Introduction: Make You Own Wearable Arc Reactor and Be Cooler Than Tony Stark!

Picture of Make You Own  Wearable Arc Reactor and Be Cooler Than Tony Stark!

After seeing the new movie Iron Man did you want a cool arc reactor of your very own? Well I can show you how to make one!( sorry but it wont create energy to keep shrapnel from your heart)
Great for an awesome effect on Halloween or any day you want to be cool!
If you like it, PLEASE VOTE!!

Step 1: So You Wanna Be Cooler Than Tony Stark?...

Picture of So You Wanna Be Cooler Than Tony Stark?...

Well heres a few notes before we get started.
1. this project requires soldering
2.this project is only my representation of this and i encourage you to make yours special. Feel free to comment to help improve it!
3. This project, like many things in my life, was made on a whim. I am positive there are better ways to do some of these steps so please feel free to improve on them and share.
4 Have fun with it, i intend to wear mine with a tee shirt to school as well as add it to my Iron man suit (a real one made of steel and aluminum which includes a frame, armor, weapons etc. No, I'm serious, Instructable coming soon.)

If you enjoy this Instructable, i would really appreciate if you would vote and comment!

Step 2: Parts

Picture of Parts

Note: i did this on a serious budget ( I'm pretty broke but even that could not stop me!) I'm sure this could be done with awesome brushed aluminum and stuff but that was not possible for me. On that note, i will be doing that in the future!

I got all my parts at Sears Hardware and Radioshack. The suspenders i had to hunt for and i had all the tools.

($6) Pvc I I/2 inch pipe thing (pictured, I'm not a plummer I'm not sure what it is called lol)
($3) 10mm blue led (4500mcd or so, i actually purchased three but complications left me with one)
($3) slide micro mini switches (two pack, you only need one)
22 gauge wire i already had it and you don't need much
resistors (one 120 Ohm) i got this from a variety pack i paid 12 dollars for.
about 3" by 3" piece of 1/4" Lexan (you can use anything else for this too, Plexiglass, etc I paid $13 for a 3' by 2' or so sheet)
($2) 4 AA battery clip
Metal ducting tape (not duct tape or duck tape)
tee shirt
(2$)perf board big enough to fit snugly inside the pvc cap
gorilla tape or duct tape

soldering iron
saw or tin snips
very very fine grit sandpaper
Patience (critical)

Step 3: Prepping Your Lexan

Picture of Prepping Your Lexan

So what if you have clear Lexan but you need it to be frosted?
Well... you sand it!
To get the proper size of frosted lexan plate you want for this...

1. Trace inner circle of PVC cap on one corner of Lexan.

2. Cut out Lexan with tin snips or a saw, whatever works best for you . It wont be smooth or sexy but the edges will be covered by the pvc cap so its cool.

3. Peel off both sides of the protective coating

4. Sand with fine grit sand paper. You might want to use several different grits and finish with a fine or you may want to try steel wool. I also did a test patch before i cut my circular piece of Lexan.

5. Continue sanding until you reach your desired frosting. (or you could skip most of these steps and buy frosted Lexan).

6. Check the fit in your PVC. It may snap in or be a little loose. If loose, you will glue LATER.

Step 4: Time to Play With Metal Tape!

Picture of Time to Play With Metal Tape!

For this step we will be applying metal tape to our Lexan to make the awesome glowing pattern we want.

1. Lay out some metal tape on the table( maybe something you are not afraid to scratch)

2. Trace out the bigger part of the donut for the inside of the Lexan ( I used the inside of an electrical tape roll)

3. trace out the inside of the donut for the inside ( i traced a AA battery).

4. Apply to the inside of the Lexan

5. Approximate and cut strips of tape for the straight lines that come from the donut. (3/4" maybe)

6. Apply strips to outside of Lexan. Do not cross the inside hole of the donut on the other side.

7. Make a donut as similar as possible to your first and apply to outside of Lexan on top of strips.


Step 5: More Metal Tape!!

Picture of More Metal Tape!!

Now to make the PVC look sexier we will be covering it with metal tape.

1. make a strip a wide as the ridges and wrap it around the side of the PVC cap.

