Make: Volume 86 — Cosplay!

Cosplay is the perfect gateway to making. What better way to celebrate fantasy worlds than to role-play as your favorite characters — and build versatile skills along the way! In the latest issue of Make: we show you how to use EVA foam to make realistic fake leather, weld together 3D prints for BIG armor builds, and use Bekonix’s easy drag-and-drop timelines to program cosplay lights, motors, and audio. Then, take it further by conceptualizing your own original character from the ground up. Plus, star cosplayers share their favorite tools, techniques, and communities.

Includes 42 projects you can make:

  • Create a camera obscura to view the upcoming solar eclipse
  • Sew versatile squishy sensors
  • Build your own gadget geocache puzzle
  • Save big $$ with a DIY photo light meter
  • Track periods and the lunar calendar offline with an illuminating display
  • How to 3D print in metal
  • And much more!

ON THE COVER: Jen Schachter, aka Schacattack, wears her 80s glam-inspired Marie Antoinette wig made from EVA foam.

Table of Contents


From the Editor’s Desk

The latest updates from Make: and readers like you.Page 06

Welcome: Schmücken Everything You Make

Decoration adds a fundamental human touch to the things we use every day.Page 08

Made on Earth

Amazing builds from around the globe.Page 12


Papa’s Gonna Build You a PancakeBot

The rise and fall and rise of printable pancakes.Page 16

Dissecting the DIY Diode

Building a functional vacuum tube in the home lab isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible!Page 22


Designing a Costume for an Original Character

An expert playbook for bringing your very own fantasy characters to life.Page 28

Foamsmithing Faux Leather

How to simulate leather using versatile EVA foam.Page 36

Passive Motion Masks

Add movements to your mask — without motors.Page 38

Candlelit Cathedral Dress

Sew a show-stopping “stained glass” skirt with colorful sheer panels and flickering LEDs.Page 40

Welding Large 3D Prints

Make massive props and costume pieces by melting printed parts together.Page 46

Blooming Dress

This open-source wearable tech dress has actuating fabric roses that “bloom” in response to capacitive touch.Page 48

No-Code LEDs and Animation

Use Bekonix’s easy drag-and-drop timelines to program cosplay lights, motors, and audio.Page 52

Cosplay Pro Tips

Star cosplayers share their favorite tools, techniques, and communities. Page 55


Making NASA’s New Moon Suits

How Axiom combines sewing and 3D printing to create the new Artemis spacesuits.Page 60

Cardboard Box Eclipse Viewer

Make a simple, portable camera obscura from household stuff to safely watch solar eclipses.Page 64

For All Humankind

Space is the place — for cool projects! Rockets, orreries, your own Earth cam, and everything you need for back-to-back American solar eclipses.Page 66


Gadget Cache Road Trip!

Solving the clever contraptions of Trycacheus, in the “Disneyland of geocaching.”Page 68

Gadget City

Meet BounceBounce — undisputed champ of urban gadget caching. Page 72

Make a Magic Blocks Gadget Cache

Line up these electronic blocks in the correct order for a fun and simple puzzle. Page 74

Pepper’s Ghost Chemical Flask

Create a spooky “hologram” in a jar, using any TV or mobile display.Page 80

Luminary Geometry

Track periods and the lunar calendar with an illuminating display.Page 88

Squishy Tech: Squish & Spin

Weird Resistors Part 2: Sew a squeezable resistive sensor, then dial up a soft potentiometer.Page 92

Open-Source Incident Light Meter

Build this must-have photography tool, and save hundreds of dollars.Page 98

Amateur Scientist: Little Chip, Big Gain

A mini course in op amps — the magical key to the analog world.Page 100

Complex Barrel Cams

How to design and 3D print hybrid cams for X-Y drawing and writing machines.Page 104

Toy Inventor’s Notebook: String Walkers

A classic tiny toy that’s big fun — and a medium challenge to make.Page 108


Lower-Cost Metal 3D Printing

Can you 3D print with metal filament in your garage?Page 112

SJ’s Declassified Metal Printing Starter Guide

Ready to try industrial metal 3D printing? Here’s how the rocket scientists do it.Page 118



Gear up with the latest tools and kits for makers.Page 122


Tiny Scares

Sometimes you just need a little something spooky.Page 128