Ministry of Masks produce collector quality latex masks for an array of purposes. First established in a shed in the garden of founder Tom’s South East London home, the company has expanded its range since 2012. Until now, creating each mask type has required the sculpting of a clay model to produce a plaster mould from which latex casts can be taken. The client approached ITERATE to assist with the use of new manufacturing technologies to streamline their creation process.
The aim was to additively manufacture a Batman mask that the client could use as a master. This required a 3D printing technology that could realise the desired outcome at an affordable cost. A focus on ergonomics was vital as the mask needed to be an accurate size to fit the human head. Ensuring the necessary size could be achieved using the optimal technology proved highly challenging, as a true-to-scale Batman mask would be so large it would exceed the dimensions of the 3D printer bed.
“ITERATE far exceeded my expectations, they provided a thorough explanation of my options and completed the project ahead of schedule and under budget providing regular progress updates. I will definitely be returning for all my prototyping needs. I would highly recommend ITERATE to anyone” – Tom Howell, Founder of Ministry of Masks
A review of existing data on human head dimensions was conducted which led to the conclusion that the in-house SLA printer (stereolithography apparatus) couldn’t achieve the scale required, whilst outsourcing fusion jet technology was an expensive route. Therefore, in-house Fuse Deposition Modelling (FDM) proved the best technological compromise. A test print was produced to ensure there were no failed areas given the mask’s sophisticated geometry and to ensure a successful delivery of the desired fit and function. To fit the bed size, the design was strategically dissected into four individual sections which were printed and precisely bonded together to achieve minimal visibility of the split lines.
A hauntingly realistic Batman mask was successfully produced, with a seamless and detailed finish. The product is ready for use by Ministry of Masks to easily create new Batman masks for consumers. FDM technology presented a more efficient solution for the client without compromising the high-quality of the product. The success of this FDM printed Batman mask showcases how additive manufacturing technology can be used in novel outlets to maximise the efficiency of production process.