Introduction: Build a Robot With Perler Beads
Don't you hate it when a headline promises you something which the author can't deliver later on? Well, I guess I'm guilty of that. Of course you can't build a robot with perler beads. But you can build something that looks like a robot. So here we go:
Step 1: What You Need
There are many companies that offer these pearls. One of the cheapest sources is IKEA. They sell them in boxes of thousands - opaque and translucent. The number of colors is limited though. So I buy them also on fleamarkets and on ebay.
For this project I use the big plate with the rectangular grid.
You also need a sheet of baking paper to iron the beads later on.
Step 2: Use a Template or Start From Scratch?
The template you see here is from this great cross-stitching tutorial by Muhaiminah Faiz. It is a little too large for most perlerbead-boards. So I started with the LED-sign I made earlier. That I made from scratch. Personally I like tinkering, placing and removing pixels until I get the result I want.
Step 3: Place the Pearls
I start at the bottom and build my way up. Here and there I removed pearls and replaced them until I was sastisfied. The limbs were orange at first but I think the orange was too dark, so I made them yellow. The head also got a little higher.
Step 4: Iron It
- Turn your iron on and set it to "cotton". It needs to be pretty hot to melt the plastic
- Place the baking paper over your robot.
- Slowly move the iron over the paper. Apply just little pressure. You can see how the plastic slowly melts and how the rings melt together.
- When all the beads have connections to their neighbors - stop. You don't want to melt the pegs on the board beneath.
- Carefully remove the robot from the board.
The robot has some parts that have just two neigbors, the antennas on the head and the ground next to the wheels. These break off very quick. To give them more strength - turn the robot around and iron it again.
To prevent your robot from warping while it cools down place a heavy book on it
Voilá - You're done.
Step 5: Going Further
If you want to try more, the web is full of great examples and inspirations.
I have a board on Pinterest that you can use s a starting point.