Two years ago my wife told me that she wanted to be a SIM for halloween.  Being the dutiful husband I am I got to work.  I researched for hours the best way to go about this project.  There were ALOT of helpful designs out there.  Unfortunately i'm kind of arrogant, so I looked at all the well thought out, well intentioned designs and thought, I can certainly do that better.  My major gripe was the materials that were being used by others.  To me, the SIM plumbob is a crystal that radiates light from the inside.  The crystal structure breaks up the light in a sparkle kind of way rather than a flat uniform color.  With this in mind I set out to create the awesomness that is before you.

Note:  There are deffinately things I would change with my design if I were to do it over.  Financial considerations played a big role in some of the steps I took.  Please feel free to critique the design.  If I decide to make another one I will take all ideas into consideration.


Castin Craft resin (alot)
Castin Craft catalyst
Mold release
26 gauge sheet metal
1/2" steel tube
AWG 3 point tool belt shoulder straps
Double stick tape
1/4" bolts
1/4" nuts
Bicycle safety lights

Step 1: Plumbob Form

Unfortunately, because this is an after-the-fact instructable I do not have a picture of the actual forms I used for the 12 sided diamond but I will do my best to describe it. 

1) I used 26 gauge sheet metal because I am a sheet metal worker by trade and I am used to working with it.  There was a two part mold for EACH HALF of the 12 sided diamond.  I made two 6 side pyramids.

2) After looking at the SIMs literature that comes with the game discs I figured that the plumbob has a height to width ratio of about 3:1.  I didn't do any fancy trig calculations to figure the angles out.  With a piece of paper and a compass I played with some dimensions until I came up with a size that looked right.  The dimension I cam up with was a form the has 2 1/4" base widths and 6 1/2" centerline height.

3) Knowing that this was going to be a form that was to be filled with a liquid I then extend the form height a little and scored a line where i would be filling the resin to, so that none of the resin overflowed.  The picture describes the basic layout of each half of the mold.  When bending the metal it is important that you measure the angle of the BOTTOM of the pyramid to 120 degrees.  NOT the angle between the two flat sides.  Put the form upright on a flat surface and lay a compass down next to it.

4) There are two 1 inch flaps on either side so that there is something to help clamp the two halves together.  I applied some silicon to each flap and clamped them together.  The silicon was mostly to prevent the liquid resin from running out of the mold.

I'm sure there are other ways to make a mold this shape but I went with what I was familiar with.  Also, once you add the catalyst to the resin it gets really hot.  I figured the metal would handle the heat well.

Amazing effect! What a lot of perserverance you showed getting this done right!
incredibly cool!
Thank you.
My SIL was a big Sims far, and we built something like this back in 2004. We used a tissue, wire, and balsa construction, which lets you support the assembly from a baseball cap, more or less. It's not as pretty, though. We also used some electronics to get our hats to fade from green to red and back; the intent was to eventually make this remote-controlled, but that part never materialized. <br />We wore these at BayCon 2004. Later, the SIL worked for EA doing QA for Sims, and they were a big hit there as well. <br />LED (and battery) technology has changed a lot since then; it would be interesting to do an improved version, especially now that Sims Social is out too. Alas, EA laid off the SIL, and the motivation isn't quite there... <br />
Thanks for the comments. The weight was always going to be an issue with my design so I did the best I could to make it so you wouldnt have to wear it on your head. I have absolutely no experience with LED's and circuit boards but I would really like to learn it. My hope was to eventually make another one with a small motor in the middle that made the whole thing rotate, but like you, my motivation fell off after the initial wow factor.

About This Instructable




Bio: My 30's have become a sort of renaissance for my tinkering and building.
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