After seeing Iron Man in the theater I knew I had to recreate Tony Starks Arc Reactor. Specifically I wanted the RT1 that Pepper Potts had displayed in the glass case for Tony. The "Proof That Tony Stark Has A Heart" Arc Reactor. Below is a comparison of the Arc seen in the movie and the one I built.
Step 1: Blueprinting
The first step was to draw up blueprints of the proposed Arc. The blueprints would need to show every piece that would be used to create the Arc. I spent weeks going over screen caps from the movie, using various angles to determine the dimensions of each part. I also used several images of the actual Arc that had been displayed at Comic-Con. All my blueprints were created in Illustrator.
Step 2: Parts, parts, parts.
After I had the blueprints completed I began creating the individual parts that would make up the Arc. For this project, I primarily be laser-engraved and cut most of the parts out of varying thickness of plexiglass. In addition, I cast the central ring in clear urethane with a "Coke-bottle" green tint added. The base was cut on a CNC out of MDF.
Step 3: Rear Cage
One of the hardest parts to recreate was the cage for the Arc. The only reference I had at the time were reflections of the back seen on the display case. The cage ended up being built from 29 laser-cut plexi-glass pieces. The cage was also very important, because it would hold all of the LED lighting.
Step 4: Assembly
At this point, all the major sub-assemblies were complete and I began fitting them together. The first real indication of what the finished Arc would look like.
Step 5: LED Light Source
Next up was the creation of a light system for the Arc. I chose an LED under-counter light that would fit the cage. I separated the LED lights from the power supply. The LED's would go in the cage, while the power supply would go in the display base.
Step 6: LED Testing
Testing the LED's for the Arc to make sure they have the right look.