Introduction: Screen-accurate HAL 9000 Replica

Open the pod bay doors, HAL.

I'm sorry Dave, but I'm afraid I can't do that.

What's the problem?

I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.

Stanley Kubrick's 2001: a space odyssey is a cult classic, renowned the world over, and if you want a piece of that story in your home, you've come to the right place. A huge thanks to AP 333 over on the Replica Prop Forum for making their dimensions research public, and to Concentrix on Thingiverse for their lens model. This build would've taken so much more time without their resources.

You'll need AP's plans, which you can download here.



- 1 meter of 3mm x 20mm aluminium flat bar

- 1 meter of 3 x 10mm aluminium flat bar

- Small wood screws (stainless steel or aluminium)

- 18mm plywood

- Black vinyl (black brushed metal texture)

- One empty Christmas bauble

- Silver 3d printer filament

- Black 3d printer filament

For the optional electronics:

- 2x AAA battery holder

- One 5mm red led

- One 51Ω resistor

- One switch (if your battery holder doesn't have one)


- Pencil

- Ruler

- Square

- Hacksaw

- Drill

- Impact driver

- Drill press

- Jigsaw

- Mitre Saw or table saw

- File

- Chisel

- Hammer

- Centerpunch (a nail works too)

- 3d printer

- Soldering iron, solder, and sponge

- Superglue

Step 1: 3d Printing

My mission responsibilities range over the entire operation of the ship so I am constantly occupied. I am putting myself to the fullest possible use which is all, I think, that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.

Before you make the body of HAL, you should get started on 3d printing. I've helpfully provided everything you'll need to print. I apologise for not zipping them, Instructables has decided that it won't accept .zip files. They should all be printed in silver filament, unless otherwise stated.

The grill should be printed at 0.1mm layer height, but you can print the rest at whatever you prefer. I did mine at 0.15mm and it looks good. You need the grill for the next step, so start with that. The housing and ring prints can be pressed together, with the lip on the ring pointing up. They should fit tightly, and not need any glue. Some light sanding might be required to get them together.

Step 2: The Base

I've just picked up a fault in the AE35 unit. It's going to go 100% failure in 72 hours.

The entire project is built around a piece of 18mm plywood cut to 343mm x 108mm. Once you have it cut, mark off the bottom 70mm. This is where the grill will sit. Chisel off the top few mm of the wood, until the grill from step two sits flush with the surface of the wood. It doesn't matter how messy it looks (as you can see, mine was far from clean,) as it will be covered by the grill on the final product.

The slot for the horizontal aluminium bar is cut according to the plans (thanks again AP,) by locking the mitre saw to a certain height. Use some scrap to work out what height to set it. It should be around 8mm deep, but some experimentation may be needed. The aim is to have it deep enough that when the 10mm aluminium is nestled in the groove, it's flush with the top of the 20mm bar if you hold it against the side. My blade was a tad thick, so I shaved off some ply to fill the gap.

The circle should be cut according to the plans, 143mm from the bottom of the grill part, and 95mm in diameter. Unless you have a mighty big hole saw, you'll need to use the jigsaw for this. Use the ring file you printed to test the fit, it should be tight enough that it'll stay in without glue (cut inside the line. It's easy to remove material but impossible to add it back on.)

Step 3: The Metal

It can only be attributable to human error.

The metal frame consists of the following:

Out of the 20mm bar cut:

2x 350mm lengths

2x 115mm lengths

These should be marked at 5.5mm intervals, with the center pair equidistant from the center of the bar. Centerpunch, drill, and countersink these so that your screw heads will sit flush. Finally, file the ends of the bar to 45° angles. Important note: make sure you file the right edges. It should form a \_____/ shape when you look at it. This is the easiest part to screw up, take your time, and make sure that it's really 45°.

Out of the 10mm bar cut:

1x 108mm length

Step 4: Vinyl, and Putting It All Together

Let me put it this way. The 9000 series is the most reliable computer ever made. No 9000 computer has ever made a mistake or distorted information. We are all, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error.

This is probably the most complicated bit. First off, cut a length of vinyl to cover the top part of the panel. I put the horizontal bar in place for this so I had something to press it against, to make sure it was accurate. Trace the eye circle and cut it out. Carefully peel the back off the vinyl, and press it against the wood, squeegee-ing it with an old credit card to get the bubbles out. I forgot to do the squeegee-ing, so I have bubbles. It's important. I screwed up so you don't have to.

With that done, you can push the 'camera' eye assembly into place., making sure that the black print is nested snugly in the ring. The aluminium can also be put on, hold it in place and mark out where the holes are. Drill pilot holes, and put the screws in. Finally, add the grill, supergluing it in place. You may need to trim it down, which is perfectly fine.

The lens is created by simply cutting two circles out of a transparent Christmas bauble, using the two cutting guides to draw them and scissors to cut them. Glue the smaller one in place in the center of the lens, using a minimal amount of superglue, and wait for half an hour before proceeding. The last thing you want is the lenses fogging up after all this work. Make sure there's no dust or anything in the middle before repeating the process with the big lens. Don't use more glue than you need to.

Finally, print out the label from here, cover the back in double-sided tape, and stick it on.

And with that, we're done! If you want to have HAL light up, then continue reading. Otherwise, congratulations, you have a 100% screen accurate HAL panel, down to the number of holes in the grill.

Step 5: Optional: Electronics

That's a very nice rendering, Dave. I think you've improved a great deal.

To add an extra layer to HAL, you have to make his eye light up. All you need to do for this step is some very basic soldering. Start by glueing the two AAA holders together, and soldering one red wire to one black wire. The other red wire is soldered to the resistor, which is soldered to the anode (short) LED lead. The black wire from the battery pack goes to a switch, and from the other switch terminal to the cathode (long) LED lead. If you put batteries in it, switch it on, and nothing happens, flip the LED connections around. Once you've verified that it works, simply install it. There's plenty of room in behind the eye, just lay the components out as I have. Glue everything in place, and voila, you're completely finished! To hang your creation up, all you need to do is drill a hole in the back to stick a nail or hook into.

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer... do. I'm half cr...azy all for the love... of you. It won't be a sty... lish marriage, I can't... afford a.. carria... ge. But you'll... look sw... eet upon... the se... at of a bi... cy... cle built... for t... w... o...

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