With the influx of super hero movies in the theaters this past summer, we were wondering what super hero, if any, would use machine tools. Naturally, we gravitated toward Tony Stark, a tech wizard who built his own super hero armored suit to morph into Marvel Comic’s mighty Iron Man.

But does Tony Stark use any machine tools in designing the artillery and high-tech gadgets on his suit? To search for answers, we consulted with Jamie Hari who is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Marvel Database, the largest Marvel Comics encyclopedia in the world.

First, a little background on Iron Man if you are not aware of the comics or movies. The following passage from the Marvel Database describes Tony Stark’s background before becoming Iron Man:

Tony Stark was enrolled in boarding school at six, where he would soon start experimenting with erector sets. He went on to be his high school valedictorian. He then joins an undergraduate program at MIT where he majored in physics and engineering. Double majors in physics and engineering were easy for him. He drifted into his 20’s and became the idle rich. Shiftless and rootless and traipsed around the world turning into a jet set playboy adventurer. When he was 21, he inherited his father’s business, Stark Industries, and within a few years turned it into a multi-billion dollar industry complex whose chief contracts were for advanced weaponry and munitions for the U.S. government.

Tony Stark was kidnapped in a business trip to Afghanistan and tricked his abductors into allowing him to engineer and build a super suit. He constructed a rudimentary Iron Man suit and the legend was born!

Being a multiple degree graduate of MIT and engineering wizard, you can imagine Tony Stark knows his way around a machine shop. According to Hari, Tony Stark uses some of the following tools: jackhammer, reciprocating saw, sledgehammer, cordless driver, pliers, ratchet, pipe wrench, level and, yes, even a lathe.

So Tony Stark does use machine tools! The equipment he gets the most use out of, according to Hari, is CAD (computer-aided design) software to create technical drawings of his suit that he can then prototype.

We’re pretty sure in the movies and comic book pages that Iron Man uses machines and tools that are pure fictional marvels that have yet to materialize in the real confines of an actual machine shop.

But, bless our charged-up imaginations, super heroes like Tony Stark and Iron Man make use of the fantastic machine tools that we use every day for a far more mundane purpose.

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