This Instructable will detail the process of creating your very own Thomas Bangalter Daft Punk helmet. While this tutorial may seem specific to Thomas Bangalter's helmet in particular, there are many processes involved within that will be helpful to anyone looking to get into prototype making as well as some electronic work.

A few caveats beforehand: While the methods I employ here were able to furnish me with a finished helmet, I am in no way saying these are absolutes! In the end, the best processes to follow are those which you are most comfortable working with, so if there is something here that seems easier to do in your own way, by all means feel free to modify the process to your preferred flavor of building.

I should also note that this is a complicated and lengthy process. The final result took me a little over 4 months to realize, so anyone looking to follow a similar path, be prepared to be in it for the long haul! That said, this is only my second helmet project. If you're more familiar with electronics, casting, moldmaking, or just plain have more freetime than me, your results may vary. This project encompasses elements of sculpting, mold making, casting, soldering, electronic design, and lots of good-old-fashioned sanding.

I am entering this Instructable in the 4th Epilog Challenge because, as you will see, having a laser cutter for some steps in this process would greatly improve the productivity speed! I am an amateur propmaker by trade and, more recently, profession - having a laser cutter to expand the capabilities of my studio would allow for a whole wealth of new opportunities.

Step 1: Blueprinting and Scaling

Before I begin any project, I spend a lot of time scouring online for reference images. The gents from Daft Punk are a fairly elusive couple, and to add to the complexity of sourcing references, there have been a multitude of changes to their helmets over the course of their career.

I try to find as many images from profile and portrait views as possible before beginning my blueprints. These illustrations form the basis of my projects, and are designed in Adobe Illustrator. Dimensions such as the overhead view can be extrapolated from two other viewpoints. (pic 1 & 2)

In the end, the blueprints I designed are an amalgamation of many of the changes to Thomas' helmet over the course of its evolution. Whether you decide to adhere strictly to the subject material or base your designs off of personal interpretation, reference blueprints are essential! These will keep you on track and make sure all elements of your project stay consistent and accurate during the course of your build.

In order to scale these blueprints correctly, I open the blueprints in Illustrator, then import a picture of the wearer's head next to a ruler. After scaling the picture appropriately to the ruler's marked dimensions so that the scale of the person's head is 1:1, the blueprints are scaled and printed accordingly. (pic 4)

While this may not be the most precise measurement, I find that it works fairly well with some practice. Often times you may have to take into account lens distortion or other factors depending on how the reference image was shot.

When printing a blueprint, I usually print three copies: one at 105%, one at 100% and one at 95% - these are all compared when printed fullscale to see which one has the best "feel" as a full image. Sometimes seeing the print just slightly larger or smaller can help determine what looks best.

