like speakers and cameras in the cowl. For regular updates, follow the project at Armatus Designs on facebook.
My name is Jackson Gordon (although I prefer to be referred to as Gordon), and I'm an Industrial Design student at PhialU, which is a design centered university in Pennsylvania. As a designer, I am encouraged to take on extra-curricular design/fabrication projects in order to fill out my portfolio and expand my skill sets. In the past, I have constructed a batsuit modeled after the suit from the Dark Knight trilogy, and while I was and am still pleased with it, it's not at all practical. My idea is to design my own version of what a real world equivalent of a batsuit should be, and then actually construct it.
It's important to stress that this is not a costume, but rather an actual fully functioning replication of what a person would want in a modern type combat suit. This suit is not being designed to take on gunfire, as that would cost exponentially more and is above my skill set, but rather towards hand to hand combat and weapon defense against bats, knifes, and other club like objects. I don't plan on replicating his additional gear, such as the grapnel gun and smoke grenades, just the protective suit itself. While creating a protective suit is not all that difficult in and of itself, applying a theme to said suit, in this case batman, leads to a lot of interesting design possibilities, as there is a plethora of base materiel to consider for inspiration and styling guidelines to stick to to make the character recognizable.
As well as being very protective, this suit must not restrict mobility. The main problem with other suits I have made, while they have all been well protected, is the limited mobility caused from the shape and alignment of the protective plates. I am a black belt in Shaolin Kung-Fu, and am very athletic, so it's essential that the suit doesn't restrict my movements so I will be fully able to exercise my abilities in it. No, I don't plan on fighting crime in my suit upon its completion, but from a design standpoint, it must be able to function in that manner in order to be considered a success.
Being a university student, I have very little disposable income (although I've already managed to sink $300 into this project for materials), so I'm reaching out to Kickstarter in order to (hopefully) receive funding for this project. This suit is not something that will be sold or replicated upon its completion. This project is simply a design exercise intended to further my education in design by providing access to materials, processes and technologies that I cannot otherwise afford. The entirety of this fund will be used exclusively to cover material costs, as 3D printing, mould making and high quality fabrics are all very expensive. The benefit to those who donate is the knowledge that you are helping to expand my education, portfolio, job opportunities, and to see a kick ass suit once the project is completed.
This is a completely transparent project, meaning everything in its entity will be uploaded here http://www.therpf.com/f77/custom-batsuit-practical-combat-armor-223879/ so you may follow along with my progress if you'd like.
This also means that my designs, patterns and fabrication techniques will be fully documented and can be replicated by anyone who is interested. All my thinking behind each parts design will also be laid out in this thread.
The main picture used is not my design and not what the final suit will look like, it's simply one piece of inspiration I'm using to design my own suit.
This build will utilize all the techniques I have learned up to this point in my classes, such as concept mapping, prototyping, material tests, critiques, and possibly partnerships with other disciplines.
Here is the progress on the build so far. This is the third prototype of the jacket, sans gauntlets.
Here is some of my previous work so you can get an idea for my skill set (from a fabrication view point).
Risks and challenges
While I am experienced with hard materials such as plastics and resins, my sewing skills are sub par and self taught. This project will allow me to connect with students from fashion design (which is another major at my university) in order to learn more about sewing and pattern making, both of which are important skills for an industrial design to be comfortable with but are not explicitly addressed in the core curriculum.
I have never had the chance to use 3D printing before, or the software required to run the machines, but I'm being taught both now in my CAD classes. This project will allow me to further explore 3D printing as a tool for prototyping and product development, as well as give me a variety of parts to work on in CAD to better learn the program.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)