Iron Man Suits, HALO Weapons, and More!

In my virtual travels around the net, I occasionally come across something that blows my mind.  Recently this happened, and I discovered it was being done with a CarveWright.  I try to keep up with the world of 3D fabrication in general.  With all the recent 3D printers and CNC machines flooding the market it seems our industry is in the midst of a boom.  Very little of the output impresses me however, but this guy is amazing.

Through a Facebook friend I ended up on a forum dedicated to building replica props (, where I saw a thread about an Iron Man suit build.

I was only through the first couple of posts when I realized this guy was using a CarveWright machine named Lopez (he names all his machines after his favorite robot characters).

After pouring through the rest of the build, I found a link to the his website to find out who this CarveWright user is.  His name is Shawn Thorsson, and he is prolific.

He as been featured on the cover of MAKE magazine, featured in Wired Magazine, and even has his own book out on how to make cosplay costumes.

Shawn Thorsson Prop Master
Buy this book. It is sooo worth it!
CarveWright named Lopez
Lopez the Robot Whittler

The Iron Man Suit

I am Ironman
iron man assembly
Carving the iron man suit
CarveWright made Iron Man Suit

At this point, he has 3 CarveWright machines with thousands of hours of cut time on each.  One of the first uses of Lopez when he first acquired him in 2010, was to make several weapons for his HALO costumes.

CarveWright weapon prop
CarveWright weapon prop
CarveWright weapon prop
carvewright HALO costume
HALO Sniper carvewright

His technique is pretty interesting. He finds or has 3D models made of the pieces he wishes to make, then he uses the STL Slicer software to import the 3D model and slice it into sections that can be carved. Then he glues the pieces back into the complete model.

helmet carving

Once the piece is glued, filled and sanded to be perfectly smoothed, he makes silicone and fiberglass molds. With a mold made he can make multiple castings and finish them with paint.

mold making

He quickly moved on to larger and more ambitious projects, like this full size ED-209 from the Robocop movie.

ed-209 carvewright parts
Ed-209 part making

Speaking of movies, Shawn’s been involved with several movie projects as well.  This movie about a robot named Gage was never released, but the work Shawn did top notch.

Gage the Robot

He’s also recently used it for some fun side-lit signs or a local hobby shop.

CarveWright sidelit signs

On his site, there is much more to look at, including his series of awesome combat garden gnomes that want for my yard. Shawn is someone I will be keeping an eye on for many reasons.  His work is really cool for one, but also he’s great at sharing his techniques.  I know so much more about building things in general from reading through some of his projects.  Most importantly of all, I feel inspired, which is what I was looking for all along.

Check out much more about his projects on his blog,

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