Wearable Arc Reactor

by MishaT, published

Wearable Arc Reactor by MishaT Oct 21, 2012


Just in time for Halloween! A printable, wearable arc reactor based on the Mark I movie version.

There are already some great arc reactors on here, but I wanted to take my own crack at it.

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PM me your email, but I doubt you'll find it useful. It is sized for whatever junk switch I had laying around.

I actually tried looking, but I didn't see anything I liked. Would you mind sharing it? I would like to print it out along with the arc reactor you designed.

I just threw something together quickly, it wasn't very good. I'm sure if you search Thingiverse you will find lots of 9v battery holders.

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Wearable Arc Reactor by MishaT is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.

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5 M3x10 screws and nuts
14 White 5mm LEDs
10 Blue 5mm LEDs (optional)
Resistors (Depends on your configuration)

Print the crystal in clear PLA and the other parts in a dark color, metal or black are best. For best result print the crystal with a low rectilinear infill and no more than two shells.

Assemble everything except the base. I put some aluminum tape on the underside of everything that I did not want to be translucent, but this is optional.

Put white LEDs in holes that are not covered from above by the top piece (10 around the outside and four in the middle), optionally put blue LEDs in the other holes to give a nice bluish glow to the outer ring. I sanded the LEDs before wiring them in to give them a more diffused glow.

Wiring of the LEDs will depend on your particular LEDs and the power source you use. I am running off a 9v battery and have eight parallel rungs of 3 LEDs in series with a 68 Ohm resistor. My LEDs are a little under-powered and could be brighter with smaller resistors or if they were wired two in series instead of three, but they are bright enough. You can use this calculator to design your own circuit: led.linear1.org/led.wiz

Cut a hole in a t-shirt just big enough to fit the crystal, pin the edge of the cloth in the groove between the top and base pieces and secure with screws. Attach some sort of belt using the slots in the base to go around your chest so the arc reactor does not move around.

You will need to run a wire under your clothes down to your pocket to your power supply as there is no room to build a battery into the reactor itself.


P.S. I strongly recommend not trying to get on a plane with this on.


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nugez on Oct 20, 2013 said:

what did you use to enclose the battery and switch?

MishaT on Oct 20, 2013 said:

I just threw something together quickly, it wasn't very good. I'm sure if you search Thingiverse you will find lots of 9v battery holders.

Scottylad7 on Sep 1, 2013 said:

Has anyone got a bit better picture of how they've wired

MishaT on Sep 1, 2013 said:

You can use this easy calculator to design the circuit for you based on your battery, and the LEDs that you have: http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz

plfiorino on Jun 11, 2013 said:

Would I be able to get a copy of the crystal with slots? They would be handy!

MishaT on Jun 11, 2013 said:

Sorry, I've erased them from the original model long ago.

plfiorino on Jun 9, 2013 said:

I have all the pieces perfect except the crystal (which seems to be 100%) is missing the slots for the resistors? Everything else is perfect any ideas?

MishaT on Jun 9, 2013 said:

I removed the resistor slots so people can wire it up as they want

plfiorino on May 13, 2013 said:

Hi there, just wondering what printer you have? I'm using a replicator 2 and am wondering what settings and layouts i need to make this successful. will the top layer print face up with the slotted tops? Thanks!

MishaT on May 13, 2013 said:

I have a RepRap and have not had the opportunity to use a Replicator 2. Perhaps someone else on here can share their settings.

jcaro78 on May 9, 2013 said:

Hi MishaT,
Are you willing to sell me one? I don't have a 3d printer and I can't solder for the life of me. I would like to buy one so I can wear it on my sons birthday. He is having an Iron Man themed birthday party. Thanks, and let me know.

MishaT on May 9, 2013 said:

Hi! Unfortunately I'm in the middle of moving and my printer is not up and running. I'm sure if you find a hackerspace in your city someone would be happy to print one for you.

iteration2 on Feb 15, 2013 said:

Just finished building mine, and it came out great. Thanks for adding it here.

A few suggestions, based on the issues I ran into. The crystal did not want to fit into the top. I'm assuming I was just outputting a little more plastic than you were when you designed it, but I had to spend a couple hours grinding away material with a dremel and files before the top could be squeezed on. It might be a good idea to update the model with a little more tolerance for printing inconsistencies, since a super-snug fit isn't really required anyway.

If I make another one, I might try increasing the space for the circuitry slightly by hollowing out the base a little bit more, or maybe also putting strategic holes for screws between the LEDs to act as terminals for electrical connections to reduce the amount of soldering required. And perhaps a second shelf that sits between the crystal and the base, which can isolate the negative (or positive) side of the circuit to reduce the necessity for insulated wires. After connecting all the positive sides of the LEDs to the main battery pack wire, you could stick a plastic plate on top, which would have holes for all the negative LED leads, and connect them all to each other without having to worry about shorting.

Certainly not necessary for an electrical pro with a decent soldering iron, but for someone (like me) doing this sort of project for the first time, changes like that would save a lot of time and frustration.

Anyway, thanks for saving me a lot of modeling time by uploading this. I'm very happy with the end result.

MishaT on Feb 15, 2013 said:

Thanks! Your copy looks really cool! Originally I had the whole circuit layed out in the plastic with connection channels and everything, but then decided to take it out so not to dictate how people should wire up their LEDs. This way people can set up their LEDs any way they want and account for variations in LEDs and power sources.

kwmachine on Nov 22, 2012 said:

My son and I built one of these for his Halloween costume dance.  Printed great on our R2 with only minor cleanup required to fit everything together.  The LEDs pressed into the recepticles nicely.  Be prepared for sticker shock on the blue LEDs.  Might be a good idea to just print the clear part as transparent blue and stay with white LEDs.

MishaT on Nov 22, 2012 said:

That's great to hear! Check eBay for really cheap LEDs.

InfiniTTTy on Oct 28, 2012 said:

Instead of wiring up LEDs, I managed to find a small set of indoor battery powered 'light strings' from Noma. They're essentially a string of  24 tiny surface mount LEDs already wired together. I set them in place and hot glued them. 

They work great for the $8 I paid for them as Canadian Tire!

newyork3r on Oct 22, 2012 said:

Thank you! now i don't have to design my own :)