The Bat-Signal wouldn’t work in real life. But that didn’t stop the team at Hacksmith Industries from making one that does. Their latest YouTube video shows the trials and tribulations involved. The team are so giddy once their Bat-Signal is working that they drive to a movie theater and show it off to people seeing The Batman. It’s quite the spectacle.

The engineers first go over the logistical issues with the Bat-Signal as shown on-screen. For starters, an obstruction placed on top of a light source won’t actually project that shape into the sky. It has to be at the focal point between the light source and a convex lens. It also has to be upside down to look right side up. This means the Hacksmith team could place whatever they wanted on top of the lens as long as an upside down logo is at the right point inside.

Bat-A light source and lens set up to project the bat-signal, screenshot from Hacksmith YouTube video
Hacksmith Industries

Then they start the build. They have a large workshop with all the equipment needed to assemble and paint the Bat-Signal (black or very, very dark grey). But problems arise along the way. The four LED lights, equivalent to 750 household bulbs, get extremely hot. The cooling system, consisting of tubes with distilled water, leaks. It is replaced with a purchased chiller. Throwing money at the problem is certainly what Bruce Wayne would do!

The team at Hacksmith have made a bunch of Batman’s gadgets, like batarangs and a grappling hook gun. They actually made a handheld Bat-Signal in 2016, but the new one is a major upgrade. Once they confirm that it works, they mount it on a truck and take it for a joyride. Thankfully, it’s a cloudy night. Gotham City is often shown as a dark and stormy place, but it turns out that’s essential for proper operation of the Bat-Signal.

Hacksmith Industries

Questions remain as to how Gotham PD would get in touch with Batman during the day or if there are no clouds to display the bat signal on. Why don’t Batman and Commissioner Gordon use cell phones? Or project the Bat-Signal onto a building? Even the red Bat-Phone from the 1960s TV series makes more sense.

Since its first appearance in the comics in 1942, the Bat-Signal has shown up in movies, TV shows, and video games. It’s an iconic part of the art of Batman. And very cool to see it in real life!

Hacksmith’s “Make it Real” playlist includes other on-screen technology brought to life. Other builds include  Wolverine’s claws, Captain America’s shield, and of course a lightsaber.