Daft Pumpkin Jack-O-Lantern – All You Do Is Put It Together

Daft Pumpkin Jack-O-Lantern – All You Do Is Put It Together

This year I thought I’d do something fun with my Jack-O-Lantern using ‘found’ items around the house.

I’ve been working on a Daft Punk Thomas helmet, and wanted to repurpose a discarded fibreglass visor chassis that was lying around.

All of my scratch built electronics and code have been complete for a while so the most work would involve fitting everything into the visor. Since I started building the electronics first, I was never sure if it would all fit into the helmet. This project was only going to live for a couple hours, so there was a lot less pressure give it to same quality of finish I’m accustomed to delivering.

There were two rules for this project:

1) There is no budget for this build, so materials were limited to found items only.

2) I would only have one evening to work in this project.

Credit goes out to Harrison Krix of Volpin Props, Tekparasite, Bruno Osti (for the Pepakura file),  theRPF and Daft Club communities for providing a lot of the ground work for us Daft builders.

Build Log:

This is a fibreglassed visor chassis I discarded, after realizing I had made some mistakes with some of the folds on the Pepakura model. If you build your Pepakura right from the beginning you should never end up with a wasted piece like this.

I broke my first first rule my purchasing a rattle can of ‘Pumpkin Orange’ spray paint. This was the only item besides the pumpkins that were purchased for this project. I originally wanted to wanted to give the fibreglass chassis a thin veneer of actual Pumpkin skin or pulp to make it look more organic (like it was carved from the pumpkin), but in the end I just didn’t have enough time. The spray paint was going to my my safety net, and the whole visor and face turned out a lot cleaner that I expected it to be.

The plastic visor was made from a transparent file folder from Staples and secured from behind with painters tape. My actual helmet visor will be made from PETG and will be tinted slightly. Most builders tint their visors, but the original Discovery era helmet visor were completely clear.

Most of my 3D printed prototypes begin life as cardboard. Cardboard allows me to quickly make modifications, rather than wait for a print job to be finished and find out my measurements are off. These are custom standoffs that I designed to support the sub-visor. Once I was happy with the fit I modelled the piece in SketchUp and printed it on my Prusa i3.



Apoxie Sculpt is magical stuff. I’ve used it to fix issues with my helmet sculpt and for rapid prototyping. It cures in about 3 hrs, is waterproof and can be sanded and painted. Every maker should have this in their tool box.

Apoxie sculpt clay was used to secure the standoffs to the chassis, and double sided tape to temporarily attach the subvisor to the standoffs. In my actual helmet I’ll be attaching the subvisor to the standoffs with screws so it can be removed easily. The great thing about using this throw away visor was that I finally able to confirm that all my electronics (LED matrix + temple EQs) would fit inside the visor space. A lot of builders have a tough time getting everything to fit and have to make compromises.

The Discovery helmets used some type of black nylon wire wrap as black trim around the edge of the visor. I had a roll of this anti slip material you put in this bottom of drawers which I cut into 1/4″ wide strips. You can get this product from Home Depot. In my actual helmet I will be using 1/4″ Techflex PET sleeving as black trim.

All of my PCBs and microcontrollers fit into a disposable takeout container. I put this container into a ziploc bag to protect the electronics from the moisture inside the pumpkin as well as the rain that would enter from outside.

Through trial and error I carved out a shape that would accommodate my visor. I had planned on securing the visor to the pumpkin with wire, but in the end the visor fit fine with friction alone. I used miniature pumpkins as ear pucks which were secured with nails. I have functional Discovery ear pucks with lighting ready to go, but I thought the miniature pumpkins were funnier.

Here’s my pumpkin next to Kerrie’s and Owen’s jack-o-lanterns.

Halloween fell on a cold and wet night in Toronto, Canada. Daft Pumpkin withstood the rain and a couple of curious toddlers that couldn’t resist poking the LED matrix.  


Daft Pumpkin. Part machine. Part Squash. All funk. #arduino #daftpunk #discovery #halloween #therpf #adafruit   A video posted by Sunil John (@insultcomicdog) on