Making the Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV
To make a pip-boy, you’ll first need to decide what version you want, and what size you will need. The version is either phone or accurate. Do you want to have a pip-boy that can hold your smartphone, pick the phone version. Do you want to do something a bit more challenging and make a wrist wearable computer with working buttons, pick the accurate version. With the accurate version you’ll probably need to make modifications to the design, but it does offer more accuracy and more possibilities.
The size is either determined by your wrist size or your phone size. The table below shows the sizes in millimeters. A is the rough diameter of the middle of your wrist. If your wrist is smaller than A at the middle, the Pip-Boy should fit. F and G are the height and width of your phone (sideways). If your phone is smaller than these values, your phone will fit. Don’t worry too much about thickness, that should not be an issue.
Accurate version (Postponed until further notice)
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For the phone version you will need a few items (some of the screws do not have quantities, but there are less then 10 of each):
- ABS filament (500g);
- clear plastic (PLA) filament (10g);
- M3 nut (12x);
- M3 screw 6mm (4x);
- M3 screw 8mm (5x);
- M3 screw 12mm (1x);
- M3 screw 16mm (12x);
- M3 grub screw 5mm (6x);
- M3 grub screw 10mm (2x);
- M3 grub screw 16mm (1x);
- M4 nut (3x)
- M4 screw 12mm (1x)
- M4 hexagonal bolt 30mm (1x)
- M4 threaded rod (45mm);
- 1mm steel wire (to make the spring, 10cm)
- tiny decorative screws (6x)
- 4mm black pneumatic hose (10cm);
- Rubber band or wire;
- Paint (brownish green, black, silver, white, yellow);
- Orange led (2x);
- 2025 battery (+ holder);
- 3D printer;
- Paper color printer;
- Soldering Iron;
3D printing really depends on the printer being used, but my version was printed on an UP! Plus 1, in ABS, at 0.25mm layer thickness, normal speed and 30% infill . I tried to make the design as easy to print as possible. Parts are optimized for supportless printing and where support is still necessary, the support is at 90 degrees. Usually I do not use ABS to print anything, but the Pip-Boy is an exception. The parts are relatively small, and ABS gives a smoother and easier to work with surface. Minimum printer size required is 140mmx140mmx100mm for the 100% version. Some parts will no longer be printable on an UP! plus if they are scaled up. The 2 small light covers are printed in a clear plastic, in my case clear PLA. The quantity of parts you will need is mentioned in the name of each 3D printable part. The parts that require more than one have a suffix (nx), that tells how often it needs to be printed.
Some of the parts need to be glued together. Be aware that some screws and nuts need to be placed within the glued part. Look at the photos to see where these pieces need to be. To glue the pieces together, you can use a variety of glues, but as long as the glue is capable of gluing plastic, it should be fine.
Painting on raw 3D printed parts will show all flaws in the print. Some people like this, other do not. I generally get rid of about 80% of the lines, because the remaining 20% is incredibly hard to remove. Because I printed this in ABS, I can use Acetone to smooth the parts. First I gave all parts a quick sanding to get the worst lines out, then I used acetone (in a well ventilated room) to get rid of the printing lines and any imperfections.
First a light layer primer was applied to all parts. The base coat for this design is a brownish green. All parts that had at least some of the base color on them were painted with a spray can. The smaller parts are either a dark metallic color or black. These colors were applied with a paintbrush. The tapes are faded yellow and white. Officially I would need to paint them cream and orange, but because I did not have those colors, I went with white and yellow. The tube on the back of the Pip-Boy already had the right color from printing, so no paint was applied to that.
For the decals I wanted to try waterslide decals. I knew they were for light colored surfaces, but I reckoned they could also cover darker colors. I was wrong. The yellow text was completely overshadowed by the dark green. The silver was still sufficiently covered by the waterslide decal, so the latch does have the yellow grid on it. There is for now no text next to some of the buttons. The gauges were simply printed on a piece of paper, cut out and put behind the recesses of the geiger counter gauge and the tune gauge. I had intend to also light these gauges, but I simply could not find the room to fit the lights.
There are no complicated electronics in this design. There are simply 2 orange leds, one under each light cover. A concealed switch was mounted in a small hole I drilled on the left side (the thick part of the tube) this switch is connected to a small CR2025 battery and to the both leds. The led on the removable side of the Pip-Boy has a connector so it can be disconnected.
I am not going to write an app, but I do still want some of the Pip-Boy’s images to show on the screen of the Pip-Boy. For this I used screencaps from the E3 unveiling, modified to be on the left side of a smartphone screen. I even added my internet name in the Status tab (only for me, you all have to be called Howard). The screencaps are added to the phone version of all downloads. They are 1920×1080 and can be shown as photo’s on any smartphone.
For assembly, simply follow the pictures. There is not much more to be said.
The project described on this page is licensed under the Creative commons - Attribution - ShareAlike license.