Introduction: Kaleiduino Helmet

Picture of Kaleiduino Helmet

Hello fellow DIYers! First time user here and this is my first ever Instructable!

I am going to show you how to design and create your very own wearable Kaleiduino Helmet!

I was inspired by DangerousTim's LED Kaleiduino.

This was a class project for my Interactive Design class.

It's super easy and non-expensive to make so let's get started!

Materials:

  • An Arduino Board (I'm using the Arduino Uno)
  • LED strip, I used the 30 Neopixel RGB LED strip - White Here is where I bought mine
  • Reflective Fabric or Tin Foil
  • 2 yds of fabric to make it look pretty - (Get at any craft store)
  • 48x96 in. sheet of cardboard
  • Hot Glue sticks - (Any craft store)
  • USB Cable for programming
  • Scotch Tape

Tools Required:

  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Box Cutter/Xacto Knife
  • USB cable (connect into the 5V 2A Power Adapter)
  • 5V 2A Power Adapter (old phone charger)
  • Computer for programming the LEDs

Step 1: Design the Shape..

Picture of Design the Shape..

First off, sketch the shape of your helmet and measure it out so that it fits a human head. You can use a fellow friend, family, or foe. :D

My measurements were around 1' 10" wide as a 3D shape.

Next, download Sketchup Make 2015 (free version) if you haven't already. I used both Sketchup Pro 2015 at school and Sketchup Make 2015 at home to design the icosahedron, or 20-sided shape. You can find plenty of tutorial vids on Youtube.

My teacher and I teamed up on this in order to design and perfect the shape we needed to print on the CNC machine.

After you have designed the shape you want, use Flattery which is a free addon for Sketchup to flatten the 3D shape into a 2D plane. After it's flattened, add some tabs along the edges of the shape so you know where to glue it.

Flattery

Make sure to save an image of the shape once it's flattened and tabbed out as a guideline so you know where to connect it once it's carved out.

Step 2: CNC..

Picture of CNC..

After everything is designed, flattened, and tabbed out on Sketchup, I used the school's CNC to carve out the shape. I used a 48x96 in. sheet of cardboard.

Once the CNC is done carving out the shape, you will need to fully carve it out using a box cutter or xacto knife with a fresh blade.

Step 3: Gluing It All Together..

Picture of Gluing It All Together..

After the shape is fully cut out, place it on a large workspace preferably the floor because it will be huge!

Place the two flattened shapes the way it looks on the image you designed in Sketchup.

Grab the hot glue gun and plenty of glue sticks because those suckers will go by fast! Heat the glue gun for a minute or two; it should heat up very quickly.

Start folding the shape and getting an idea of how you will glue it together. Once you are 100% certain, start grabbing a tab and gluing it onto the adjacent tab like so in the pictures above.

Keep doing so until it starts to become a solid 3D shape. Make sure to cut out the base pentagon-like shape in the center because that is where the head is going to go through.

Continue to do the same for the second flattened shape and join them together by gluing the tabs onto the other flattened shape.

You're halfway done!!

Step 4: Make It Fabulous With Fabric!

Picture of Make It Fabulous With Fabric!

Once it's fully constructed, you can dazzle it if you wish and add a nice shiny fabric.

I chose this purple satin from Jo-Ann Fabrics. I was inspired by the purple legendary engram from the video game, Destiny.

Exterior:

Cut it in strips, long ways, and glue down the sides of each fabric down starting from the helmet entrance. It may get a little messy but that's okay.

I chose to drape the sides of the each strip of fabric around the helmet so it has a loose wavy texture.

Interior:

After it's all nicely done, start cutting the reflective fabric or tin foil in strips - long ways. I cut mine into 5 big, long strips. After that, simply lay one strip into one side of the helmet and glue it down so that it's not hanging down when you're wearing it.

Repeat that onto each side until the interior is fully covered and glued down.

All done!

Step 5: Programming and Final Touches...

Picture of Programming and Final Touches...

After the helmet is fully designed and constructed, it's time to program the lights to get a cool light show!

You'll be needing:

- Arduino board (Arduino Uno)
- Power Supply - USB cable or 5V 2A Power Adapter (Phone Charger)
- 5V Battery
- Wire Strip that connects the battery to the Arduino board
- Neopixel RGB LED strip - 30 White
- Scotch Tape

Coding:
I chose to use a simple strand test code that has random light patterns. Since I have a Neopixel RGB LED strip, I chose to use the code on their website for easy use.
Strand Test Code

Follow the directions on here and simply copy and paste the code onto the Arduino program and upload.

I used a USB cable that connects to my phone charger which is a 5V 2A Power Adapter. I connected this onto my Arduino Uno along with the 5V Battery and Battery Wire Strip. Always connect GND first and remove GND last for safety!

Then, I grabbed two gator clips and clipped them onto the end of the LED strip - one on the red wire and one on the black wire. Make sure that you use the end of the strip where the black arrows are pointing right. This is where the data will be starting and moving along on your LED strip.

Grab two different colored wires and connect each one into the black socket on the LED strip. You will connect these two wires into the Arduino board. The GND wire goes into the GND socket on the Arduino board and the other will go into PIN 6 on the Arduino board.

Lastly, I taped my LED strip into the helmet so that it stays in place when I wear it.

After everything is in place and connected into the Arduino board, the lights should all light up! Yay!!! You have your very own Kaleiduino Helmet or rave in a box!


I recommend wearing this helmet while listening to some fun music. Your experience will amplify by a million! :D

Comments

DangerousTim (author)2015-12-08

Wow, wearing this helmet while listening to music? That's INSANELY COOL! Also thanks for mentioning me :P

Joatz (author)DangerousTim2015-12-08

Ohhh yeahhhhhh! No problem! Thanks for the inspiration :P