21 Year Old Creates Bat-Suit


Photo courtesy of abc7.com

Jackson Gordon is no ordinary 21-year-old. By day he is an industrial design student at Philadelphia University, but Gordon has another side to him that is altogether darker, tougher and more enigmatic. Hanging in his workshop Gordon has a full suit of armor plating, cape and cowl, matte black all, built to stop a knife.

“My name is Jackson Gordon (although I prefer to be referred to as Gordon), and I’m an Industrial Design student at PhialU, which is a design centered university in Pennsylvania,” Gordon states on his  Kikstarter page.

“As a designer, I am encouraged to take on extra-curricular design/fabrication projects in order to fill out my portfolio and expand my skill sets.  In the past, I have constructed a batsuit modeled after the suit from the Dark Knight trilogy, and while I was and am still pleased with it, it’s not at all practical.  My idea is to design my own version of what a real world equivalent of a batsuit should be, and then actually construct it,” added Gordon.

“Previously I’d been involved with costume making… I’d made a version of the Batsuit from Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight Trilogy’ and I really liked that suit,” Gordon stated.  According to cnn.com, Gordon believed the suit was “lacking in functionality.”

After he created the first suit, he didn’t feel the authenticity of it. He wasn’t satisfied with just the look of the batsuit; he wanted the functionality.

“I was frustrated every time I wore it,” Gordon explained. “It really limited my mobility and I didn’t like that — it didn’t go with the character.”

This suit may look amazing but it did come with some challenges. “While I am experienced with hard materials such as plastics and resins, my sewing skills are sub par and self taught. This project will allow me to connect with students from fashion design (which is another major at my university) in order to learn more about sewing and pattern making, both of which are important skills for an industrial design to be comfortable with but are not explicitly addressed in the core curriculum,” Gordon explained.

Gordon has used what he has learned in university classes in his ongoing efforts to create the suit.

“I have never had the chance to use 3D printing before, or the software required to run the machines, but I’m being taught both now in my CAD classes. This project will allow me to further explore 3D printing as a tool for prototyping and product development, as well as give me a variety of parts to work on in CAD to better learn the program,” reported Gordon.

After much experimenting with “polycarbonates and extruded PVC materials,” ¼” Kydex (or ABS) plastic formed the tough armor plates, located on the torso, forearms and shins. Stab resistant, Gordon says, “it can take anything but a gunshot.”

The cowl was more problematic, being “nearly impossible” to craft out of the same materials within the limits of his workshop. Gordon therefore took a mold of his head using Sintra plastic, “working on top of that with different sculpting clays and soft plastics to get it into a recognizable Batman shape.” Using a two part box mold Gordon was able to create a “silicone jacket” of this, into which liquid polyurethane was poured, forming the final, “durable and functional” cowl, stated cnn.com

Gordon felt like he had too much free time in college and decided that working on a project would be the best use of his time.

“When I came to this college, I was sort of sitting in my room all day,” Gordon says. “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.”