Introduction: Back to the Future "Plutonium Fuel Cell"

How to build the Plutonium Fuel Cell used by Doc Brown in the movie "Back to the Future".

My son found a sales display of the original prop on the Internet. Unfortunately, the Fuel Cell was sold so that we decided to build our own replica.

The right decor to celebrate the Back to the Future Day the 21st October :-).

Let´s take a look at the stuff we´ll need.

1. Tools and Materials

1.1 Tools

Drilling Machine

Cone drill (0-30mm)



Glue for Acrylic glass (Acrifix)


Clean removal Tape

1.2 Materials

1 acrylic Tube clear 80/74x152mm (outer diam./inner diam.x length)

1 acrylic Tube clear 30/26x152mm

1 acrylic Rod red coloured 20x176mm (diameter x length)

2 acrylic clear plates round 80x3mm (diameter x thickness)

2 acrylic clear plates round 30x3mm

Self-adhesive labels

Step 1: Step 1: Preparing the Corpus

To find out the measurements of the fuel cell I have converted a photo from the original part into pdf. Then, with the appropriate auxiliary tool from the PDF-XChange editor I measured all parts.

All components in acrylic glass are available on the net. Several Providers also cut all the pieces to size.

To avoid scratching during processing, take off the protection film only at the very end. All parts must be cleaned prior to bonding with Isopropyl.

The top cover (80x3mm plate) of the corpus must be drilled first. For the 26mm hole I used a cone drill.

If necessary you can rework the bore with a file or a sharp knife.

After cleaning the parts you can assemble the cover and the 30mm tube with the acrylic glass glue. In order to protect the outer wall of the tube I used clean removal tape.

Next you glue the bottom plate on the 80mm tube.

To assemble the corpus we put glue on both tubes (80mm and 30m).

Step 2: Step 2: Preparing the Rod

The red rod has 2 washers to keep it upright in the middle of the tube.

The washers are made of 30x3mm plates.

To prepare the plates, I draw a stencil.

For a rod with 20mm diameter, drill a 21mm large bore in the plates.

Then use a marker to draw the outer edges of the plate and file the plate until it has the right dimensions to fit in the 30mm tube.

Before glueing the washers, protect the rod with clean removal tape. Glue the washers on 18mm and 130mm from the lower end of the rod.

Now, prepare the yellow labels. Find the *.docx and *.pdf file attached to this Instructable for white Labels 70x35mm on a Din A4 Sheet.

Step 3: Step 3 : Assembling the Plutonium Fuel Cell

Finally, put the red rod into the corpus.

That´s all !

Now go and start your DeLorean. Bon voyage ;-)

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