2. lay the pvc cap small end down and trace the outside and inside to make a silver ring. cut out and apply the ring.

3. cover the remaining area with a strip.

4. Finally there will still be a little white on the small opening so cover that as well.

Step 6: Electronics!

Picture of Electronics!

Now there are several ways to light your arc reactor and you should do it however you want. I started with 3 leds but miscalculated and ended with one. in fact i like this new effect better.

Since i have one led with .02 a and i have a battery pack (6v) and the led takes 3.2-3.8 v...
so... i need a resistor.

my voltage drop is 2.5 volts ( now my led will run at 3.5 volts which is ok)
so i divide that by .02a and i get the number 125!

now i have a 120 ohm resistor horay!

1. cut your perf board so it just barely snaps into the threads of the cap.

2.put you led as centered as you can on your perf board.

3. Put your resistor in the perf board.

4. solder your resistor to a short piece of wire (resistors have no polarity so don't worry). solder the other end to the anode (long leg) of your led.

5. solder the other leg (cathode) of your led to a short piece of wire.

6. test with 6 volts.

Yay it works!!

sorry the pics are a little sparce but the third one is similar but it has 3 led and a different resistor.

Step 7: Making Your Power Source!!

Picture of Making Your Power Source!!

This is a pretty easy step.

1. Take your battery pack and soler a long (long enough to reach the center of your chest from your belt and then some) wire to it. tape the connection to the pack if you want.

2. solder you positive lead to the center of your slide switch.

3. solder a long strand of wire to either other pin of the swich.

4.attach switch to power pack and insulate connections

5. solder positive long wire to positive end of arc reactor (resistor end)

6 Solder negative long wire to cathode of led.

7. affix wires securely to arc reactor module.


Step 8: Making Your Arc Reactor Wearable

Picture of Making Your Arc Reactor Wearable

After thinking awhile i decided that suspenders would be the best way to hold the arc generator in place. I realized i would have to wear them backwards as well. Finally, after arduous searching, i got a hold of a pair of suspenders and could get started.

the application is so simple that i did not take many pictures.

1. take strips of duct tape, i used gorilla tape, and apply them to the inside of the arc generator after removing the perfboard circuits. press onto threads as tight as possible and rip the section on the edge in from both sides and fold. Now you should have made a strong strip that is fully attached to the inside.

2. Repeat on the opposite side of the first strip.

3 Repeat once more half way between your other strips.

4 insert your perfboard and make sure it will stay.

5 lay the suspender cross centered on your arc generator.

6. connect the opposing strips securly over the leather of the suspenders.

7. take the top strip and pull it down and attach

8. tape wires securly to strap

For battery pack belt loop:

1. make a strip and fold it in thirds

2. attach to pack securly with tape

Note: these are vague instruction because they simply guide lines. attach any way you wish in the way you think is best. sorry for being a little useless but this should be relatively simple .

Step 9: Finishing Up!

Picture of Finishing Up!

This step is probably the most simple.

1.try on the victim shirt over your now wearable arc reactor. mark the dimension of the desired hole.

2. cut hole in shirt. make the hole a little small so it will be snug

3. wear shirt with arc reactor and power on belt and enjoy!

4. Congratulations, you are now at least as cool as Tony Stark!!!!



reactor011 (author)2009-06-13

i am also making an iron man suit of armor. I am only 13. I don't have rockets but i do have the laser tech and I also can make it hover like 10 feet in the air (I SWEAR TO U) I also have the machine gun on it. The machine gun was broken down so it could become part of the suit. It is still in production. I can tell you some componenets to make it fly so u can fly around too. I also put a computer chip in the back of it so I could control it from my laptop when i'm not in it.

TFElite (author)reactor0112009-07-21

You know how much thrust that would actually take to get you even off the ground? Unless you had something equivalent to a mini jet booster, its not going to happen.

