Posts tagged laser cutting
The Making of the Miniature Daft Punk Helmet

The Daft Punk Helmet was my first time using SolidCAM and a Haas Mini-Mill to make a complex 3D contoured object. To make sure the CAM checks out, I started by machining one half of the helmet out of wax.


Time to prep the stock. Two big blocks of 6061 with a giant hole going through it. Should have tweaked the speed on the countersink. I think I was going to fast, and that’s why you see the chatter on at finish. At the end of the day it didn’t matter because that part was machined away in the final product. There are four 4-40 tapped holes in the stock to interface with a fixture plate in the Mini-Mill. I had to pay careful attention to the depths of these holes so that they wouldn’t penetrate through the rest material.


And you can see the fixture plate and the first 20 minutes of machining here.


And the completed half inside the Mini-Mill.


And outside.


Those facets are pretty intense. After about 80 hours of sanding (made possible by Netflix), and good ‘ol Mother’s Polish, the two halves are ready to be sent to Hillock for Anodizing.


I printed a couple different versions of the face mask. The first was on a Dimension Elite to figure out the geometry, and then I ended up printing on an Objet30 for its for its higher resolution and smaller step height when compared to the Dimension print. This allowed me to sand out the steps with relative ease.


Ultimately, the black part of the mask was sanded up to 800 grit, and then painted black and gloss varnished using Montana sprays. For the laser cut windows, I got a cheap sample of translucent acrylic swatches from a plastics retailer. This is a good way to get a lot of colors for cheap. If you only need small details, the swatches can go a long way and I still have my sample set from this project and use it once in a while when I need an odd translucent color.


The LEDs on the inside are wired quick and dirty. Two 3V coincells held together using a paperclip and four 5 mm white LEDs in parallel.


The switch is accessible via the giant hole at the bottom. The mask is held in using a single .25" Neodymium magnet. If I could do this project over again, I would include two magnets rather than one. I would also pay careful attention to keep the light from leaking between the two parts by using a step or something.

Aaand here’s a cheesy video of it rotating!