At RapidMade, we love challenging ourselves to make cool stuff. Which is why we were blown away when we recently came across a truly inspiring series of videos from YouTuber Estefannie Explains It All about making her own 3D printed and vacuum thermoformed Daft Punk helmet, complete with programmable LED displays.

Not only did Estefannie have just 30 days to complete the project, she also had to teach herself how to 3D print and vacuum thermoform in that time. To make things even more challenging, she did it all in a home workshop she set up in her apartment. She even made her own thermoforming rig, for which she heated up the thermoplastic sheets in her oven!

Thermoforming gave Estefannie quite a bit of difficulty, at one point leading to melted plastic getting stuck to her oven rack. As an aside, it is important to note that many thermoplastics give off toxic fumes when heated and should not be thermoformed without proper ventilation.

We posted the thermoforming section below, but be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 3 to see the whole thing!

Estefannie does a great job leaning into the unique strengths of both technologies, even as she compensates for limitations of her DIY setup. Notably, she uses her 3D printer to create a thermoforming mold. As we’ve mentioned before, 3D printed rapid tooling is a great way to quickly create vacuum thermoformed or urethane cast parts at less cost.

The end result is simply awesome: all of Estefannie’s hard work and skilled finishing pays off with an extremely polished looking replica of Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo’s iconic Daft Punk helmet. The custom LED sequences are particularly cool. Congratulations to Estefannie Explains It All for tackling such an impressive challenge and making something great!

If you’d like to have your own custom thermoformed and 3D printed products but don’t want to accidentally melt thermoplastic all over your oven, we can help! Check out our engineering and manufacturing services to learn more.

Posted
AuthorMicah Chaban