TFElite (author)TFElite2009-07-21

And plus, there is no way to beak down a machine gun to fit inside the suit. It just won't work to fit in with all of the other components you'd need to power the suit. Also, adding a computer chip in the back to control it when you're not in it? Three problems with that: 1. You couldn't use a laptop. It'd need the most powerful processing system built. 2: You can't control a whole suit from just a computer chip. You'd need a whole motherboard. And 3: I forgot to mention that there wouldn't be enough room for the gun anyways because of the size of the stabilizers that would be there.

reactor011 (author)TFElite2009-07-22

I didn't break a machine gun down I just simply mounted it in the back. and secondly the suit wasn't that advanced and the only thing I have the computer chip is to release the locks onto the suit keeping it together and I downloaded the data on a disk to take it wherever I want it to go. and the reason I can't fly where ever I want to I can only fly 10 feet exactly because of the jet fuel I load into my suit(I load into the back in to big cases) so apparently my suit is the size of a bulk buster

reactor011 (author)reactor0112009-07-22

And I power it by making an arc reactor that can plug into the wall it uses power then gives power

TFElite (author)reactor0112009-07-23

Then why did you say: "The machine gun was broken down so it could become part of the suit" and also "also put a computer chip in the back of it so I could control it from my laptop when i'm not in it"? By the way, jet fuel is not legally sold to minor like that because of its high flammability. And if your suit is the size of a bulk buster combined with the weight of the suit and combined with the typical 13 year old weight, its going to take almost a full jet booster to get off the ground. And to load the "Data" on a disk, you would need a disk with TERABYTES of data, which aren't currently produced. And to give it enough power to actually turn it ON from a power outlet? That would take weeks to charge. AND its illegal for minors to own a machine gun.

Illegal? Who's stoppin him? And by the way its all possible the kid just has a little more spirit and pride in his work than you do. it would be easy to mount the weapons easy to make the boosters easy to do it all, try making a halo spartan suit with all the halo reach attachments, that's what I did 3q:

reactor011 (author)TFElite2009-07-23

The reason I said it was broken down because I took down the part that you hold and moved it to another area on the gun to have it sit on my shoulder and btw all your doing is trying to show someone up but right now your failing

TFElite (author)reactor0112009-07-24

Actually, your concepts are the ones that are failing.
1. You can't actually lift yourself up with this kind of technology, it just won't work.
2. Also, with this technology, you wouldn't be able to "hover" with no stabilizers. No stabilizers=no stability. No stability=uncontrollable flying. And you should know what that leads to.
3. You can't just take the handle of a gun and move it to another place. There's more machinery in the handle. You move that, you have to move EVERYTHING.
4. The ark reactor technology doesn't exist yet. If it was, it would be on the news everywhere.

reactor011 (author)TFElite2009-07-25

I am not going to fued with you All ANYONE NEEDS TO KNOW is I made it I going to have pictures of it up monday and maybe a vid and yes I had help. And plus how are you going to go and bag on me because I'm 13. And the thrust was lifted up by the gas in my mom's truck and also my cousin has one of those huge trucks that hold allot of gas for me to hover 10 feet and if it went uncontrolable the tube would pop off and immediatly stop the flying instntly. So please stop trying to start a fued and please stop finding FLAWS THAT I HAVE TO FIX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TFElite (author)reactor0112009-07-25

Dude. I'M 13 TOO!!!!! ANY SENSIBLE PERSON IS GOING TO KNOW THAT THIS IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! This isn't possible. Like I said before: Its not going to hover or even get off the ground unless you use some sort of jet fuel. NOT DIESEL FUEL! It isn't going to hover. As soon as you start to get into the air, it would go out of control. That's not hovering. That's falling with no control. If this design even remotely hovered, it would be all over the news like the hovercar shown a few years ago. And believe me, if you post a photoshopped picture, I'd know. I'm good with that kind of stuff. If its a genuine picture or video, I'll gladly accept it. It's most likely not going to happen.

reactor011 (author)TFElite2009-07-25

We'll right now I hope we can settle this fued and DID YOU JUST SAY I WASN'T SENSIBLE. Any way I hope we can settle this I have a lot of things to do and right now my fmily is most important.

wizerd 745 (author)reactor0112009-07-26

Wow, this is pretty pointless, if your telling the truth, you should give us evidence!

wizerd 745 (author)wizerd 7452009-07-26

p.s., I'm 15

grundisimo (author)wizerd 7452011-07-19

The physics are impossible for a 13 year old to understand. Let alone manufacture.

