Metal Pepakura

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I just joined today, but ive had the idea of building a suit in my head for quite a while, ealier i tried making the legendary helmet fit... no dice. hopefully soon (an upcoming weekend, or nearest >2 day brake from school) im gonna try something i havent seen (in a glance through the first few pages)

im going to try and print out some pepakura peices, transfer them to metal, cut them out, and attempt to make a decent piece using 18 or 20 gauge steel

my hope is to make it feel a little more real, granted, i dont think i could carry 1000 lbs, ill stick to the light stuff, but i think you catch my drift

just wondering what you all thought of the idea (p.s. im doing this because i dont know anything about fiberglass, and i work with metal sometimes, know how to weld and make it look nice) my hope is to use a thick enough steel so that it wont warp, but thin enough that it wont weigh as much as the real thing.

P.S.S. im gonna do a couple first, get the sizing right.
Me to i wanted to do the armor in steel I know a lot about because im studing in weilding.
But they have to much constraint whit the steel you have to check how you weild it and where
you do it.

But is a very nice idea and when i gonna finish whit my fiberglass armor I maby gonna try to make one in

P.S. do not wacht the orthography im speeking french.
I've been working on a Doctor Doom helmet, using Pep for the pattern & transfering it to thin sheet metal... I'm using the common 24g steel roof flashing at most home depots & building supply stores... It comes in 12x12 sheets, & runs about .80 each... The stuff actualy is quite strong, & once formed resists denting very well... you can also get large sheets of aluminum there, which works even easier, but it's more expensive & does dent...

I'll post up some pics as it progresses...

i would recomend doing it on sheet aluminum, cheaper and lighter. it also baends easier. i hope you have a break an some duckbill pliers because you will not be able to bend it by hand.
I imagine you have some sort of sheet metal forming equipment. But are you going to bend or weld each piece, or perhaps a little of both. I'm not experienced with welding personally, but I did study several processes and such for production of mechanical things which included welding so I know a few things. I'd say with steel that thin, heat will be your biggest enemy, either with the torch or bending it. Maybe practice a piece with some aluminum first seeing as it is a little cheaper, and that way you don't waste time, material, and money in case you mess up.

I had a little idea that probably won't work for me, but I thought of using sheet metal at one time and make a press dye to punch out the pieces of armor.(Sort of like vacuum forming with metal...without the vacuum) Problem with that is the cost and time of designing the dye and then making it. Plus, no where to really utilize it. It was a fleeting idea, but I thought a good one at the time. Who knows some one could figure it out someday.

Anyways, sounds great, hope it works out for you, and good luck.
Metal sheets cost way too much, and you'll need around 150 sheets, that will cost thousands of dollars, the best idea is to buy molded armor if your going to spend thousands.
Folding steel is hard, you'd need a high powered steel cutter and cut each little peice out, then weld it on....weld is ugly. use paper, but if you want to spend 6 years working on the suit, then find out it's 200 pounds....
a 4' by 8' sheet of aluminum cost 50 bucks, you could probably get 30 peices of paper out of one sheet. max and i mean absolute MAXIMUM 10 sheets. the problems arise with caculating the angle of each bend, and transfering the patern over.
Ya, the angle of each bend will be a pain, then when you over bend, your peice will snap off from being bent too much.
aluminum sheet metal will have a hard time snapping, belive me. when we do window trim we bend two half in flanges flat to the back of the and weve never had them break.
Sean Bradley said:
Everyone who says that they're going to do this changes their minds. What does that tell you?

Im with Sean on this one. You have no idea how difficult and almost pointless this would be.

There is a reason cars aren't made out of metal any
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yeah, Frost is right, you would end up with very angular armor. The best bet would be make a final detailed pepakura model, and the cast it in metal after making a mold in sand.
This would be very difficult, I do agree there, but I would be very impressed if you actually completed a made from metal set of armor... then all you have to do is get your cyborg implant and your own AI, and you could be a chief....
You do realize it would be just as heavy, if not heavier, if you cast it.

The thickness of metal he wants to use is around 1mm, in standard that's around 1/32 approximatly, of course I just based that off a search I did just minutes ago, but it should be pretty close. For a scale, try putting 10 sheets of normal paper together and that's about the same thickness.

Not to say that it won't be hard, but it is doable with the right attitude and know how. Of course, the biggest issue is money and do you have enough to pour into something this big.

I still say, good luck. (y)

I just double checked my own scale, :lol: ... ;) ... you might want to go with aluminum. Just eyeballing it, but it looks to be a might bit thicker than what I first thought for steel.
after thinking about it, yeah, im still gonna do it in metal, but probably just the helmet, and maybe the shoes and the gloves, and other smallish things. i think for wieght and ease of construction, the rest would have to be fiberglass

as for smothing it out, i plan on using some elbow grease and bondo (aka metal halmmers an d dollys) and to make the bends, im going to do a cardstock pepakura, and then eyeball the metal off of that

and alot of cars are still made of steel
aluminum is what you need, easy to work with, lighter and cheaper. It would be ideal if you had acess to a flowjet, the you could import all the files and cut them out. you could MIG or best bet would be TIG them together if your could. If you can't weld i would sugest pop riveting htem together.
Good luck fuzzy. I have worked in metals for over a decade myself, got into it because I wanted to reproduce medieval armor. Made a few pieces learned a lot. My best advice is to spend a little money, get some fiberglass cloth and resin and play around with it.

If you feel that you can use the stuff after than then take a stab at a pepakura helmet. Just the idea of cutting all those pieces out of metal for the helmet and then trying to weld them up gives me a headache.

What I have considered doing is cutting a few strips of 18ga metal and bending them into shape. Then laying them into the fiberglass cloth and resin, inside the pepakura as I resin it. Giving the whole thing a bit more strength.
Very ambitious idea (y)

If you are really serious about this, be aware that this is on the scale of those guys that make medievel suit armor. You would also need a good underarmor suspension system to carry the armor.

I think sheet metal for A/C ducting is cheaper than aluminum, at least at the local home stores. Also isn't aluminum difficult to weld?

Remember Pep is just the first stage to get a foundation to fiberglass on -- there is then sanding of the angles to smooth out that would translate to hammering or english wheel with metal.

While you are thinking over all the replies to your thread, maybe try building in plastic. I found this last night at the instructable website. Surely some of the processes would carry over to metal and give you something more to think about.

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