Sep 5, 2014 | By Alec

The creative masterminds over at the electronic innovators Adafruit have revealed another very cool 3D printing project on their website. And as we've come to expect from that ambitious team, it consists of a very original printing plan, fancy and flashy electronics and a very accessible and helpful tutorial. Curious? Be sure to check out this immensely cool Daft Punk Helmet.

This project has been developed by their in-house creative genius Nou Ruiz, who has fascinated enthusiasts with various designs and projects in the past, such as this equally impressive 3D printed miniature computer. This newest creation consists of a lightweight and transparent 3D printed helmet made from PLA, which can be adjusted to fit just about everyone's head. Furthermore, you can build your own with just about any type of 3D printer!

Ruiz also shows us how to create the cool lighting effects by incorporating various LED strips inside the helmet, which can be customized and programmed to your own liking. All the files, designs and required parts for this Daft Punk helmet can be found alongside their comprehensive guide, making this a very cool but do-able project for anyone with some experience with 3D printing and a bit of a feel for technology.

Of course, anyone willing to construct one of these very cool helmets for themselves will need more than just a 3D printer and some PLA. The lighting effects created in this tutorial require two Pro Trinket set-ups and various NeoPixel Strips, along with two switches and a battery. However, all of these can be easily and relatively cheaply acquired through the Adafruit webshop, keeping down the overall costs for this project.

Ruiz provides us with an open-source design for the helmet, but customization could be required to accommodate your particular skull. He advises us to measure the top part of our heads, just above the ears, and edit the dimensions in 123D Design accordingly.

Furthermore, be aware of the sheer enormity of this printing project: regardless of the actual size of your head, this project will require about 1.2 pounds (!) of PLA to completely print, so be sure to weigh your spool before printing. Also, it will take quite some time to print, regardless of your printer. The helmet shown in the pictures took about 49 hours to completely printing, so plan your project carefully!

Adafruit's printer in action.

After the printing phase is completed, be sure to remove any excess deposits before moving on to the spray-painting phase. Afterwards, just follow Nou Ruiz's comprehensive guide for building, installing and programming the LED lighting system. All steps are carefully explained and clarified with various diagrams and examples. Coding your 'headlights' can be down using the NeoPixel Arduino library and the Adafruit Arduino IDE, but these are also freely available with the guide.

While there are thus a few steps involved beyond simple printing, the excellent Adafruit tutorial makes this cool project very accessible. We urge all Daft Punk fans out there to try this for themselves, while any 3D printing enthusiast should at the very least check it out. Good Luck!


Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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