Yep. You read that right. I want to explain something that can hopefully answer a lot of questions i get sent and add another option to your choices for making an armour suit. This isn't to disprove or dispel any other methods. This is one route of many you can take and it's the one i turned down halfway through my build.
I DID NOT scale or adjust my armour from the original model size and i'm here to explain why (Hopefully without upsetting anyone). Now i'm not saying mine is perfect either by any means, I'm just going off of what I've been told by others and want to explain a crucial choice i made.
Sadly i think we've all seen it. Poorly scaled armour. It just looks. Off. But why? What leads to this? It's clearly not by choice.
The fact is, few of us are built like superheroes. Even fewer are built like Iron Man. And the ones that are; probably aren't playing dress-up like us for fun 🤣
So if you're built like Chris Evans please exit now; This isn't for you.
Just look at that waist line. Those shoulders. Anyone else feel self conscious?
This is what you want. So you buy Armorsmith or start measuring in Meshmixer or S3D.
You research tons of ways to get that perfect fit.
Calipers and Test rings.
You 3D scan your body.
Everything lines up perfect!
YOU START TO PRINT!
Turns out, you don't have a 28 inch waist line, you don't have the shoulders of a linebacker. You aren't 6ft tall. You're you. A normal human with normal proportions. And that's fine. So am i. I'm short.
You scaled everything to fit you. Maybe you left the chest and shoulders bigger. That's cool.
But now the helmet? Uh oh. It's a little snug. How am i going to fit electronics into this? And motors? Hinges? And possibly an arduino or controller? Where's the battery going to go? Padding for comfort?
So you print or make another helmet. You did some math and surely this one is good! It has enough room for everything! But wait, you just scaled your entire armour down for the most part, and you just scaled your helmet up? Now you just look like...
Again, this is no ones direct fault. It's a happenstance of the build. If you make the legs too long you can't walk. If you make the chest too wide you can't move your arms. It's a very delicate balance and the truth is no matter how much you try, you may never actually nail that scaling This suit and model wasn't made for YOU. It was made. It be like that sometimes 🤷♂️
I got lucky. I got very very lucky with my genetics and my metabolism and my build. I'm not an idiot. I will not sit here and tell you "Oh i made it work; its easy! Just do it this way!"
I'm 5ft 8in tall. I have short legs. And because of that. I'm short. No really. When i sit down next to my 6ft tall friends we're the same height. I have no legs. They grew out, not up (which caused other fitment issues of this armor too)
While i was building and scaling and fitting and testing; all of the same stuff thousands of us have done before, i started to realize something. This looked weird. The abs are too small. My arms were too tight, the head was too big. And oh god i haven't even started the legs yet?
At that moment i made the crucial decision to not scale my armour at all. I would print everything at 100% scale to the original perfectly proportional model which is roughy 6ft tall (not including that weird backpack thing that got less screen time than Black Widows Sandwich)
To me, this was the only way i was going to get these proportions right with my build. Because turns out? I fit perfectly in the upper half of the suit at 100% scale.
Hey look, it's MOSTLY Iron Man!
The legs though? That was an easy fix. Tall shoes. No, not stilts or platforms. Just really thick soled Boots. With 2 inch lift insoles inside of them. These gave me roughly a 3.5 inch boost and combined with the space in the top of the helmet put me at damn near 6ft tall.
To make this work i obviously had to get creative with the shoe models. Slic3r took care of that quickly. I made shoe covers. Also way more comfy than plastic clogs.
But even doing this still left problems. The knees. I had rubbing issues that needed trimming. This took way longer than i like to admit and it STILL isn't perfect. I had to do a lot of cutting and trimming with a dremel to get the knee area to bend and flex properly since my knee wasn't where it was supposed to be inside the leg. But it was something i knew i would have to figure out. And i eventually did.
There is no perfect formula for this. Someone who is 6ft5in isn't going to fair well from following a hobbit like me's scaling tips. It's an art form. It's trial and error and a lot of people struggle with it. I will continue to struggle with this forever due to my height and have to make sacrifices where needed. Printing my armour in this was greatly limited my mobility for a trade off with accuracy. But it's the choice that i made.
And you will have to choose when you design or print your own armour too. It's part of the game. I wish we could pop off these perfectly scaled, perfectly coloured TPU Ninja-Flex suits that look better than CGI but sadly the technology isn't there yet. Nor may ever be, So for now we work with what we can.
I really hope this helped shine some light on my own scaling methods and explain why i made the choices i did and how i got to this point. Again, this wasn't an attack or calling ANYONE out. It just seems that a lot of people who ask me about scaling never consider these as factors and wonder why some turn out the way they do. It's part of the hobby and there is nothing wrong with that. This is just how i handled my own build.
Feel free to comment or send me any questions you may have if this didn't explain something enough!