Make it Real: Captain America Electromagnet Shield
You know that electromagnet Captain America uses in Age of Ultron to retract his shield? Yeah, we made that! And it actually works with our replica Captain America shield.
As soon as I saw Age of Ultron, I knew I had to make this! Now, with the release of Civil War, I decided I had waited long enough.
Not being an actual superhero, my arm needs padding, lots and lots of padding. So we started with a pair shin / knee pads that happen to fit my arm pretty well, provide good padding, and good structure to mount to. Next, we welded up a frame around the bracer with a handle to hold onto. A good strong handle is essential for holding the 30lbs of magnets and shield. The handle is also a good place for the button so we cut out a pocket and dropped in a 50A momentary push button. A little bit of hockey tape and was good to go.
It was then time for the magnets. We first experimented with the primary coil of a microwave transformer and these worked pretty well. Good strength but a lot of current and a lot of heat which is a problem for wearable tech. Magnetic force if linearly proportional to both the number of coils and current. Therefore by increasing the number of coils, we can reduce the current and heat while maintaining the same magnetic force. Instead of winding thousands of coils ourselves, we bought some industrial electromagnets from Amazon. These things are powerful! At just 12v and 1.5A they will lift over 260 lbs. That means by running them at 72V, each magnet will pull close to 1600lbs… for a short period of time before they overheat and burn out. I love safety factors. Conveniently, they also come with an m8 threaded hole on the back so we bolted them right onto the arm bracer. For the purpose of expedience, we ignored the fact that electromagnets are large inductors will probably destroy our 50A power button. It’s ok. They are cheap.
We are powering this monster with 3 lithium polymer battery packs from hobby king. Lithium batteries are awesome. Each of these batteries can pump out up to 175A at 24V.
Captain America is nothing without his shield… Well, nothing more than a super soldier. Luckily, MachinaProps makes solid aluminum replica shields. These things are the real deal. Check out how they make them below.
We also got a replica Captain American leather jacket from SleekHides on Amazon. This is a motorcycle jacket with removable armor. This is important because we mounted magnets in the back so we can holster the shield. Wicked!
The projects not quite done yet — stay tuned (and better yet, subscribe to our YouTube channel).
The test video is finally out and I can honestly say this is the hardest I have ever worked on a video. Check it out!