DIY Iron Man Arc Reactor!

About: I am a tinkerer. I love taking things apart and making new things. That's why I love this site.

 I followed the ideas of many of the instructables on here to create my arc reactor.  I highly suggest looking at theirs if you have time to make one.  I did this for a college (can you believe it?! Building things in college!) project.  Enjoy!

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Step 1: Supplies

While I have posted these supplies, I changed what I was using very quickly when the things I was using didn't end up working.  I found all these at my local hardware store near campus:

1 tap light
1 translucent film canister (or white chair leg protector (to keep the chair from scratching the floor))
1 clear plastic ring (I ended up using an old style telephone dialer but you can use anything from a shower curtain ring to a table plug (for where you plug the hole if you have an umbrella))
1 sink strainer
1 conduit locknut (optional, but I think it looks better)
plenty of copper wire and hot glue

Step 2: Take Apart the Tap Light

 The bottom unscrews fairly easily and then you have to remove the 3 tiny screws.  After you have unscrewed it, remove the clear plastic thing from above the lights.

Step 3: Make the Arc Reactor Glow

Either use the lid of the translucent film canister or cut off the bottom  (or white chair leg stopper) and use that.  Glue this piece onto the tap light (right in the middle).   The white creates the glow.

Step 4: Finishing the Arc Reactor

 After removing the rubber stopper and metal pin from the sink strainer, I put a generous amount of hot glue on the bottom and inserted the tap light (be sure to have the batteries in the tap light at this point). Take your clear plastic ring and begin to wrap the copper wire around it.  The real arc reactor has 10 sections.  Mine has six because I didn't have the time to do 10 (yay procrastination!).  Glue the plastic ring to the sink strainer.  You can now attach the conduit locknut if you haven't already done so.

Step 5: DONE!

 This really didn't take me too long to make.  And most people have said that it looks pretty cool especially with the amount of time it took me to make. If you have anything bad to say, keep it to yourself.  Just kidding! I appreciate criticism but please, be nice.  You don't have to tell me it looks like crap; I know it does.  I made it in about 2 hours.  But CONSTRUCTIVE criticism  is what I'm looking for.  Hope you enjoyed it! And please, take a look at other arc reactors on instructables! Some people have truly done AMAZING jobs. Enjoy!

1 Person Made This Project!


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12 Discussions


3 years ago

Ive made something like that i used some of your tips


5 years ago

Looks pretty good, actually. Doesn't look rushed at all.


6 years ago

How thick is it? Maybe post a picture of it sideways


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Haha. Oh trust me, I definitely was. I procrastinated and waited way to long to start working on it.


9 years ago on Step 5

that is so cool! i have a taplight that fell apart and, i took the plastic clear cover thingy off and painted it blue and hot glued it to a red glove and painted the glove all ironmany. and i figured out a way to make an arc reactor out of a taplight. you take of the battery cover off and take the bottem of a water bottle off then glue them together and paint. but besides the point, this instructable is awsome. i wish i would of saw this instructable before i took my tplight apart. thnx!

1 reply

Reply 9 years ago on Step 5

 Haha.  Thanks.  I looked at a whole bunch on this site before starting mine so I could get some ideas.  There are people who made some really crazy ones and I would have loved to make one like theirs, but didn't have enough time.  I did wear it to the premier of iron man 2 and everyone loved it.  That was exciting lol.


9 years ago on Step 5

are you kidding it looks great, can i do this in the real world, i'm asking because i need some of your permission so that i can do this at home. i'm not gonna show it here in this site i'm just gonna do it

1 reply

Reply 9 years ago on Step 5

 Haha, thanks!  Compared to some of the ones I've seen, I think it's not nearly as good, especially because half the stuff I was going to use didn't end up working and I had to come up with more things on the spot...whoo procrastination!

And I do have one request if you make it (by the way, I'm totally fine if you use this).  But, if you use it, can you either upload your finished product in the comments or send me a message with your finished product? 

If you do send pictures, would you allow me to upload them on my instructable so others can see what you did differently?

Have fun!  (it's pretty easy to make, wrapping the wire and waiting for the glue to dry were the only 'time consuming' events when I made this).