loading

Communicator Badges were one of the one ups that Star Trek: TNG laid down on the original series. These are icons of most of the later series of Star Trek including Voyager and Deep Space 9. If you'd like some for your next halloween or cosplay event, I'm going to show you how to make them!

Step 1: Watch the Video!

There's a lot to learn, so before you go forward take a minute to watch the instructional video.

In this video, I use a CNC machine to make these, but you can absolutely make these without one using simple hand tools.

Step 2: Draw Your Design

I designed mine in a product called Easel from Inventables. It's free and available on their website. You could just as easily draw these in Illustrator or Photoshop. You could even use MS Paint. Just pick a style you like.

If your going to use a CNC, just load these shapes into the CNC software (or Easel). If you're going to use hand tools, you'll want to print these out and use some spray adhesive to attach the templates to your MDF.

Step 3: Cut Out the Shapes

If you're using a CNC, then this step is simple, just sit back and wait.

If you're using handtools, or a machine like a band or scroll saw, at this step you'll want to cut out all of the shapes on the outside of the lines. Leave about 1/32" of extra material to sand away later.

Step 4: Sand the Shapes

The next step is to separate each and every piece from the waste-board. Take some time here and sand them down gently with 100 and then 150 grit sandpaper. Since we're painting them, there's no reason to go higher.

As you'll see in my pictures and video I had some problems. My MDF seems to not be very stable and was chipping away. In the future, I'll buy better quality material. You could also replace the MDF with plastic or metal if you can cut it.

Step 5: Paint the Badges

I didn't exactly follow Star Trek canon on my paint. But I did get it pretty close. I used silver chrome paint for the federation logo and gold chrome paint for the badge itself.

I just used rattle can paint from the local big box store, but you could use an airbrush to get a really nice finish on them if you have one.

I used double sided tape to hold them down during the paint process. They don't weigh much and the compressed air from the paint process tends to blow them around the worktop.

Step 6: Finished Communicators

I used double sided tape to hold them to my shirt. You could also use CA glue to glue a magnet to the back, and then put another magnet behind your shirt.

Well, as I said before mine didn't turn out perfect. I has some real problems finishing them due to the quality of my MDF. I'm sure you'll have better luck!

If you liked this project, be sure to follow me here on Instructables! Also be sure to check out my website and blog at TheGeekPub.com and subscribe to my YouTube Channel at YouTube.com/c/TheGeekPub!

<p>I have found that if you take a stalk of celery, lay it on a cutting board at just the right angle and cut slices at another certain angle (do by trial and error), you'll get edible versions of the Federation logo.</p>
<p>That is <em>soooooooo</em> cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????They may not use that in TNG, but I still love the first Star Trek with Mr. Spak and all.</p>
Reading that just completely made my day. Set celery to stun.
<p>That's hilarious!</p>
Very cool! But now I'm about to geek out. The Comm badge you made would have been used in TNG, making your red shirt a command post and not alien fodder. Take the gold background off, however, and you are a pile of salt.
<p>I wore a red shirt on purpose! Thanks for noticing! </p>
Star Trek nerds rule!
<p>LOL!</p>
<p>Nice. And now you make a mold of them and make more out of plastic like they used to on the show. And add bluetooth. Everything is better with bluetooth.</p>
<p>That sounds fun!</p>
<p>it's a redshirt. Don't get too attached.</p>
<p>FIRST! Finally someone caught my inside joke! You rule! Send me your postal address to my inbox and I'll mail you one of these for free.</p>

About This Instructable

6,801views

110favorites

License:

Bio: I'm Mike, from The Geek Pub. I'm a maker. I love to make things. from woodworking to electronics. Follow along with me!
More by TheGeekPub:The Brain of Morbius Minion-O-Lanterns Ninja Star 
Add instructable to: