We created this Portal Gun as a project for our Robotics Class with Ms. Berbawy. Since all the materials were already provided by Ms. Berbawy, we didn't have to buy everything. My partner and I decided to create a portal gun after seeing many other portal guns on Instructables. This inspired us to create a replica of the Portal Gun made mostly out of 3D printing parts and bondo.
Our main goal was to create a Portal gun with led lights inside it. This would act as a lamp, It would be an lamp, but with style.
Step 1: Materials
- 3.5 inch in width PVC pipe- $5.91
- 4.5 inch PVC pipe- $16.88
- Switch (2 way or 3 way depends on which LED color you are using)- $4.88
- 9 volt battery- $13.88
- 3 wires- $4.90
- 3 LEDs for each color- $5.55
- 1 680 Ω resistor- $0.78
- 1 small breadboard- $2.95
- 1 acrylic rod- $15
- Bondo (a lot) / Hardening cream - $30
- Insulation foam (Apparently Floral foam works better) - $25
- Black spray paint - $3.50
Step 2: Tools (Equipment)
- 3D printer
- Box cutter
- Thin, wide plastic piece (plate) for a base to mix the Bondo
- Measuring tape
- Vinyl Cutter
- Wire stripper
Step 3: Cutting the Pipes
We first used a saw to cut the pipes vertically.
After that we used the Dremel (similar to electric saw) to cut it horizontally.
We cut the bigger PVC pipe to 18 inch in length
Leave 1.5 inch in the front then cut out 9 inch by 4.5 inch space
We cut the smaller PVC pipe to 21.5 inch in length
Leave 5 inch in the front then cut out 9 inch by 3.5 inch space
Step 4: Setting Up the LED Light
First, acquire all the parts needed to power the led with just a switch.
Some of the wires we had
Materials used were one breadboard, a 9 V battery, two wires, a three way switch, and of course, the blue led lights.
The 9 V battery is attached to the breadboard with two wires, while the three way switch is connected to the breadboard along with two wires.
We put the pictures in order of how we wired everything so take a look if you get stuck on anything
3 Way Switch
-Connected to be able to control the LED. It has two on and one off switch.
-We were not able to get the second LED (the orange one) working, so we only stuck to the blue one
-It's important you connect the wires in the correct places, because it does not work in some combinations
Step 5: Creating Aperture Laboratories Sticker
Downloaded the Aperture logo from Google images.
Used a software called Adobe Illustrator to put the sticker in vector. Then we saved the file as Adobe Illustrator 8 and transferred the file to a USB. After that, we used a vinyl cutter to print out the Aperture Laboratories sticker.
After the sticker was printed, we used a X-acto knife to cut the unwanted pieces.
Step 6: Making the Shell
We used a 3D printing software called Mesh Mixer to import an already made shell by pleppik.
We changed the size of the shell so it would be able to fit along with the PVC pipes and added supports to the bottom of the shell so it doesn't fall during the 3D printing process.
Shell in Action
After changing the size of the shell on Mesh Mixer, the file was transferred from a computer to a 3D printing machine.
3D printing the shell took about 15 hours.
Step 7: Smoothing the Shell
We used a micro Dremel with a sander head with speed of 20
Process took about 2 days to smoothed out.
Unfortunately there were still some sections which were not completely smooth, with the sander head we were using it could not smooth some sections. If I would do it again I would try multiple heads to smooth it.
Step 8: Foam
19.5 inch by 9.5 inch
Wrap it around with the rubber band horizontally, this will form into a hotdog shape foam. We used a larger foam to cover the smaller shaped foam, This would make the PVC pipe fit through the foam. The hotdog foam and the larger foam were shape to be the large portal shell. We had to use a box cutter to cut the edges and the side of the foam to replicate the large portal shell.
We used a box-cutter to cut it (use some other tool to cut it the box-cutter takes a lot of energy and time)
Step 9: Bondo
Golf ball amount : 1 inch of hardening cream
To start using the bondo, we used a brush to scoop some bondo onto a plastic plate. We then used a little of the orange putty and then we mixed it well until it is a pinkish color. We had to spread the bondo as fast as possible so it does not harden up while we are spreading it.
Smear it a lot on the outer layer until it has a relatively even slope, we
(try to find a hard, smooth, thin plastic to smooth out the Bondo)
wait until it hardens (20-30 min):
during this when it is still warm, we used a X-acto knife to cut rough edges
Step 10: Sanding the Shell
We used a sanding head for the Dremel
This takes time and strength (and its super loud and dusty)
First use the Dremel to sand the most rough areas first
Then caress the entire shell with the Dremel until there are no slopes on the shell
After that, we used rubber bands to hold the shell so it would be able to hold onto the PVC pipe.
Step 11: Spray Painting
We used black spray paint to paint the medium and small PVC pipe. The process took roughly 1 hour to do.
After painting the pipes, we let it sit for around 30 minutes until it was fully dry.
Remember to wear gloves if you do not want spray paint on your hands.
Putting old newspapers or papers on the floor can help avoid getting paint on the floor, we recommend spray painting outside or in your garage, this can save you the problem of spray painting something in the house.
I would recommend wearing short sleeved shirt and short pants, (when I was spray painting, some got on my arms.)
After spray painting it, I would recommend putting it in a place with shadows and room temperature, and out of direct sunlight to avoid hardening and cracks from the paint.
Step 12: Putting Everything Together
We put the small pipe into large pipe by applying "sticky dots", then we added the large shell made out of Bondo and put it in the back of the two PVC pipe. After that, we took the 3D printed shell and put that in front of the PVC pipe, it should able to slide in. The acrylic rod was put inside the PVC pipe so the LEDs can light through it, and looks better.
We added the breadboard along with the LEDs & the wires inside the PVC pipe so it would be able to light up.
We added the Aperture Laboratories sticker to the portal shell.
If your 3D print is too small it might break like the picture shown above, so I recommend making a little bigger (around 2 - 5 mm than the measurements).