Maker Spotlight: Engineer Emily

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Maker Spotlight: Engineer Emily


Where are you located? 
South Carolina
What is your day job? 
Senior Mechanical Engineering Student
Do you attend a makerspace/fablab/hackerspace? 
Most everything of what I work on is done in my college apartment. I have two 3D printers and most all of my tools are kept in my “workshop closet” as I like to call it.

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What kinds of stuff do you make? 
I 3D print and build props, with the most popular being full scale, wearable Iron Man suits.

How did you get started making stuff? 
Before my sophomore year of high school, I was looking for a project to work on over the summer. The Avengers had come out the year before and I began seeing all these people on the internet making replica Iron Man suits out of foam. I decided to try it, and made my first foam suit when I was 14. I also learned how to make things out of fiberglass around then, including Captain America’s shield.

Several years later, in my junior year of college, I decided I wanted to build an Iron Man suit again, knowing that I could improve and make it look much better. I bought a 3D printer, and over the course of 5 months, I had scaled a model to myself, and completely printed it, joined pieces together, and motorized the face plate in the helmet. Since then, I’ve been working on my third Iron Man suit, which will have more of a custom color scheme to it. I’ve been focusing much more on motorizing different portions and making it more mobile to wear.

The suit I am currently working on will have a motorized face plate, forearm rocket LEDs, shoulder missile LEDs and motorized back flaps. There will be compressed air coming out of the back flaps as well to simulate rockets.

What is something that you’ve made that you’re really proud of? 
I’ve definitely been most proud of the second Iron Man suit I made, mostly because of the improvement I was able to achieve between it and the first one. However, when the new one is done, it will most definitely be my favorite.

What is next on your project list? 
I’m starting to work on a standalone Iron Man forearm, that will be capable of shooting bottle rocket fireworks out of a chamber mounted on top.

what is something you’d like to work with but you haven’t yet? 
I haven’t gotten the chance to work with SLA printers. I’d also love to get the chance to try out a metal printer someday.

Any advice for people reading this? 
Attempting to go big or go home all at once may be overwhelming. If anyone were wanting to try this or anything similar, I would suggest experimenting with different materials, look at some example codes to learn, and start small to gain experience. It’s the little victories and successes along the way that are motivating. Utilize the internet as much as possible as well! It’s amazing what you can learn off of YouTube tutorials and Google.


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I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity I see in makers. My favorite thing in the world is sharing a maker's story. find me at

View more articles by Caleb Kraft


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