Arc Reactor Ring




I have seen a lot of Iron Man Arc Reactors out there lately but I wanted to make one that you could wear as a ring on your finger. This ring has a solid construction and contains the removable battery inside.

A lot of instructables use some high end equipment that not everyone has access to. I am guilty of this as well. But, I wanted to create this instructable only using parts that anyone can get and tools that most people have at home.

If you have any question please feel free to contact me. And I would love to hear from anyone that makes one of these. If you like this Arc Reactor, PLEASE VOTE FOR ME. Thank you for taking the time to view this....So let's get on to it then!


Step 1: Parts

I have an image of some of the main parts that I used on this build.

First you need a LED flashlight that contains many "Surface mount LEDs" you need these instead of the bulb style LEDs because you want a low profile. This flashlight contained 6 LEDs and that was just enough for what I needed.

The nylon slug came from a solid rod of nylon from my local plastic supply store. You could also try and find a thick nylon washer for this but I could not find one so I made one.

The "Button Battery Holder" is very important because it is the base of this whole project. I got mine at Radio Shack.

The screen that I use was metal but you can use any screen for the effect.

I used other supplies during this build but I will explain them as I go.

Step 2: Battery Holder

The foundation is started with the battery holder.

First thing I did was to take pliers and pull the "+" clip out of the plastic. Then I used side cuts to cut off the protrusion that the clip was in. This is so the battery holder can be a circle to fit in the pipe fitting. The bottom of the battery holder also has some protrusions and tabs on it. I pulled the "-" clip out and filed all of these tabs off. I stuck the "-" tab back in and bent it over and cut off the extra material. I only left enough to solder to later. Nest I flipped the battery holder over and cut off all of the tabs on one side of the holder so the battery could be slid straight out and not up and over the tabs (trying to keep everything low profile is key). I then used a dremel and made a small groove on the side so the "+" clip could fit into and I bent the tab over the battery holder and glued the clip into place for now. I cut off the extra length of the clip so there was just a little to solder to later.

Step 3: LEDs

I had to find a flashlight that contained Surface Mount LEDs because they are low profile compared to the standard bulb type LEDs. I opened up the flashlight and de-soldered the LEDs. Pay attention to the + and - of the LEDs. It was very easy for me to trace the positive battery wire to the side of the LEDs. Also my LEDs have a feature in the side of them so I know what the orientation is. The LEDs are the only thing I used from the flashlight. I did not use any resistors in this build and everything turned out great. When de-soldering and soldering these LEDs do it as quickly as possible and don't keep the heat on them for very long, you will burn them out.

Step 4: LED Mounting

I found some thin wire to make an outer ring to mount the LEDs to. You want to make the circle so it is the same outside diameter as the batter holder. You can wrap your wire around a screwdriver handle or a marker to get a perfect circle. Once I got the correct diameter I soldered the circle shut to complete the circle. I then soldered the ring to the "+" (outer) tab. I did the same thing for the inner ring but this one had to be much smaller so I could solder it to the "-" (inner) tab. So now there is a positive and a negative ring.

Now it is time to solder on the LEDs. All of the negative sides of the LEDs must be soldered to the same inner ring and the positives get soldered to the outer ring.

Once I soldered each LED on, I put the battery in to check them. You want to make sure you don't burn them up when soldering. I place the nylon slug over the bright lights to see how it looked.

For the center LED it was a little trickier. You need to solder two small wires to it and at least one of them needs the insulation on the wire. I hot glued the LED to the center of the battery holder. Then the negative side of the LED get soldered to the inner ring and the positive side has to jump over the inner ring and get soldered to the outer ring so you need to keep the insulation on the wire or it will short the LED out.

The 6 LEDs are super bright once soldered on. Under the nylon they look great!

Step 5: Nylon Ring

The nylon ring was made from a solid 2" diameter rod of nylon. It need to be at least the same diameter as the battery holder. You could also use a thick nylon washer but I couldn't find any. I cut a slice off of the rod about 1/4" thick for my lens. I then used a 1" hole saw to cut the outside diameter and used a 3/8 bit to bore out the center. I then check the ring to make sure it covers all of the LEDs.

I then used a Dremel and cut out a small piece of nylon that is just big enough to cover the center LED. I also made this piece of nylon thinner for depth of the Arc Reactor. I took a small piece of screen and wrapped it around the small piece of nylon and hot glued it in the back. Then I placed these two pieces of nylon on the LEDs to see how they looked. Then I hot glued the small nylon piece to the center LED without putting glue directly on the face of the LED.

I used some copper wire to make a ring that fits around the center piece and hot glued it to the top of the screen.

For the windings of the "Transformers" I first used some stiff black tape that I had laying around. You could also use electrical tape if you wanted. I then used very small copper wire and cut five pieces that were 2ft. long each. I then wrapped each wire around each of the black pieces of tape. This was very time consuming but looks great when finished. I put superglue on the bottom side when I got done so nothing would come undone.

Step 6: Metal Ring

I used thin sheet metal and cut out a ring that had an outside diameter that was the same as the inside diameter of the nylon ring with the windings on it. I used a hole punch to create the inside diameter of the metal ring. I had to nibble away at the inside diameter to get what I wanted. I didn't want to hide much of the center LED.

I used an Awe to punch small hole all the way around the ring. Then I cut out three small tabs that will hold another ring on. I glued the three tabs to the metal ring and painted it all black.

I also took three small screws and cut the heads off and glued them to the three tabs. I later decided to pull these off because my screws were a little too big.

I glued the metal ring, tabs and copper ring to the inside diameter of the nylon ring. Then I glued the nylon ring assembly to the LED assembly.

For the affect of the wiring to the transformers, I used small pieces of wires and soldered them to the wire windings.

Step 7: The Ring

For the ring I used some 3/4" copper fittings. I used a pipe cutter and cut one pipe about 1/2" thick and the other about 1" 1/4" thick. Once you cut these off you must file the inside and outside to make sure you don't get cut. I used a Dremel to cut out a contour of the bigger piece of copper tube. Then I cut a slit in the side of the bigger tube so that the battery can be inserted and removed. I placed the main assembly up to the pipe to determine where the slit needed to be.

Then I brazed the two pieces of pipes together to form the ring. I kept the bottom of the ring open because you have to get in there and pry the battery out when you want to shut the lights off.

The last set of pictures show the battery being inserted into the side of the ring.

Step 8: Final Results

Here is what the final ring looks like. I used the copper pipe so as to feel like a solid design and not "cheap". I wanted to be able to bang it on something and it not fall apart on me.

Overall I am very happy with the outcome. I got everything as thin as I could without putting the batter in the inside of the palm.

Thank you for taking the time to read my Instructable. Please vote for me if you like this!




    • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

      Colors of the Rainbow Contest
    • Arduino Contest 2019

      Arduino Contest 2019
    • Party Challenge

      Party Challenge

    24 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Is that for sell?


    4 years ago

    This is really cool. I've been thinking of making an illuminated ring for a Green Lantern costume. How easy would it be to slim this down?


    4 years ago on Introduction

    That's awesome...I give you crazy credit for the minuscule work...i went cross-eyed just looking at the pics..great job!

    1 reply

    4 years ago

    Very good instructable! I really appreciate your detailed description and pics of each step. I'm definitely going to try building one. Thanks

    1 reply

    4 years ago

    fan-flipping-tastic! it could only be better if it had an smd on off button (to keep it slim of course)


    4 years ago

    Very cool


    4 years ago

    So cool!