Iron Man 2 Arc Reactor VI




About: Im a model maker who makes film and game props in my spare time. If you like my work please visit my blog it has more work. email me at backwardsprops @ gmail . com (with out the spaces, stops...

Recently i have been re working my first iron man Arc reactor to stream line the production time etc. i decided to take a look at making the Arc reactor from the second film.  so this is how i went about making my Iron man 2 arc reactor.

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Step 1: Tools and Materials.


- sand paper
- files
- small saw and coping saw (fret saw)
       ~these tools are if you dont have access to a laser cutter
-knife, craft knife, scalpel (something to cut thin materials with)


- 3mm acrylic (any colour as it will be painted)
- 2mm acrylic (any colour but you will need some clear, i used all clear for all of it to make it easier)
- thin blue plastic. the type that they make document folders from.
- liquid solvent glue
- Spray paint. plastic primer, silver paint, clear coat.

Step 2: Planning.

I sketched out a little plan to help me work out how the layers of the arc would work.

once i had an idea of how many layers i needed i could work out how thick and what materials to make the arc from.

i worked out i could make the arc out of 6 layers and if they were 2mm each it would give the arc a nice slim line depth of 12mm. (although nearer the end of the build i realised i needed another 2mm layer on the rear to aid with the mounting in the stand)

after the sketching i drew up some plans in Illustrator using some source photos i got from goolge.

Step 3: Cutting and Pre Assembly

cut the plans out on a laser cutter, all the main parts were cut from 2mm extruded acrylic. (the blue colour is the protective plastic.)

you can cut these parts by hand if you dont have access to a laser cutter, just be careful on the delicate parts.

Glue the parts together in groups of two. leaving out the parts that would be clear.

layer 1 and 2, layer 3 and 4 and 5 and 6.

Step 4: Priming.

Spray the three layer groups with plastic primer.

plastic primer creates a good base for any other paint that you put on top, meaning it wont rub off so easily.

once the paint has dried you can really see how it will look once the arc is complete.

here is where the thin blue plastic comes in. (i forgot to take a photo of it)

cut a round disc of the blue to fit inside the rear section, layers 5 and 6. this will give the arc a nice blue glow when lit.

Step 5: Stand.

i used a screen grab to design the stand for the arc, using google image search i found loads of images of the prop that marvel has licensed and that showed me what the stand would look like. 

so i drew up some Illustrator files and cut them out on the laser cutter.  

i glued together the bits of the cradle and then gave them a coat of plastic primer. the parts that were going to be black could have been cut out of black plastic but i didn't have any. so i painted the two parts black.

Its always useful to put all your parts together so you get an idea of how it will look and also to make sure that it will go together. 

Step 6: Painting.

Give all the parts that are to be silver a coat of metallic silver paint.  leave this type of paint for a long time (longer than it says on the tin as it takes a very long time to dry and it will save you having to paint and sand multiple times due to finger prints testing if its dry.

each type of plastic will have different drying times.

once all the paint dried i assembled the parts.

Step 7: Assembly

once you have all the parts finished and glued its time to assemble them.

the white box its sitting on is a base from another project but it houses the same power unit that this arc uses.

Step 8: Display Your Arc.

once you have finished admire your Arc and pretend you are Tony stark.

thank you for look at my instructables.

any questions please ask and i will try to answer.

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    30 Discussions


    3 months ago

    Great Job, could you share the blueprints with me via email? My email is Thanks!


    2 years ago

    I have a question,

    Could you add the designs for the base like you did the plan for the arc reactor so that I may use it as a template?

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    What if I directly use silver acrylic ?
    would it be the same ?

    1 reply
    backwards lambadhingra

    Reply 3 years ago

    it might be worth a go, the only issue i could see with that is that sometimes laser cutters can make scorch marks on the plastic which you wouldnt be able to get rid of by painting over.

    give it a go and see what happens :)


    3 years ago

    Awesome idea
    Loved It....!!

    Super Rohit

    4 years ago

    Can you please attach laser cutting files please........


    4 years ago

    u doesn't show the fixing of light


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Great job! The EL panels have a lighted effect and can be cut down to a custom size. See image. I have found a good source for the panels here and
    here They were the best prices I've
    found in the US.

    blue panel.jpg
    1 reply

    5 years ago on Introduction

    By any chance do you have the files posted on here so I can use them to cut out the shapes? :)


    5 years ago on Step 2

    Whats the radius of the whole arc reactor?


    i never laser cutted anything.. so what i will have to say if i want ones like you??? please help me out..

    thanks for the reply, im also wondering how thick is the arc reactor? is it thin enough to fin under a t shirt? im considering using another deisgn for an arc with less detail than yours but is only 12 mm thick

    1 reply

    im pretty sure if you use 2mm plastic for the layers it will be 12mm thick.

    this is made in three sets of two layers each, the layers are 2mm, so its 3 groups of 4mm . 3x4=12 :)

    hi, first i have to say this is one of the best arc reactors i've seen
    my question is what color spray paint you used for the arc reactor

    1 reply

    6 years ago

    Man, this was by far my favorite of Tony's Arc Reactor, and it is great to brag to my friends :P