Introduction: Mandalorian Helmet With Gauntlet Controller
This instructable was created in fulfillment of the project requirement of the Makecourse at the University of South Florida (www.makecourse.com)
Hello fellow Makers!! As Star Wars was been a huge part of my childhood I decided to go with that theme for this project. Boba Fett was always one of my favorite characters and no with the new Disney+ show "The Mandalorian" I was inspired to attempt to create my very own Mandalorian Helmet! All of the electronic functions of the Helmet will be controlled by the Gauntlet.
This project will require access to a 3D printer.
Here is a list of supplies you will need to complete the project:
-8 sq.ft. of EVA Foam (5mm thick)
-8 sq.ft. of EVA Foam (2mm thick)
-Box cutter/X-acto knives
-Contact Cement Glue
-50 ft of 24 gauge wire (mix of colors)
-heat shrink tubing
-one 2-prong quick connector
-five 3-prong quick connectors
-Analog Feedback Micro Servo - Metal Gear (https://www.adafruit.com/product/1450)
-2 mini LEDs
-two 220 ohm resistors
-one 10,000 ohm resistor
-1 large 3-Watt LED
-3 momentary buttons
-1 portable battery charger with Micro-USB wire (not mini USB)
-Smooth-On Epoxy (Recommend XTC-3D, or Epsilon Pro)
-Filler Primer Spray Paint
-2 3mm set screws (10mm length) with 1 nut
-2 5mm set screws (20mm length) with 4 nuts
-Your choice of paint colors or metallic finishes
-Spray clear coat (Matte or Gloss)
-Polycarboante Universal Visor Safety Faceshield (your Color Choice, recommend black shaded)
-small metal rod
-small disk magnets
-1/8 inch acrylic sheet (1ft x 1.5ft)
-Nightshades spray tint
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Step 1: Foam-Smithing the Helmet
This first step requires you to use your EVA foam, Contact Cement and box cutter or X-acto blades.
You can either use a pre-purchased mannequin head, or using another person to help you template the size for the helmet. first cover the dome of the head with foil so that the duct tape will not stick. Then the paper or cardstock is used to template the straight sides of the helmet as seen in the one image. Once you have sketched out the design and shapes you want on your helmet, decide where to put cut lines to seperate the 3D template into flat 2D shapes (make sure to add registration marks)
Next you will transfer these templates onto your 5mm EVA foam and then heat them with your heat gun on a medium setting to begin to shape them into the curves needed for the Helm. Glue together the edges using the contact cement being sure to follow the safety and application instructions on the container. Use two coats of contact cement instead of one as the first coat will soak into the foam, but seal the edges of the pieces. Once the pieces are tacky dry they can be pressed together following your registration marks to ensure that the pieces go back together properly. Add a few strips of foam to the inside of your visor area to hold the shape up until the painting process.
Add any extra details you want out of foam at this point, such as fins, or ridges to make your helmet unique.
If you don't have any experience Foam-Smithing I would suggest you check out a few YouTube channels first to get an even more in-depth breakdown and demonstration:
-Evil Ted Smith
-Punished Props Academy
Both have great beginner tutorials on how to template helmets and Punished Props even has an entire video dedicated to making two different Mandalorian Helmets and you can download their templates from the their website as linked in the description of the video titled (Let's Make Foam Helmets! BOBA FETT & THE MANDALORIAN | 500k Community Challenge) So if you don't feel adventurous you could always just use the templates provided by them and slightly alter them to work with the 3D printed parts.
Step 2: Design and Print Parts
All of the files necessary to complete the project are included. The Gauntlet pieces are from a lady on thingiverse called StormProps, and the back air vent for the helmet can be found on thingiverse (not included as you can pick your own, there are many options). The rest are custom files that I designed. You may need to slightly modify the files to make them fit onto your helmet. But with the ear pieces only change the length, do not change the other dimensions.
You need to print all of the STL files once except for the Range Finder pole half piece that should be printed twice.
For orientation Purposes the parts with the designation "Right" are on the right side of the helmet if you are looking at it facing you. So they would be on the left if you were wearing the helmet.
- guantlet buttons.SLDPRT
- guantlet buttons.STL
- left ear peice antenna holders.SLDPRT
- left ear peice.SLDPRT
- longer ear antenna.SLDPRT
- range finder_bottom_project.SLDPRT
- range finder_bottom_project.STL
- range finder_top_project.STL
- RangeFinder Pole half piece.SLDPRT
- RangeFinder Pole half piece.STL
- right ear peice bottom piece_project.SLDPRT
- right ear peice bottom piece_project.STL
- right ear peice top piece_project.SLDPRT
- right ear peice top piece_project.STL
- shorter ear antenna.SLDPRT
- left ear peice antenna holders.STL
- left ear peice.STL
- longer ear antenna.STL
- shorter ear antenna.STL
Step 3: Combining the Parts
The next step is to Combine the 3D printed parts with your Foam Helmet. Using your parts trace where they will go on the Helmet with a Pen. Then Cut out the hole to insert your rear air-vent, and then adding an extra few centimeters in from the outline of your earpieces cut out holes for them as well (should be smaller than your original outline). Next using superglue glue on the 3D printed parts into their correct spots on the helmet.
Glue on the Antenna holders onto the left earpiece, and then either superglue magnets into the holders and on the Antenna themselves (so that they are removable), or just glue the antennas directly into the holders.
You can add other fun features to the helmet now before this next step. Use a knife to score in any kinds of "battle damage" or groove lines that you desire, and then use the heat gun over the areas that you have worked. The heat will open up the scores and make defined lines along the score marks you made.
