Who wants to be billionaire-genius-power generator Tony Stark? I do! Since the billionaire and genius parts are a bit out of reach, I figured I could at least make a cool Arc Reactor to wear and pretend.
And since I recently purchased a CNC kit from mydiycnc.com and have been learning to use it, I thought it would be a great tool to help me out.
My goals were to make a relatively thin, wearable reactor that could be backlight with LEDs. And of course to do it on the cheap, since I work for a non-profit and don't make that much money.
So what you need to complete this Instructable (but feel free to substitute with what you have available):
- Some plastic sheets - I picked up some scrap acrylic from a plastic fabrication place, they sell by the pound. If at all possible use cast acrylic vs extruded, since cast will cut without melting much better - I used two thicknesses - 8.5mm (clear) and 2mm (white).
- Plastic Glue - You could use super glue or something else, but a purpose made plastic glue will give you the best bond
- Spray paint - I used black, gold, aluminum
- Copper clad PCB board - to make the light panel for the reactor
- Surface mount LEDs (25) - I used SMD LEDs so I wouldn't have anything poking me in the check on the backside, but using standard LEDs or even LED ribbon that you can get online would be a fine alternative (and that already has resistors built in)
- 27 ohm resistors (5) - To limit current to the LEDs - the value you need make vary depending on the LEDs you use, you can use this handy dandy calculator to figure out what you need: http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz
-Masking tape - for painting the parts
- Magnet wire - I used some that has a clear varnish (so you can see the copper), but you could also use the inner core of some stripped wire
- Other wire - to run to the power supply
- Design plans - I will include the Sketchup files and CNC files (with the .ngc extension for EMC2) for your planning pleasure.
- CNC Machine - I know I know, not many people have these (or even may have access). And every time I saw an Instructable that said "just hop on your CNC/3D printer/laser cutter and do this" I was like 'Yeah right." But since I've gotten one, its what I'm of course going to use. That said, all the parts in this are totally makeable without the machine, using a rotary tool of some sort (likea dremel). A CNC just makes its go easier, quicker, and more accurately.
- Dremel - You'll need some sort of rotary tool to cut the plastic shapes out (if you're not CNCing) and to clean up and modify even if you are.
- Sandpaper - For painting prep (I used some 600 grit)
- Soldering Iron + Solder - For soldering the LED panel and the wire wraps
- Wire Cutter/Stripper