Okay, I've been meaning to get to this project for a VERY long time, but it looks like it will take me a lot longer to get to it than I originally thought, so I figured I would share what knowledge I had so hopefully people can start making accurate ASM suits.
I'm about to share a piece of information that I've been guarding closely, assuming I'd be making this costume, but since I can't use it right now, maybe you guys can.
I spoke to a friend a few months back that works in textile printing, and after having him look over the hi-res images of the suit, he gave a very simple verdict: the raised printing is nothing magical or foreign. It's not some magical silicone ink, or some sort of applied latex...it is JUST screen printing.
The reason it looks different to the screen printing people are used to is all down to the inks used.
A standard poly ink will effectively lie flat on the surface and crack if overly stretched.
However there are both "Gloss High Density Inks" and "Gel inks" that he says should give the same raised, textured effect as the movie suit, and he's convinced that's exactly what was used for the films. Then to make it so it won't crack, you mix in a "stretch additive."
These inks need to be "baked" but hobbyists should be able to get away with a heat gun if done carefully.
So, the movie suits appear to be constructed in the following manner:
Bottom layer: Colored fabric
First layer: screen printed black shading (Including the shadows under the honeycomb) and weblines in standard density poly inks with a stretch additive
Second layer: Black High Density gloss poly inks with a stretch additive, printed so they just touch the flat black weblines underneath.
Third Printed Layer: Honeycomb pattern printed in blue or red gloss high dentistry ink with a stretch additive.
Each layer needs to be "cooked" between other layers, and each needs it's own screen. It's worth noting that you can "flash" a poly ink so it mostly sets up so you can quickly do another layer over top to get an EVEN more 3D effect.
But what's really nice about this method: NO PUFF PAINT!
...If you want to use gloss inks you'll need to first print the flat colored honeycomb with a poly+stretch combo. Then use a second screen with just the gloss over top of it. There is some question as to how well gloss inks take to stretch additives.
So there you go, the biggest mystery of these suits solved...Sorry I kept it to myself for so long.
Now add to this and go forth and suit up!
PS: Please let's keep this thread for R&D discussion rather than speculation about components. This should be a resource for people looking to make THE MOST screen accurate suit possible.