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University Student Creates Real-Life Punch and Stab-Proof Batsuit

Jackson Gordon, a student of industrial design at Philadelphia University, has pooled everything he’s learned at school so far to build an awesome version of Batman’s batsuit! And we’re not talking about just another replica. This one is designed to withstand punches, kicks, stabs or baseball bat blows!

“I’ve always been a Batman fan,” the 21-year-old from Wayne, Philadelphia told Buzzfeed news. He started making prototypes for the suit last September, using over $1,000 raised on Kickstarter. “Before making the real suit, I did at least 10 prototypes of different parts for the suit to test out materials and sewing patterns,” he revealed. “Once I was happy with those, I started making the real suit using the patterns I had decided on from the prototypes. I cut out the internal lining fabric, then added the foam padding, then a layer of kevlar, then the top grey fabric.”

When the individual pieces were completed, Gordon sewed them together to form the suit. He made the external armored plates from quarter-inch-thick ABS sheets, cut using a scroll saw. “These plates were then power sanded, and heated up with a heat gun to make them pliable,” he explained. “The chest and ab plating was then mounted to the suit, while the other armor remains removable.”

real-batsuit

Gordon said that making the helmet was the toughest part: “I made it by cutting and forming PVC sheets around a pair of sunglasses and adding and sanding away different epoxy putties and fillers to create the shape. Once I was happy with the shape, the helmet had to be molded so the finished piece would be durable. I made a two-part box to encase the helmet, then did several pourings of liquid silicone inside the box to create a perfect negative mold of the helmet. Then the helmet was removed, and the mold was used to cast a durable one-piece helmet out of polyurethane.”

When the third prototype jacket was finally ready, Gordon invited his dorm-mates to test it by throwing a few punches and kicks while he wore it. He also wore the prototype during stab tests to make sure the armoured plates could handle it. And when the prototype proved successful, he spent two months building the final suit and helmet (weighing 25 pounds in total), which were also put through similar tests.

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Gordon revealed that he has always liked working on hands-on, do-it-yourself projects like handmade lightsabers and modified Nerf guns. “When I came to this college, I was sort of sitting in my room all day,” he said. “I’d get my homework done in like, an hour, and then I’d have nothing to do for the rest of the day. So, I figured, I’ll do what I always do – I’ll start a project.”

While he has built a batsuit before, that one was solely based on aesthetics. Having a black belt in Kung Fu, Gordon wanted to create a combat suit that could actually withstand battle without inhibiting movement. When asked how practical his suit would be in an actual fight, Gordon replied that “for its intended purpose, it is very practical.”

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“Even though 25 pounds might sound like a lot, when you distribute that weight over your entire body, you barely notice it’s there,” he said. “It doesn’t inhibit mobility, and it provides full body protection. It’s relatively comfortable, it gets a bit warm but it doesn’t chafe or cause irritation anywhere. It does slow down my movements ever so slightly, but what is lost in speed is gained in power due to the extra weight from the suit behind my strikes.”

“This sort of suit can be useful in a lot of areas (i.e. motorcycle gear, security, stunt work, etc). It’s an idea I’m currently entertaining, as it would be fun and good money.”

 

Gordon, who loves problem-solving, explained that the main goal of his project was to showcase to prospective employers his understanding and ability to execute the design process in a given task. “It was to bolster my design portfolio,” he said. “On a personal note, I just really wanted to make another Batsuit, one that actually worked and something I can hang up and be genuinely proud of – and wouldn’t fall apart while I was wearing it regardless of what I was doing.”

 

Sources: USA Today, Buzzfeed, MyFoxPhilly

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