Iron Man Style Arc Reactor - Usb Powered




About: Visual design manager at Fusionapps, HTML & CSS coder, graphic designer, web designer, maker, guitar player.

Recently, I decided to try to build an Iron Man usb-powered Arc Reactor to sit on my desk.

There's a lot I liked about Ironman, the movie. A resourceful guy building cool stuff in his man cave using technology was right up my alley. I love a challenge. So what did I do? I went down to my man cave (the basement) of course and tried to make one. When I looked around instructables, I found a few examples of strap-on ones. Sorry, I don't plan on walking around with a light on my chest. So I did a little more thinking, and decided to try to make a usb powered arc reactor. I think I grunted a few times in my man cave.

The arc reactor is made out of:
Plastic snapple bottle
Sink strainer
Faucet end
Copper wire
Hot glue
Large washer
Thin steel coffee travel mug
Usb cable
Tap light
Diode to drop the usb volage slightly

After a quick Google search, I learned usb voltage is about 4.75v. The three AAA batteries in the tap light added up to 4.5v, so I needed to drop the voltage coming out of the usb a bit. I took apart the tap light, and soldered an inline diode in the positive wire to drop the voltage, and voila! A usb powered arc reactor. Note: when you strip the usb cable, remove the shielding and snip the other wires except the red and black ones. Those are the positive and negative wires you need to solder to the tap light.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. It's not identical to the movie version, but it's close enough for me (and it looks cool on my desk).

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

MakerBot Challenge

Participated in the
MakerBot Challenge

Be the First to Share


    • Made with Math Contest

      Made with Math Contest
    • Multi-Discipline Contest

      Multi-Discipline Contest
    • Robotics Contest

      Robotics Contest

    5 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Hi! could you describe in more detail about the USB system, as it is arranged? Thanks in advance!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I just updated the pictures. The previous ones were a little blurry.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    well i misinterpreted the intent of your design. I apologize, because i was looking for something that could be placed on a person who didn't have a hole in their chest.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    It was this big in the movie. If your not prepared to drill a 3" hole in your chest your just not committed to authenticity amigo