After seeing the new Star Wars film over the weekend I thought 'I want to make something to do with this'
And i loved the new stormtrooper armour and decided to make myself some cuff links of their helmets.
so this instructable is how i went about making them.
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Step 1: Tools and Materials.
Pretty much most of this is done on the laser cutter.
Cuff Link findings.
Coloured acrylic plastics.
Plastic solvent glue.
Brasso or some other plastic polish
Step 2: Drawing the Designs.
Using Google i found a full frontal photo of the helmet.
Putting This image into Adobe Illustrator i drew around the photo.
Because the cuff links will be quite small I had to simplify the design. (removing the notches from around the edges of the helmet.)
When i had it drawn i converted it into something the laser cutter can read. On this laser you can set the colours to do different vector settings. The fill colours are different raster settings.
I drew out a circle that is slightly bigger than the mask design. The black fill dot in the middle is where the cuff link finding will be glued.
Step 3: Cutting the Design.
To get the colours on the design the etching and cutting have to be done in a specific order.
First I etched all the areas that will be solid black. (eyes,brow, frown and details on the cheeks.)
when the laser had finished etching just the black areas i used some permanent ink to fill in the areas. When the ink was dry i used some polish and cleaned off the ink that was on the surface of the plastic. the ink doesn't clean off the etched areas as they are not smooth and grip the ink.
I placed the plastic back into the laser cutter in the same place it was when i etched it and then i etched the circle that was red in the last step. I also etched all the lines for the details on the eyes and brow.
Once the helmet had finished cutting i cut the black back plate for the helmet to sit on.
The circle in the middle is for the cuff link findings to go into so it has something better than the shiny plastic to glue to.
Step 4: Gluing the Helmets.
I removed the protective plastic from the underside (now the front) of the back plate. I also took the protective plastic off the back of the helmets.
Once all the protective film has been removed its time to glue the helmet onto the back plate.
I positioned the helmet in the center of the black back plate and used some solvent glue to fix the two parts together.
i did this to both helmets.
when the glue sets (which takes almost no time at all) you have the finished fronts of the cuff links.
Step 5: Attaching the Findings.
I mixed up a small amount of the 5 minuet epoxy and dipped the flat disk end of the cuff link findings into the glue.
Then i pressed it into the circle indent in the rear of the cuff link front.
Be sure to make sure the cuff link is orientated correctly with the face of the cuff link. i put them so the T bar on the findings is horizontal in regards to the helmet orientation.
Do this for both cuff links.
Step 6: Making the Box.
I measured the card box and drew up a template in Illustrator. On the top and bottom the boxes have a little beveled edge which means the safe usable area is slightly smaller than the actual size of the box. so i drew this on the template as well.
For the front of the box i drew up a first order symbol and decided to fill the front of the box with it.
I thought about putting something on the back of the box (that's why its on the plans) but i decided not to put anything on it.
To etch the box i placed a bit of scrap card into the laser and etched the outside line from the template onto it.
I then placed the top of the box into the laser and focused the laser to the top of box.
I etched the design onto the box. This is sometimes hard. you have to make sure you have the settings correct as you can sometimes not etch deep enough to get to the lighter paper under the top or etch too deep and cut through the box.
I got this box online and it came with a great little foam insert that fit the cuff links perfectly, so I just popped them in there.
Step 7: Finished Cuff Links.
Once all the glue and all the bits are etched you will have your final cuff links.
Do with them as you please, I've made some similar cuff links for my wedding favors and as gifts for other people and many other reasons.
I hope you enjoyed reading my Instructable, please feel free to look at my other posts and maybe give this one a vote in any of the competitions you feel it deserves a vote in.
Please ask any questions you have and i will try to answer them as best i can.
Thank you .
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