The Suit’s Unibeam

Iron Man Cosplay Unibeam

This page is about building a very bright light for the Unibeam, check out the main project index for the rest.

The light in Iron Man’s chest not in fact his Arc Reactor, it is another very powerful repulsor. You can read more on the IronMan Wiki. I will be building a very bright light for the Unibeam which will be documented on this page.

There some YouTube videos about this.

I’ve purchased six 10Watt LEDs from eBay, these are 500 times more powerful than the standard 20mW LED pictured next to them. I’m using a Velleman K8004 PWM driver kit so I can dim them up and down, and currently 10x 1.2v Ni-Mh batteries to power them. I’ve mounted them on an old Intel PC CPU heatsink, mostly for effect, although they do get warm if you run them for prolonged periods. The third picture is running all six at about 50% – bear in mind the camera auto-compensates for brightness, in real life they are too bright to look at:

Here’s the 3D printed Unibeam diffuser. The surround is ‘silver’ ABS, the panel is ‘clear’ PLA.

You can get the STL files for 3D printing from my download page.

I’ve made a mounting plate to hold the LED cluster and some resistors which will be explained in the second YouTube video. This was printed in ‘silver’ ABS, although I sprayed it silver because it wasn’t really very silver:

The bezel and diffuser will be mounted to the chest plate of the suit, while the bracket with the LED cluster will be mounted on the layer under – the two will separate so that the chest plate of the suit can be removed and you can see the insides of the suit, just (almost) like in the movie.

I’ve been testing driving the PWM controller’s DC input with the DAC from a Picaxe-08M microcontroller, so that the Unibeam can be made to fade up/down/pulse etc. I had to use an op-amp along with the Picaxe, as per the Basic commands manual page 52. The test code that drives the Unibeam at the start of the second video is here: Unibeam.bas