Instructables
Picture of The Ultimate Dinosaur Costume
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This Instructable documents the construction of Jamie Price's dinosaur costume.  It is over 10 feet tall and 14 feet long!  There are over 140 individual parts that were created.  It is built from a flexible foam with a welded steel/aluminum support substructure.  Most of the parts were cut using a CNC router with a few cut by hand using a dremel and regular router.  Total build time was around 130 hours at a materials/machine time cost of $550.

This is my entry into the ShopBot Challenge and the Make it Real contest.  If you like it, please rate highly and vote in both contests!  With a ShopBot Router and a 3d printer in my shop, I could build more crazy items (more robots and costumes). Also, I am a member of a Nashville robotics club which could make use of the CNC router for various projects.



For scale, the room in the picture is 25' x 25'!   This is a HUGE costume.  Look for this costume at Dragon*con in Atlanta 2012!

 
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Step 1: Design

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I wanted to build a large-scale dinosaur costume that would standout.  First, I found several 3-D dinosaur puzzles on the internet.  Once I found one to my liking (look, geometry, etc), we scanned the parts into a design software (can be anything as long as you can output a .dwg file for the machine shop later).  Once scanned, the parts were output onto heavy card stock and constructed into a prototype model.  From there, you have to figure out what parts are going to move, where you will be within the structure, and how you will hold it up.

Since most of the models are designed to be static with no moving parts, it takes several revisions to the parts to make mounting plates, get rid of parts that impede movement of parts, etc.

Note - Take note of the slots that plug into each other.  They need to allow for the thickness of your foam material (sometimes several layers)

Once you get this all done, the parts will be ready to be cut by the CNC router (a spinning tool that is computer driven that can cut out exact parts from large sheets).  The machine shop will "nest" the parts (get as many parts onto a sheet as possible which saves waste and $$).

You could cut these out by hand, but that would take FOREVER.  Best to use a CNC Router for this!
zoo2boy2 months ago

i am planning a similar costume for halloween this year but im using cardboard instead of foam any tips you could give me on this build. ive had experience ih cardboard masks and props but id like to hear any advice you have for this prodject.

desveaux1 year ago
It would be cool if you added poles to pivot the arms where they attach to the body. That way, you can claw other people!
This is incredible! You should totally provide the plans for this ;) or sell them at least!
poofrabbit2 years ago
This is amazing! Very very well done! Have you ever seen Mr. Bones (Tim Seeber) from Louisville, CO he creates similar large dinos, he calls them puppets. I gave you my vote, and I am rooting for you! Just fantastic!
Wow... How on Earth are you gonna get through Dragon*Con in that?!
Let's be honest, my first thought was "Yay! I get to see it!" ;D
jamiep (author)  destructopop2 years ago
:) Very slowly... I wore it to a huge party and the crowd just kind of parts as you go through it. I will wear it around the Sheratton and the rave parties at dragon*con one night... (also, be on the lookout for my wife in a simplified mini version....shhhhh)

Jamie
Uptonb2 years ago
Congrats on being a finalist, and good luck!
jamiep (author)  Uptonb2 years ago
THANKS! ;) I am crossing my fingers for that router....currently, I have to pay a lot of $$ any time I want something cut which cuts down on impulse or spontaneous ideas and prototyping that I could be doing. That router could be epic!
Jamie
Really, really cool! My 3.5 year son would go totally ape for one of those (in smaller size of course...) Also, I'm no paleantologist but I've looked through countless dinosaur books with my son and T-Rex only had two fingers on his front arms... Who cares though! It's a frickin dinosaur!
jamiep (author)  No_Where_Fast2 years ago
Thanks! You would be correct on the fingers... also, dinosaurs aren't made of foam and metal ;)
paqrat2 years ago
This looks to be a terrific build but shouldn't it be called a dinosaur skeleton costume?
This is so Cool! You should think about selling these in kit form! Who wouldn't want a giant predator model you can wear? Come up with a new version once a year.. You could get rich.
A Black Widow or Tarantula would be cool. ;)

You have my vote as well.
jamiep (author)  Giesterfarher2 years ago
Thanks! Make sure you vote in the ShopBot contest as well! I would do anything to own one of those! :)
jamie
mjursic jamiep2 years ago
I hope you get the shopbot, man. This thing flipping RAWKS! And don't listen to those dinogeeks! It's totally a T-Rex if you say it is. ;-)
ironsidesnh2 years ago
Hey all

Great Awesome Job here I have to say.

Brainstorm after seeing this & the video you know. Is the below a good idea maybe if so I will atempt my first instructable for publishing here after.

You know people I'd like to take this T Rex Skeleton Costume that's made and add body and skin to it and then go out and take it dancing after

I'm not up on what T Rex looks like and some say T Rex had feathers being that T-Rex was related to our modern birds we have now .... So if I was to make a real life real in the skin T-Rex I need a body look a like to make it thought.... Thank you. .... more to follow....
makendo2 years ago
Very cool - but you've actually built an overscale Deinonychus, rather than a small T-Rex! Looks great, whatever the name.
Isn't it a Velociraptor (with what looks like a T-Rex head)? It does have the nasty claws that stick up on the feet...
I just want to start by saying that this is incredible and I would love to be able to have the time and ability to make one of these.

It does appear to be a mixture, though. T-Rexes have two-fingered hands and the claw sticking up is a trait of a deinonychus, troodon, or velociraptor and not the kind of the carnivores.

Also, for the smaller (hypothosized) pack dinosaurs, the claw that is sticking up is the inside claw (big toe position) and not the middle one.

I voted for this, though! Stuff like this should be encouraged!
tn.2 years ago
ok, there is NO. WAY. EVER. i could do that myself (okay, i lie - the only reason is i just know it'd be a time vortex and i'd not get anything else done around here) - but i would totally buy one for my dino-obsessed 4yr old nephew.
cryophile2 years ago
This is incredible! You have my vote. How much allowance for error do you typically give yourself? I find that no project comes out 100% mistake-free.
jamiep (author)  cryophile2 years ago
Thanks! I bought an extra sheet of foam when I ordered and ended up needing it. I had to do the ankles twice to make them face the correct way and make the leg geometry work. I have always said I would like to do each of my projects twice...once to figure it out, then a final version that fixes everything.
Very cool! You have my vote ;-)

Did you oversize the head a little bit for dramatic effect??
hasha20002 years ago
Just awesome, it just needs handles for the arms, and maybe something connecting the mouth to you head to make it move as well.
gdhenson2 years ago
I built the 12" wooden version of this!
jamiep (author)  gdhenson2 years ago
I built four small paper versions making changes each time before building the final. It was challenging to get the structural,mechanical stuff to all work out. Lots of time staring at parts before getting the "aha!" moments ;)
Aprositus2 years ago
Great project!
jamiep (author)  Aprositus2 years ago
Thanks! It took a lot more time than expected, but I had to do lots of little engineering along the way. It is definitely a traffic stopper when roaming around in it ;)