How Adam Savage built a real Iron Man suit that flies

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    We went behind the scenes with former MythBusters star Adam Savage for his new series Savage Builds. In the first episode Adam builds a titanium Iron Man suit modeled directly from Marvel Studios, with the hopes of actually flying it.

    Savage Builds airs on the Discovery Channel before airing again on the Science Channel.

    Read more on our behind the scenes shoot with Savage here:

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    I swear if Tony Stark was not fictional and he was making an Iron Man suit right now this is precisely how we would do it and this is the exact technology he the years because I'm wearing a massive wet see we are in here in California at an airplane hangar and I am learning to fly my friend Richard browning his company gravity is the inventor of effectively Ironman jetpacks that he wears on his arms and his back it's hot it's incredibly noisy and it's absolutely magical to watch him just bring in his arms and rise off the ground as if he's just sort of hanging from a string I'm I'm literally like less than an hour from putting on a rig and starting lessons and how to do it myself and I'm like a kid mccandies more all of this is part of a new show I'm making for science Channel right now and it is people saw me for 14 years on Mythbusters doing absurd things trying stuff and testing stuff and this is gonna feel very familiar this whole episode began because I did an appearance at the Colorado School of Mines and I said we've got these big 3d printers that can print titanium and I was like really and they said yeah if you want to print something weird let us know and I was like how about a whole suit of Iron Man armor he said he had a new show coming out focused on extreme engineering and he wanted to 3d print an Iron Man suit out of titanium which of course I said yes to immediately we ended up partnering up with iOS the 3d printing company that prints in titanium to print a full bulletproof flyable suit of Iron Man armor we have worked with their team to take files from the Marvel Studios for Iron Man convert them into buildable objects that we could then send to our partner on this cos who fabricated all the parts one of the requirements we were given was to make the parts as thin as possible because we're trying to minimize weight we use a laser beam to melt metal powder the metal powder is about 40 microns in diameter so like half the human hair we spread a layer of powder across the build platform the laser selectively scans and melts this powder and then it builds it up layer by layer based on the geometry and once it's done you remove the powder and there's your part we are so far out on the cutting edge of the printing technology and the armor and the the metallurgical qualities of the titanium that it sounds like hyperbole but I swear if Tony Stark was not fictional and he was making an Iron Man suit right now this is precisely how we would do it and this is the exact technology even using Kapow there's components made of titanium there's components made of urethanes and flexible pieces we also have fiberglass we have some pieces 3d printed and nylon I think over over 280 parts for the whole suit there's a couple of different pieces of mechanics that are going on so there's the hinge in here which I don't know if you can see that the hinge which kind of floats a little bit these will be these will be tightened down once we're ready to put them on to Adam and then on the inside here we have this webbing which is going to actually come up and connect to this will buckle in on the back across the back of Adam and these will connect to each other these are urethane poms which have been which have been painted to match this is a completely jointed finger and all of these files that we use were the original files or the mark to suit we've been using this as a model this is the the same version of the suit that we're working with looking at this is kind of the overall picture of seeing where rivets are placed and how pieces fit together in orientations I'm Richard browning I am founder and chief test pilot from gravity and we build thousand horsepower jet suits when Adam first tries this we will instigate start in the suit and that next 90 seconds is a 90 seconds people I don't think ever forget in their lives you feel all these engines all five engines all around you go from zero and cold up to sitting at about 30,000 rpm and idling and you can just feel the sensation of power all we do from there is just progress to ever greater degrees of power and eventually it'll be enough that if he if he's got the control who should be able to vector it down and and below enough air downwards that he should come off the ground and then after that it's just all this intuitive sense and balance of control if you're reasonably light reasonably strong you've done some kind of sporting endeavor that involves spatial awareness things like rock climbing or gymnastics or maybe piloting a helicopter all those things seem to point towards allowing your brain to learn this balance of control quick I do have a lot of circus training I have a very good sense of balance I taught myself to ride a unicycle when I was fifteen hello ladies but this is totally different as you might have noticed when one of his last goes as he's just about to take off he'd his feet tend to kick backwards and and it's like a human instinct to when you feel that you're gonna fall forwards he needs to kind of go with it and relax into it and so the moment have lived off his people are just gonna literally just gently lift off well god that was the most fun I've ever had with a thousand horsepower in my whole life that was astounding with these four Jets and the one on my back I was just able to hover like 15 feet off the ground and actually directional eyes and aim a little bit and that last bit of just feeling the power my arms locked rising off the ground absolutely incomparable I have learned enough about using this device over the past couple of days to know that I should not put on the Ironman armor and try and do this but that's okay because we're prototyping a suit not my ability to fly in the suit if feels like wearing a massive wetsuit but it's cool I'm amazed at all volunteer work that was quite an epic little piece of flying there I think if I may say so myself wearing all of that weight and especially wearing the helmet and being able to see virtually nothing out of those eye pieces and thinking about it I bend my knees a bit when I land and I couldn't bend my knees I just kind of landed in a really quite painful way it's a very strange curve that's in the in the shin part of the suit I don't know why I'm sure it looks really cinematic but my shins don't have a banana like curve I'm pleased to say I've driven everything from an IndyCar in which I didn't pop the clutch to his M bony but I have never tried a device like this the number of different things and threads and connections that came together to make this work including my friendship with Richard is it's like this perfect kismet
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