Arc Reactor prop build



At this rate you’ll end up with a WORKING arc reactor :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
Fantastic work.

Really cool Ante!
Is that just a weird reflection or why is one copper painted transformer part looking different than the others?

Ah, no, that one has had actual wire wrapped on it.
I’m trying to find a wire diameter that looks okay, but isn’t too much of a hassle to wind, this was a test with 0.5mm magnet wire.

In other news - i stripped the paint yet again :smile:
But just the clear-coat off the transparent ring. I was testing using Mig AMMO Crystal Glass to give the bottom of the ring a blue tint. It’s a transparent acrylic paint used for tinting windows, periscopes etc. on armored vehicle models.

The result was… less than pleasing, LOL. In short, it tends to pool like a wash (haven’t tried with an airbrush) and is very uneven on big surfaces. And worst of all - despite being billed as “water-washable”, if you leave it on a few hours, there’s absolutely no way to get it off without stripping the whole clear coat along with it. Seems to bond with enamel coat, despite being an acrylic paint.

Just a note on paints. Most of the hobby store paints for polycarbonate bodies will stick quite well… Tamiya paint should be available pretty much everywhere (double check that it’s for polycarb).

After one layer of polycarb paint you should be able to use other paints.

So far, i’ve used Testors (enamel and lacquer based paints), Alclad (lacquer), Vallejo (acrylic) and Mig (acrylic). Testors enamels seem to work really well as a primer.

Alclad works well on enamels (it’s actually the advised way of doing things when using their mirror finish paints (polished aluminium and chrome). Acrylics don’t really stick that well to naked resin, but will work fine over enamels. The trouble i had with Mig transparent acrylics was not with the adhesion, but coverage - the paint is meant for tinting very very smooth surfaces and isn’t very suitable for covering large areas (it pools in any depressions, almost like a wash).

As far as primers are concerned, i’m still looking for a good sandable primer. I’ve typically used Duplicolor primer/filler on FDM prints, combined with sanding, to get nicer surfaces. This does not seem to work as well on resin prints, as that particular primer doesn’t bite into resin and sanding just sorta rubs it off.

Curiously, not here. As of late, you can find Mr.HOBBY paints, which are fairly similar to Tamiya (same paint jars, very similar stickers, made in Japan, if i had to guess, i’d say it’s some kind of a Tamiya spin-off) but only acrylics.

Edit: Oh, forgot Revell. It’s their clear coat i’ve used on the transparent ring. It’s enamel based and worked wonderfully, although the price is nuts for the can size.

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Out of all the paints i’ve mentioned, for faking metal, my definite favourite are Buffable Testors Metalizers. Trouble is, they rub off really really easily, which is kind of a problem considering the whole point is to buff them to a realistic shine.

The conundrum is as follows:

  • they need to be painted on the naked plastic/resin (primers are strongly advised against)
  • the plastic/resin needs to be as smooth and shiny as possible for the proper effect
  • the smoother the surface, the easier the Metalizers get rubbed off
  • … and even if you somehow succeed in not rubbing them off your print, you can’t use a clear-coat over that, because that dulls the effect (makes it look like painted plastic again, totally lacking any “depth” and anisotropy)

So, yeah… Testors Metalizers - really nice, but a really bad choice for resin prints.

Success with tinting the clear resin!

Wanted to try and give it a very slight, light-bluish tint. Mig AMMO has a line of acrylics for tinting transparent parts, but they’re way way too strong, even when diluted. However, mixing their clear paint with just a few drops of light blue and then diluting that (their clear is too thick for airbrushing, other clear colors are pre-diluted, tho) works really nicely.

I didn’t paint the whole ring, only the surface facing up in this photo. The effect is pretty cool - if you look through the ring at a light source, you can’t see a tint. But if you tilt it or put it on a piece of paper or something similar, the tint becomes noticeable. Kinda like tinted glass, which is what i was aiming for.

Here’s what the effect looks like when clear-coated:

Lighting diffusion test:


Wow! :heart_eyes:

That’s way cool !

Another day, another setback (two steps forward, one step back i guess)…

Started winding the “coils”. It’s a pretty huge chore and the end result isn’t that neat - the way i’ve set up the case and the coils as a single part, with the wire holding the bottom transparent base on, i need to thread the wire through two slots for each and every loop. And the space is pretty limited too. Took me about an hour and a half or two for 3 coils (while watching TV and reading).

Now, i don’t mind the messy coils that much, because the original movie arc reactor mkI/II was fairly messily wound too (so i can get away with it). However, while handling the whole thing, during winding, i managed to rub off the polished aluminium finish off the outer casing - turns out it’s fairly sensitive to prolonged handling (rubs off of high surfaces and edges)…

So after i’m finished with the coils, i’ll have to tape everything up carefully, polish the casing and repaint (yet again).

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Still missing case bottom.
Need to find some time to tweak it a little, designed it too thin originally.


Finished initial design for the bottom case:

It’s not meant to look good, just be functional.
Had to do quite a bit of messing around to ensure no walls are too thick, but not too thin either (so it doesn’t crack), especially around the slots for the chest strap. I’m fairly sure once i print it it’ll turn out to have some big flaw somewhere, but hey, have to start somewhere.

Won’t be able to give printing this a try until i’m done with a few prints for clients/friends/other folks.

Edit: in case it’s not obvious, the idea is to mount this part of the casing on a strap, put it under a shirt with a hole cut out, then clamp the edges of the shirt hole with the top half. Might do a desktop-friendly version of the bottom casing too, at a later date (with a stand).

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That’s looking really amazing! I love seeing your updates. :smile:

Looks awesome! Any chance you’d be willing to share your solidworks models? I wouldn’t mind trying to make one, but modifying it slightly for my own electronics.

Also the “skins” you mentioned a while back, are likely leftovers from a previously failed print. Or the “invisible jello” (partially cured resin) that forms adjacent to the cured resin, especially when printing undercuts. Consider printing one of the following, and sweeping your tank after each print.

It wasn’t partially cured resin, those were the outside perimeters (walls) of the object that weren’t curing properly due to residue on one of the galvo mirrors. You can read the whole story here: The Attack of the Giant Flake

I’ll publish the files (and update here) when i’ve got it completely printed and assembled. It’s still missing the bottom casing - haven’t found the time to print it yet. I need to check whether it fits and whether the slots for the belt are solid enough.

Sweet! Can you post the arduino code?

Ugh, sorry, been away for a while.
I’ll try and find it.