After you are happy with this result its time for Epoxy! Again be sure to read the safety instructions and application instructions for the two part epoxy that you have chosen. Start by applying to the inside of the Helmet first by doing two semi thin coats. This will provide the helmet with rigidity and strength, and allow you to cut away the supports from the visor area after it has cured. Then you can add 2-3 thin coats until the surface is completely covered and hard. Be sure to keep the coats very this on the outside to avoid as many large bubbles as possible, it will make the paint work easier. Be sure to go over the edges of the the connections between the foam and 3D printed parts, this will provide an even more secure connection between the parts.
Combine the two halves of the rangefinder pole with superglue to create a channel to run wires through. Glue the pole into the right top earpiece and the lower half of the rangefinder head. Make sure to install the magnets into the holes for them in the rangefinder model.
Step 4: Electronics
Using the diagram above follow as well as the Arduino Sketch be sure to connect the wires to the proper pins: 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 5V, and GND. After that is done make sure you split the 5V into two wires, and the GND into 4 wires.
Servo (pin 3)
Head lamp (pin 5)
mini LEDs (pins 6&7)
Buttons (pin 9,10,&11)
For the two buttons that control the Rangefinder, you will attach one end to one of the GND wires on each one. Then on the opposite sides of those buttons you will attach pin 10 to one, and pin 11 to the other.
For the third button you will run the 5V wires to this, then on the opposite side of the button you will have to strands. on that goes directly to GND, and the other that will go into the 10k resistor and then into pin 9.
The remaining 5V, GND and pin 3 wire will be combined into one of the female ends of the 3-prong quick connectors usinng your soldering equipment. (be sure to use heat shrink tube to protect the connection)
The other three wires left, pins 5, 6, &7 will all the attached to another female end of a 3-prong quick connector, just like you did previously.
Creating extension cables:
Using your paracord cut 3'11" and remove all of the small cords from the inside leaving only the outer casing.
Then feed three 4' wires through this casing. Using your soldering equipment, attach male ends of your 3-prong quick connectors to the wires.
Repeat this process twice so that you have two different extenders.
Start by taking a female end of a 3-prong quick connector and using the same color as your GND wire as well as the color for Pin 3 and the 5V color and attached those to the quick connector. Split the GND wire into 3 as you will need all of them later. Connect one of those GND wires to one end of a 2-Prong quick connector. Attach the other two wires(5V, and pin 3) as well as a second one of the GND wires to the last 3-Prong quick connector.
Take your final female end of a 3-prong quick connector and connect 3 wires to it. The one that corresponds to pin 5 goes to the other half of the 2-Prong quick connector. The ones that correspond to pin 6, &7 go up the rangefinder arm and into the head. They each have a 220 ohm resistor soldered onto their ends, followed by a mini LED. On the negative end of each LED you attach the single GND wire that will also be fed through the arm and then spliced into two to go to each light.
Connect the two wires from the Headlamp Large LED to the other end of the 2-Prong quick connector. the Pin 5 goes to the positive of the LED and the GND goes to the negative end.
Connect the three wire of the Servo to the final male end of the 3-Prong quick connector to match up with the 5V, pin 3, & GND wires on the female end.
Open the PDF file and Copy/paste the code into your Arduino Software, and make sure your software is set to Arduino Nano, ATmega328P on the bottom right of your Arduino screen.
Upload the code to the Board and test that all of the components work, and to make sure that your wiring is good!
Step 5: Painting
To start off the painting process coat the entire helmet with the spray filler primer. Then when that is dry you will be able to see the imperfections from the epoxy where you can sand off the bubbles and fill any holes with the filler putty (also sand when dry). repeat this process at least one more time sanding to at least 400 grit sand-paper, and finish it off with one last coat of filler primer (3rd coat) to even out the color.
Utilize the masking tape to paint your helmet your desired colors. Get creative!!! if you are going for a nice metallic look I would suggest a base coat of gloss black spray paint followed by a product called rub n buff.
Be sure to paint all of the other parts of the range finder as well as the Gauntlet! For these 3D printed parts Epoxy is not necessary and just a few coats of filler primer will work to get a nice smooth finish.
Make sure to clear coat your helmet to protect your work! And add some weathering! It will help with the realism.
Step 6: Finishing and Extras
Either use the Polycarboante Universal Visor Safety Faceshield that you purchased (it is flexible), cutting it to fit in as the visor, or you will have to make one out of the acrylic. To make one, first cut out the visor shape (template with paper) adding extra to the sides for glue later. Then use your heat gun to heat the acrylic and bend it to the correct curvature (WEAR GLOVES, its will be hot). Apply a few coats of Nightshades window tinting to darken the visor. Finally install your visor into the helmet using hot glue or superglue.
Last you will need to install all of the electronics. The three buttons and the Arduino nano can be installed into the gap inside the gauntlet. (I recommend you cut out the triangle supports inside the top Clam) all of the wires can be contained inside this area as well. Use a piece of 2mm EVA foam to use as a cover for the wires. Superglue it to one side of the hollowed area and glue on Velcro to the other so that you can still access the board to plug in the power source.
The Electronics in the Helmet can be installed easily by pushing the Headlamp through its hole in the left ear piece and feeding its wires inside the helmet. Mount the servo onto its brackets on the right ear piece using the 3mm set screws, using the nut on the bottom one. Then feed to rest of the wires on the servo arm assembly though the gap in the front half of the right earpiece next to the servo and secure the arm on the head.
Tack down the wires using superglue, and then add Upholstery foam to the inside until the helmet fits snug.
Be sure to upload your code onto the Arduino nano!
You can add a glove and wrist cuff to complete the look of the gauntlet by buying a glove and then adding pieces of leather and even a hand plate made with the same foam technique and finishing work as the helmet.
I would love to see what you made! Please send me pictures! Send them to Facebook page:
Smuggler's Den (look the Lightsaber hilt!)