A while ago my Dad rescued a roll-fed plotter from the dumpster of a local school and it now lives as my blueprinting machine. If this isn't an option, you can either try a local print shop, or scale your blueprints with registration marks to fit on normal sized paper. (pic 5)
<p>That is just ridicuously awesome!</p>
<p>name your price volpin.....</p>
<p>Around $3000</p>
lol dude i could buy like 5000 tickets of his show with that much.<br>I know u r trollin wid me
<p>I guarantee you cant buy a ticket for $1.66 and he's not dude: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Daft-Punk-Full-Led-Gold-Chrome-Helmet-Includes-Gloves-Necklace-And-Stand-/191424388473?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&amp;hash=item2c91c85d79</p>
<p>That would be $0.6 per ticket ;)</p>
<p>How much did it cost to chrome your helmet?</p>
<p>Well Mathew, you can get the chrome paint at your local AutoZone for around 10 to 20 bucks.</p>
Would you sell a premade visor pet plastic screen? I don't own a drill press
<p>I don't know if this is what you want but they sell the LED frame here:</p><p>http://www.volpinprops.com/product/thomas-helmet-subvisor-frame-led-holder/</p>
<p>Is it possible to see in it xD</p><p>Just wondering ya know</p>
<p>Hey IF i were to buy the helmet from u how much would u offer it for? 30$???</p><p>email me i anyone wants to sell me one of these? syed.ali165@gmail.com mail me!</p>
<p>Are you serious? The supplies alone cost much more than $30. I'd imagine many would sell theirs for at least $750.</p>
<p>Its true! Heres one going for 3000 dollars!</p><p>http://www.ebay.com/itm/Daft-Punk-Full-Led-Gold-Chrome-Helmet-Includes-Gloves-Necklace-And-Stand-/191424388473?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&amp;hash=item2c91c85d79</p>
It looks just as good as the real thing!
<p>Hi, I was wondering if you could send more information about the electrical components and wiring. You have a caption that says &quot;see more details here,&quot; but no link. </p><p>Thanks</p>
<p>Anyone got an approximate price to build one of these? Thanks a ton! </p>
<p>$400-$500, if you already have most of the tools<br>I'm making right now, still have to get the casting resins though, which are hella expensive</p>
<p>EPIC!! I totally have to make this</p>
<p>I love the design. just one question is it possible instead of the L.E.D light display that you could use a H.U.D type display that shows up on plexyglass instead of the large circut board in front of your face?</p>
<p>Could you upload de code? please </p>
<p>How much $ ?</p>
How much! Gloves and helmet?
How much do you sell them? My 10yr would have a kick with one for Halloween .... Thanks! :)
<p>As far as LED choices, 5mm defused or not?</p>
<p>how do you see out of it?</p>
Is tinting the visor for the Guy Manuel the same process as this one?
Would it be at all possible to get your Arduino sketch? I have the exact same setup as you, but the only code I can find is for text (static and scrolling). I can't find any kind of animations.
Sorry but cant you put The dimension form the mdf??
Your persistence, dedication, and resourcefulness are truly inspiring. I'd like to know what kind of large machinery you have on hand in your shop, if you get a few minutes and wouldn't mind sharing.
Nothing amazing, really.<br><br>&bull; 14&quot; 2hp bandsaw<br>&bull; Scrollsaw<br>&bull; 8x12&quot; lathe (crappy Harbor Freight model, but it gets the job done)<br>&bull; Table router<br>&bull; Drill press<br>&bull; Belt Sander<br>&bull; Vacuumforming machine (home made)<br>&bull; Radial arm saw<br><br>And the requisite hand power tools like orbital sander, assortment of variously dying cordless drills, dremel, soldering irons, circular/jig saws, and a smattering of air tools.
Great tutorial! soon as I get some of these tools, I will start my build. <br>thank you very much, I will continue catch many tips with this tutorial and your blog! <br>I am studying hard the project before starting. <br> <br>I do things like that since I was a kid. But I never managed to get so perfectly because I did not have tools like these. they are hard to find in Brazil. <br> <br>But today I have a more mature mentality. Just do not have the tools hahaha. <br>when starting my project I will take some photos and in the end I would like you they look! maybe its linger. <br>Same I do not understand much English language I do not have many doubts <br>I can think of alternatives so I can do it my way <br>Very many thanks for everything! above all you are a genius craftsman! <br> <br>(sorry for spelling errors)
would you PLEEEEEEESE sell me just the ear piece, i don't have a lathe and I am not a good woodworker.
actually I think I will 3D print it a tech shop
how much did all the supplies cost?
a few hundred, I bought sample sizes of all the smooth-on products. but after you make the mold you can cast as many as you want.
This is extremely intense. I could only dream of doing something 5% as cool.
Very cool!! You did an amazing job on this!! You are exceptionally talented!
You've not only done a great job documenting how you made a Daft Punk helmet, but you've also eloquently shown how it's possible to see through the LEDs.
instead of making the LED matrixes yourself, you could buy 5 of these and use the same program. http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/330819034606?lpid=82
So the question is... you can now cast molds of the basic frame, why not offer to sell the basic frame, then others can customize them the way they like? I would love to make on from scratch, but would honestly more than likely mess up somewhere in the process, more than one time as well and would cause me to become angry and give up.... haha. Just my 2 cents.
And oila, they did :P <br>http://www.volpinprops.com/product/daft-punk-thomas-helmet-raw-casting-2/#tab-description
i actually really like that idea i kinda wished he would do that to
I was just thinking, &quot;Sooo, what's he gonna do with the cast now that he made the helmet?&quot;
Can't get over how incredible this is. Definitely don't have the means or tools or money or time for something like this right now (probably never would), but I went ahead and read the entire writeup anyways. Simply astounding. I work in the film industry and am always blown away at what propmakers and set builders are able to accomplish in little to no time at all, but this still blows me away. Fantastic work brotha. <br> <br>On a side note, I expected more &quot;Bobba Fett, rite naow&quot; requests. That's...gotta happen at some point. Too talented not to do it!
This is so freakin' epic! Once I've got some cash I might make one of these for a mate (he's a huge Daft fan) :D Keep up the awesome builds!
That is brilliant. Thankyou for spending the time to document it!
Do you have a tutorial on how to make the other helmet? if not, then is it pretty much the same basic principle?
Damn, dhese two humans are DAMN made a good job and not ones.
Hello! The Autodesk social media team loved your project so much that we included it in a post we created on BuzzFeed. Check out your work featured here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/autodesk/a-donkey-mask-lightsabers-daft-punk-helmet-cybo-b3y4 <br> <br>If you have any questions, please contact me at blake.menezes@autodesk.com <br> <br>Best, <br>Blake Menezes <br>Autodesk Social Media Strategist

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