Lasering up a Dark Helmet


#1

I’d been watching some interesting videos recently from Tested about how to make costume props with EVA foam (interestingly, this is one of the few cases where you’ll see vinyl in what I believe to be a safe form for lasering, you are encouraged to research and draw your own conclusions here ;)). It looked pretty cool so I went to Evil Ted’s site and bought the pattern for the basic helmet to try it out. There are a few free ones out there as well if you look around. It was a PDF file so I opened it in Illustrator and modified it for laser. This was basically just some scaling calculations and removing the tick marks. I basically made two versions of the pattern in different colors so I could turn them on and off when I wanted to print one or the other. One was the version without tick marks and one was with. The tick marks are for making registration marks on the material so you know where to line things up.

Next up was to load some 1/2" EVA foam in the form of a trimmed down Harbor Freight anti-fatigue floor mat tile. After some experimentation I found that doing a couple of passes at high speed and low power worked well. Going slow tended to end up with wide kerf lines as it was heated and receded from the cut. I cut the pieces out of the foam.


Then I used some card stock to cut out the templates for the registration marks.

I used the card stock templates to mark the registration points on the material.

Here are the 3 pieces and templates.

Next it was time to give the material a bit of a curve by warming it up with a heat gun and bending it with my hands.

Now I had a slight curve to my pieces.

For the next stage I moved outside with the contact cement. It’s pretty stinky and I’m sure it isn’t good for me in a closed room :wink: It’s basically strong rubber cement, you paint it on both sides you want to stick together and let it dry, then press it together.


almost done…

finally a fully formed Helmet!

I couldn’t just leave it at that though. I had to try and customize it a bit. I decided it would lend itself well to a Spartan helm so I cut a face plate out of thinner EVA craft foam. Again, fast and light cut did well, only needed a single pass.

Add a bit more contact cement and place it onto the helmet.

Overall a fun experiment and has me thinking of ideas for Halloween :slight_smile:
This material and process should work well for all sorts of costume bits and props as well.


Weekly Highlights for the Week Ending May 6th, 2017
#2

Watching this was like “that’s kind of an ugly and crude sketch and OH WOW COOL.”


#3

I was expecting a bigger helmet, something big enough to absorb an impact from an emergency stop from ludicrous speed.


#4

I was expecting this :smiley: :


#5

Me too…


#6

Very, very cool! Thanks for the tip about 2 passes, I think that will come in handy. Now ideas are swirling in my head…


#7

Nice! Thanks for sharing the steps of the process and the tips you learned.


#8

Nice job!


#9

me three!


#10

Very cool ! But when I saw the title I thought “Use the schwartz Lonestar!”


#11

Very nice! If you are not already familiar, I highly recommend checking out Punished Props (https://www.youtube.com/user/punishedprops). They have great tutorials on EVA. I bought their book when I was building my halloween costumes last year and it was very helpful for a newbie like me.


#12

This gets me so excited!

Was there any kind of fumes/smell from laser cutting the foam?


#13

Thanks for sharing! That came out great!


#14

This is awesome!

Was the thinner EVA craft foam just the sheets from big box craft stores? If not, where did you get it?


#15

Thank you for the clear demonstration of the steps and the design. There are six levels of engagement in a post for me:

  1. Meh!
  2. Good for you.
  3. I’ll bookmark that for later consideration.
  4. Download and save that design to play with.
  5. Hmm, looks like I’ll be making a trip to the materials shop.
  6. Drop everything until I make my own!

This is a 5.5 because I have a backlog of projects I’m printing since I was disconnected for a while.


#16

One of my big questions was if EVA foam is laser safe.

This is super exciting to me.


#17

This:

https://www.ulsinc.com/materials/eva-foam


#18

Yes, they have awesome stuff! Love the tutorials they have on youtube and they also have at least one free helmet pattern out I believe, from Skyrim I think.


#19

yes, the thin EVA foam I used for the face plate was from big box craft store.


#20

I’m glad I’m not the only one who watches Evil Ted, Punished Props, Tested/Frank Ippolito and I Like To Make Stuff.

I love learning new things and ways of doing things… and these guys are awesome at making things.