3D Printing a Proton Pack! Plus Lights and Sounds

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What started as just the Neutrino Wand has turned into building a full pack for my son this Halloween. The goals were pretty simple. Replicate the movie pack as best as I could, keep it low weight, and give him some stuff to play with. Here is what I came up with…

The result is about 80% scale, around 8 pounds on the back, and completely mirrored as my son is left handed. The pack is 3D printed using a PVC backpack frame and some other odds and ends to finish it off. The lights and sounds are based off an Arduino Nano that is controlling a bunch of Neopixel LED’s and an Adafruit Audio FX Board. The entire code, models, and PC boards used can be found on github here:


Here are some pictures from the build process. First off the circuit design. The power source is actually an 11.1v lipo. The circuit design and arduino code took the most time to develop


The 3D plans for printing are based off a number of existing designs on thingiverse. The base model for the pack is from Mike O’Riley’s model with many modifications, updates, and details added. The Neutrino Wand is still based off DancinFool82’s but heavily modified to be scaled down. It’s a very nice upgrade for the Spirit of Halloween Proton Pack you can buy too and I’ve shared my modifications here

The wand was mirrored and printed. It uses PVC pipe for the handles. The clear nose section on the wand is a glitter tube you can get at Walmart or Michaels. It was sanded a lot to reduce the 3d print lines. I then used some Bondo spot putty to fill in the larger gaps, sanded, and then sprayed with Rust-Oleum Automotive Filler Primer. It was then sanded again with 400 grit sandpaper


The final model for the full pack starts to take shape…


As does the circuit design and code

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Printing out the parts on my Monoprice Maker Select v2.1 printer took a good while.

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I think about a week of printing. In the meantime I continued to work on the code as well as sourcing some of the tubing and other bits.

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The code is starting to come alive at this point.

Next we start to trace out and cut what they call the Motherboard. This is what the backpack and straps are connected to.

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I also started work on the backpack frame. This was an early prototype. I am using real alice frame straps


Filling, sanding, filling some more… Preparing for the coat of filler primer

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Now fully primed and sanded we can start to see how it’s coming together. Looking pretty good!

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The wand got the first coat of matte black.

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More sanding and filling. It’s about to get its first coat of black.

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The first coat is done and I start in on the fittings and testing decal sizes.

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The wand is the first to get all of the decals.

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And the switches/buttons/light covers installed

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It came out better than I could have ever imagined…

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The pack now has it’s final coat of black and the parts are starting to be glued in place.

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The final decals, hoses, and ribbon cable are installed


Testing all of the electronics before mounting in the pack

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Next came building the boards for mounting in the pack. I had the powercell, cyclotron, vent light board in the middle. The arduino/sound board in on the right, and the power converter/amp board on the left

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And we get to show it all off. What a fun project and my son is beyond happy with his Proton Pack.

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3 thoughts on “3D Printing a Proton Pack! Plus Lights and Sounds

    Shawn Marshall said:
    June 26, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Very nice build! Thanks for sharing all of the details about your electronics and the Arduino code. The Proton Pack I built in 1984 has a mishmash of mostly analog electronics, incandescent bulbs, and LEDs I added in the late 80s along with new, Arduino-controlled power cell LEDs I swapped in a few years ago. These are powered by an assortment of C-cells, D-cells, AAs and a 9-volt. It’s a mess. I’d love to replace it all with LEDs driven by micro controllers and powered by a single, rechargeable battery; you’ve provided a good blueprint. My coding knowledge isn’t that great, so I might have a friend who does code help me if I want to make modifications.

      vineripesoftware responded:
      June 26, 2019 at 5:31 pm

      Thanks! this was a really fun build. Over that last year there are probably 10-15 people that have put it together now and it’s working well. I’ve even helped some people add smoke machines for the venting effect as well as modifications for Real Ghostbuster packs. There are a few forks on github I believe with some of these extras. I think it’s a great base to build off of and do whatever you want but I’m a bit partial 🙂

    Shawn Marshall said:
    June 26, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    Thanks for the reply. I’d look to build the version with the bar graph, perhaps reworking the approach to the power cell lights so I can reuse the LED bar I built with discreet white LEDs a few years ago. I’m trying to strike a balance between keeping the basic shell components unchanged (as I’m proud of what my friend and I accomplished back in 1984) but updating certain elements to add more bling and accuracy. If I start monkeying around with the gun/wand I might cast a new “box” from fiberglass to make that a bit more accurate. My main priority these days is to finish the super-accurate PKE meter I’ve been working on for many, many years.


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