JT, the engineer for the YouTube channel Built IRL, is dedicated to building artifacts in real life “that you have only seen in fiction.” In the past he built his own version of Batman’s grapple gun, and recently, he replicated Spider-Man’s web thrower.
At the beginning of 2020, JT made his first attempt to simulate the cobweb launcher, but he had to use an air compressor backpack, wrist launchers, heavy duty cables and touch-sensitive gloves that allowed to activate everything with the gestures of Spider-Man. ; it was a cumbersome and dangerous mechanism.
In the new attempt, as shown in his channel, the system has been simplified. Rather than launch a cable with a grappling hook that can be mechanically coiled, JT created a simple metal tube that is powered by compressed propane gas and a custom lighter. This throws out a long cable that incorporates metal hooks, to make sure it is firmly hooked onto the metal joists.
With this mechanism, the engineer had to refill the cobweb launcher with a special machine before each use, which made it difficult to continuously swing. So what JT did was build seven launchers in addition to the prototype, which were placed on a belt to have all of them at his disposal and to use one for each swing.
It may seem easy to swing like Spider-Man with the system created by JT, but it is not so. The engineer spent a week practicing in an enclosure with trampolines and foam cube pools for safety. Finally, he managed to swing two and a half hooked on the metal beams of the premises.
While it’s impossible to replicate the mechanism we’ve seen in Marvel comics and movies, seeing a real staff do the Spider-Man moves without the aid of effects is impressive. JT’s goal was to “swing like Spider-Man,” and after two years, he finally succeeded.