Stuff We Love: This cosplayer just made Batman’s grappling hook gun real

Contributed by
Jun 23, 2017

The Hacksmith doesn’t just think he’s Batman. He is Batman.

Not just any cosplayer can make that claim just by putting on a Bat-mask, even with the flock of Batsuits and other Bat-regalia that slink out of their caves at conventions—but this YouTube sensation is the ultimate cosplayer. While I’ve seen many stunning replicas of superhero and supervillain weapons, including epic swords and Ghostbusters proton packs that were made entirely by hand down to the last ectoplasm-blasting tube and wire, what separates Hacksmith’s grappling hook gun even from the leaders of that pack (besides the fact that it looks authentic down to the bat-shaped hook) is that it actually works.

So what does it take lift yourself so high above the Comic Con crowds? Try over $3,000 and at least half a year of designing, building, re-building, testing, re-building again, even more testing and more inevitable reworking. The custom-designed gearbox to maximize speed, heavy-metal innards contained by a ridiculously detailed 3D-printed (you read that right) shroud meant to match Bruce Wayne’s other crime-fighting paraphernalia. This thing is 15 pounds of undercover heroism powered by double 2.7 kW electric DC motors and running on 6,200 maH lithium polymer batteries that give it enough energy for around 50 ascents or descents around 65 feet. The Combat Belt Batman action figure I remember wanting from a TV commercial in the ‘90s has nothing on this.

What makes this weapon even more amazing is that the bat-shaped hook at the end and some other functional parts are—believe it—3D-printed.

Hacksmith used the futuristic Markforged Mark Two 3D printer for that bat hook, which his life literally hangs by. In his printer unboxing video, he mentions the Mark Two is “the only 3D printer that can print continuous fiber—carbon fiber, fiberglass and Kevlar which makes the print super-strong and almost equivalent to aluminum.” Extremely high-quality nylon (I swear that is not an oxymoron) takes its superpowers to a whole other dimension. While the grappling hook was originally made of steel, which Hacksmith even trusted with his life by hooking it on the ceiling and hanging upside down like, well, a bat, the revamp he prints in the video holds up almost supernaturally.

Did I mention he unboxes it with a sword?

While Hacksmith admits there are still a few updates needed even after sending his sidekick climbing walls high enough to belong on a Gotham City set and up the elevator shaft of doom, this is the same guy who successfully pulled off a working magnetic Captain America Shield. Meaning,  it looks like this project is going to fly.