P.A.D.D From Star Trek Voyager

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Introduction: P.A.D.D From Star Trek Voyager

About: I am a British Graphic Designer and Photographer, when I am not working, I spend my time making an array of projects. I used to make a lot of props, but now I spend most my time building crazy cameras and sh...
Fan of star trek? always wanted to own a prop from the show? well, nows your chance, I recently purchased seasons 3 and 4 of voyager, and have slowly been working my way through them. When i noticed what would make for a great remake, one of the P.A.D.D devices that they use.

I did some googling, and found the easiest way was to use three layers of material (plastic or card) simple cut out, sprayed, and stuck together.

I set out planning to trace some screen shots/web images, to make a template, however, along the way i stumbled accross, Matt Munson who had a wide range of templates free for personal use.

Update - Matt Munson commented on this Instructable with the news that he had been prompted to add the files to his site again.

You can access all the templates here - www.mattmunson.com/props/

Thank you Matt, for allowing access again, so everyone can make what is one of the best props out there.

I am not providing the templates here, as he explains that he had previous problems with people using the templates for professional gain.

So, here is how i did it.

You need,
  • Some world famous, gmjboard (super dense thick strawboard/cardboard)
  • Some thin plastic transparencies
  • a household inkjet printer
  • a good scalpel and stanley knife
  • Some double sided tape
  • a sharpie
  • some silver spray paint

Step 1: Get Cutting.

Firstly we need to gather are materials,

Print out some of the templates, or design your own if your feeling creative, Its very easy to draw a simple design.

Stick the paper templates down to your selected board, My suggestions are to use either card, or plastiboard/styrene, both these can be cut using the stanley knife. Though the card is a much easier material to work with, it does give a slightly more rough finish.

Take your time with the cutting, many strokes, and less pressure is the way to go.

The corners are most difficult, but i found if i used the scalpel, and slowly nipped away around the corner it gave a cleaner better cut.

Step 2: Paint

Now we need to paint our sections,

The top and bottom sections are sprayed silver.
I used some simple silver spray paint from the diy store, the colour actually turned out to be pretty much spot on.

When spraying something like this, don't use newspaper, get an old corrugated card box, pop a stone in the middle, newspaper is too easily blown over, and is a pain when it lands on the project.

Most importantly, use many many thin layers, i gave these about 15 or so layers, with about a minutes drying time imbetween.

Leave them to dry.

With the middle section run a black sharpie or permanent marker around the edge, depending on the template you may also have to colour in a few extra sections due to the cut away on the top layer.

Step 3: The Screen

Next is to print off the screens and buttons, luckily for you, i designed these my self, which means im more than happy to provide pdf files, which you will see just below.

I printed these on a professional high end large format inkjet printer, i suggest printing them on photopaper, on your best quality setting.

Next we need to cut the transparency down to size, the stuff i used had a red layer on it, which i peeled off, cut it to a rough size, with room around the outside for double sided tape.

Using double sided tape, along the edge of the printed screen and transparency carefully stick all the pieces together. With the transparency ontop of the printed sheet.

Check to alignment with the top section.

Step 4: Stick on the Front and Back

I placed more double sided tape around the edge of the front, and stuck this in place.

I then placed another two large strips on the back plate, aligned it with the front plate properly, and stuck this on.

You could easily use glue for this, but the double sided tape works just fine.

Finally, i a sticker for use on the back. I printed onto a normal sticker paper, and then carefully placed it centred on the back, about 15mm from the bottom. You will find a .pdf file of the sticker in this step, which also had a black outline to help with positioning!

Step 5: Thats It!

Now you have a screen quality prop, you can tap away, and pretend your on voyager.

I intend to produce a second version of this, using some styrene, and also with a super cool extra feature, that actually is one up on the original prop!

Thanks for reading, and hit me with advice in the comments!

- gmjhowe




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    105 Discussions

    Hey gang. Great to see some folks looking to build up PADDs! These have always been one of my favorite props.

    Someone pointed me to this discussion, and I have re-posted all of my templates for ALL of the padds I ever drew, and also put up a bunch of graphics that I made over the years.

    As always, my only request is that these are used for personal use, not financial gain.

    you can find everything you need here:
    www.mattmunson.com/props/

    I forget what the various thicknesses are for the different padds. If I figure that out, or can find my notes somewhere, I will post that too.

    Thanks again for all of the interest in my templates. I hope you make great use of them!!!

    2 replies

    Hello, Thank you very for choosing to come over here and comment on my Instructable.

    I had read and seen the trouble you originally had with people stealing your designs and selling them, which is why I specifically chose not to report the files here. Instead telling people to go to your site.

    Its great that you have decided to re-host the templates.

    Thanks again,

    gmjhowe

    Does anyone have the original artwork\templates that Matt had on his website. Its no longer available. Please, someone help me in finding these materials. Thank you

    It seems that link is no longer on the site and I'll need this for my DS9 cosplay soon

    the link that you posted is not working and i really want to make this for my dads birthday! he loves star trek!!!!

    Thanks for this1 I may be able to try this myself. I look forward to seeing more from you!

    a lot of famous star trek gadgets have been made in reality- and better (for example, the communicator is a cell phone in real life.) the only exception is the teleportation beam

    6 replies

    The cell phone shall never triumph over the communicator! *pulls on klingon suit* Today is a good day to die!!

    I am going to try making one with a form of Tablete computer inside! Will try to get picture.

    Awesome!! I'll try build that one when i get material all I needs. By the way. those link in step 1 Matt (whatever last name) site is down or non-exist

    1 reply

    Try here: http://www.mattmunson.com/props/padds/

    :D Have fun!!!!!!!