Introduction: LED MASK

About: Engineer, Norway

In this tutorial I will show you how I made a replica of the mask worn by norwegian DJ JOWST. This can also be used on any mask you choose.

The mask he uses looks kind of like an old welders mask filled with LED's and i think it's really nice looking.

Original mask:

I had never worked with EVA foam before and had been wanting to for quite a bit so this was a really nice project to get me startet.

Mainly what you need is

- EVA Foam 2mm thick.

- LED strip WS2812B 5050 RGB – 60LED/meter

- LED controller,vI used NLED ION,

- Plastidip or similar rubber spray paint

- Barge cement

- A power source for your mask.

- and some tools like soldering iron and more

Step 1: Making Templates for the Mask

If you have a different mask you want to use for this project then you can skip this step as this step is about making a mask out of EVA foam.

First you need some sort of templates for cuting your foam. I saw this youtube video of evil ted smith making templates of a manikin head with duct tape and aluminum foil, and it seemed to be the right approach. But instead of the manikin head I needed the actual shape of the mask, not the human face shape. I therefor startet by making the helmet out of heavy paper.

This paper mock up is made by eye. Just try, and then adjust along the way, this will give you a really good feel for your project and the shape of it.

When you are pleased with the shape of your mask you can start to cover it with aluminum foil. as I said before, look up evil ted smith on youtube. The problem when doing like this is that the mask has very little structural strength and it changes shape all the time in your hands. The way to avoid this is by using thicker cardboard to strengthen it somehow, or to do as i did and just be careful and slow. Also remember that EVA is quite forgivable and can be helped in to shape with a heatgun later on.

Because this is suppose to be symmetrical, I only taped up half of the face and then made double templates out of that.

Step 2: Making the EVA Foam Mask

So now that you have your stencils you should begin cutting your foam. For this mask I used a thin EVA foam, only 2mm thick. I cut out all the parts and startet gluing it together with barge cement. This is really straight forward, just dont be impatience with the glue, let it dry properly before joining the parts.

Here i also used a heat-gun to help the foam into the desired shape.

The Ion led controller that i choose, allowed for maximum 170 LED's (170 is for RGB, 512 single LED's), so with some counting and some math I made the arrangement and drew it up on the mask, the distance between the led's are off course given by the strip itself being 60LED's pr meter.

Then i punched out all the holes with a hole punch.

I had this copper wire mesh laying around and it seemed pretty close to the original so I put that in and I sprayed the mask with several coats of plastidip. Plastidip was recommended around the internet for this. At this point I was super happy with shape and looks of the mask.

Step 3: Adding LED's

Now that we are happy with mask its time to start putting the LEDstrips in.

I cut the LED strip into lengths according to the number of holes in each column of the matrix, se pictures. I test fit along the way and solder each strip together with the next. It's really important to test your strip after each solder. in this way you can find your errors right away and not when it's all soldered together. I made the whole chain completely finished before I started gluing it to the mask.

To fix the LED's to the inside of the mask i used hot glue. Be careful to match the LED's with the holes in the mask. I glued max three - four LED's at the same time, your fingers will get burned....

Actually when gluing the strips in, the shape of the mask got a bit of... I fixed this by gluing some "florist wire" across the inside after gluing the LED's, this made mask "shapeable" so that i could shape it how i wanted.

Step 4: Finishing Up

Now all the LED's are in place and its just programming and clean up left.

As stated in the intro i went for NLED's ION led controller. I wanted to make a mask that people without any programming skills or interest could make and use. The ION controller seemed to be what I was looking for... It has a visual interface in its software so you can map the LED's as you want. How to use there software and making programs for the mask I'm not going to cover here, they have enough resources them self.

After trying it for a bit I must say its not super intuitive and easy, but it gets the job done. If anybody have any tips to alternatives, or some programs for a raspberry that would make this easy please comment, because I want to test some options.

The ION can hold several light sequences / programs and you can switch between them using a button. I mounted the button on the side of the mask as you can se in the pictures.

You also need to decide on your powersource, the ION has micro USB in so I was thinking to use a powerbank directly into the usb, but the micro USB in does NOT tolerate the amount of current needed for this (it can take max 1A). Each RGB LED draws at max 50mA and we have 170, that means 8500mA or 8.5A. Off course not all the led are shining at max all the time so lets say 4~5 as an average. That means that you ned to hook up (NOT directly in to the ION) a powersource capable of delivering 4~5 amps. So do some research on batteries before deciding.

I after being sure everything is working i layed a layer of EVA on the inside of the mask to cover all the electronics, i left the ION and connections to the LED's exposed so that i have the opportunity to change the control system later on.

Hope you enjoyed my instructable, please ask if you have any questions, and also comment if you have any tips.

Make it Glow Contest 2018

Participated in the
Make it Glow Contest 2018