TFElite (author)wizerd 7452009-07-26


wizerd 745 (author)TFElite2009-07-28

Your welcome and thank you!

TFElite (author)reactor0112009-07-29

So where are our pictures? I'm sure we'd all like to see them.

Tr1t1um1 (author)reactor0112010-06-10

by the way im 14

Tr1t1um1 (author)reactor0112010-06-10

maybe i could give you different plans that could maybe help you with a cheaper more efficient thrust

TFElite (author)reactor0112009-08-03

Its been a week since the day you said you'd post pictures. So, where are they?

makerboy112 (author)reactor0112010-05-09

Your retarted. There is NO way you could hover. You would need an incredible amount of thrust. Beisdes, where in the hell can you get jet fuel when your 13?

Tr1t1um1 (author)makerboy1122010-06-10

you don't use jet fuel you use ion thrusters that can produce 8800 pounds of thrust by using the atom xenon and electrostaticly accelerating it through a grid

makerboy112 (author)Tr1t1um12010-06-10

Are those even real?

Tr1t1um1 (author)makerboy1122010-06-10

yes they charg atoms and thy use thm to creat a force to help thm move

makerboy112 (author)Tr1t1um12010-06-11

But the kid said thathe used jet fuel

Tr1t1um1 (author)makerboy1122010-06-12

even if he had a jet engine it still wouldnt lift before it explodes

grundisimo (author)Tr1t1um12011-07-19

And the amount of fuel required for that would be too heavy for the suit to lift off. Not to mention that you would need a fifty pound car battery to power it.

Tr1t1um1 (author)Tr1t1um12010-06-10

doesnt use to much voltage either

Tr1t1um1 (author)makerboy1122010-06-10

buy kerosene

grundisimo (author)reactor0112011-07-19

The laser tech he uses is illegal, not to mention that it isn't small enough to fit.

spaceboy22 (author)reactor0112010-05-31

could you teach me how to make an iron man arc reactor?

Tr1t1um1 (author)spaceboy222010-06-10

i could and im jack im 14

I3uckwheat (author)reactor0112009-07-27

pictures or it didnt hapen

grundisimo (author)2011-07-19

If you plan on doing this, try using metallic spray paint. Easier and cleaner looking.

someperson99 (author)2010-07-09

you cant be cooler than tony stark its just not possible

Tr1t1um1 (author)2010-06-10

i now more about how an arc reactor works

gregdavidroy (author)2008-05-27

but what does it do?

Tr1t1um1 (author)gregdavidroy2010-06-10

its basically a magnet and a pace maker

TOMNDAN (author)gregdavidroy2009-05-30

the arc-reactor keeps iron man's heart working

tjbitoon (author)2010-05-08

it's cool!!! but why don't you make the light bigger

reactor011 (author)2009-06-13

only problem is I don't have a mobile power source that will keep it activated( arc reactor). All I hve is using a wall outlet to charge it for like 1 hour.

MACKattacksnipe (author)2008-11-09

looks nothing like the one in the movie

manny123456789 (author)2008-06-08

I am stuck on this step. What do you do for the switch? it doesn't work any way that I have tried.

mspark400 (author)manny1234567892008-06-09

i' m curious what could go wrong with a switch but if you can be more specific on your setup i can tell you what to do keep in mind on positive lead battery wire center other, either side good like pm me if you need more help mspark400

manny123456789 (author)mspark4002008-06-10

I just realized that my battery pack had a switch built into it...I feel kind of stupid now.

mspark400 (author)manny1234567892008-06-10

don't worry about it i have done that lol enjoy hope it works now! best wishes, mspark400

manny123456789 (author)mspark4002008-06-10

My Arc reactor caught me on fire because I tried to super charge the thing

HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!! so funny... did it hurt? cause it hurts laughing so hard about it!!!!! you should join my group. it's for people who do things like that...

chandler104 (author)2008-06-12

what does this do??? I have not seen ironman yet so i don't know what this does!

About This Instructable




Bio: I love tinkering with anything and everything I can get my hands on. I also enjoy high adventure outdoor treks and relaxing in the shade ... More »
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