Corporate Tyrannosaurus Rex Halloween Costume




Introduction: Corporate Tyrannosaurus Rex Halloween Costume

About: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through understanding, and strives to inspire others to lear...

"Bronto-belly futures are up?! Buy! BUY!!"

If dinosaurs ruled the earth, how would it be different?

My Halloween costume is a study in the corporate dinosaur. He's still ferocious, although more so on the trading floor than on the forest floor.

It was also an excuse for me to learn some new CAD tools. The tyrannosaurus head is made from 9 FedEx boxes, laser cut, folded, and taped together into a 3D, custom mask.

Step 1: Modeling the Dinosaur in CAD

Every project I've ever done that involved taking a project from CAD to physical object has required multiple CAD tools. This required 3 tools (6 is you count the tools I tried but which each gave unsatisfactory results for some operation), and I even cheated on the first step by begging a really nice tyrannosaurus rex model from a friend.

In Rhino, I removed the t-rex's teeth and tongue, and cut off the head.

Step 2: Making the Panels

The real magic came from some not-yet-released Autodesk and Otherlab software that decomposes a model into pieces you can build: strips of fabric for sewing, slices to glue together, or panels to fold and attach. First, I simplified the model to a shape that was still recognizable without having too many triangles (and hence panels to assemble). I then used the paneler function, which finds a series of flat panels that can be folded (without intersecting folds) and attached together forming a skin.

A preview of this software is available at 123D.

The output is the outline of the panels, perforating marks for folding, and assembly information.

Step 3: Cutting the Panels

In Corel Draw, I made adjustments to the panels so they would fit on my cardboard stock (FedEx boxes), and laser cut the patterns.

On our 75-watt Epilog laser cutter, I used 75% speed 100% power for the outlines, 90% speed 100% power for the perforations, and 100% speed 8% power for the markings.

In the images, only the second one shows panels (actually the cardboard scrap) that were used in the mask. Images 3 through 6 shows panels I didn't use because they were too small to manipulate (62 total panels versus 22 total panels for the same-sized model). Snapping the too-small panels out of their cardboard sheets kept a two-year occupied for a little while.

All of my panels are attached, should you be inspired to make this yourself!

Step 4: Fold, Tape, and Assemble

After folding each part along the perforations, I taped the edges together with clear tape. This process took several hours including much consultation of the panel model and to see how the pieces fit together. Apparently I got into some sort of zone while doing it because I neglected to take in-process pictures.

Step 5: Paint and Make Eyes

I spray-painted using "camouflage forrest green" which seemed appropriate for a t-rex, even a corporate one. The eyes are styrofoam hemispheres pained with acrylic paint, and are hot-glued to the mask.

Step 6: Do Some High-Powered Dino-Deals

Buy! BUY!

From inside the dinosaur mask, I can only see out the mouth, which leads to the amusing feature of the corporate dinosaur always pointing directly at what he's looking at.



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    23 Discussions

    what's sad is that T-Rex couldn't reach his ear hole with short arms even with that giant retro-cell phone of his.

    Haha ,I love this work

    Is there a reason to be anti-corporate? How about a Lobor Union dinosaur?? He he.

    Awesome! I'll have to check out 123D for future projects. Any chance of a Mac native version in the future? I've been working on a folded Stargate helmet- sooo close to finishing.... gotta get back to work!

    7 replies

    A preview of the software is available for Mac OS here:

    Awesome- thanks so much! I just spent some time checking out the site and it's pretty exciting stuff. I've already got a few ideas for some of my projects. :)
    It would be cool to make a 3D grid model and fill it with foam and then shape it to make a positive model for complex paper mache shells.

    I showed your T Rex head to one of my co workers and we thought it would be fun to make a couple of different dino heads.

    I made some progress on my helmet too-

    That is so awesome and super easy to use! I'm going to have a lot of fun with this with my kids. :)

    We're working on 123D online, which will open it up to Mac users. To be released soon!

    Great stuff, Although I would add some teeth to make it even more menacing

    This is pretty cool, as for breaking it up into panels, you could also use a technique used by papercrafters.
    That is, using Pepakura, to "unfold" your model into pieces (of more than one panel) and then cut/fold/glue it.
    You would have trouble doing it with cardboard, but with some sort of thick card it would turn out looking much neater (without all the perforations).
    You can also do paper and fibreglass resin too (like this instructable: )

    I wonder - did you deliberately leave the perforations visible as some sort of artistic comment or feature?

    (Personally, I would have used masking tape to glue the edges, then used more to cover the perforations before painting.)

    1 reply

    Good idea. Masking the perforations just slipped my mind in the rush to complete this for Halloween.