LED Head - 3D printed wearable sphere mask/helmet

This is my first pixelblaze project. I started this using an Arduino which you can see in some of the photos but I’m very happy to have moved over, so much easier for the results I wanted.

This has been a project in the back of my mind for a while now and I started working on it slowly about six months ago. Inspired by things I’ve seen in video games and the artist Rezz’s goggles.

It was the craziest 3D printing I’ve ever done, 8 separate sections that each maxed out my printers build volume. I usually do whatever it takes to get rid of all support structure but this was the only was I could max out the size of each piece. At least the support structure looks kind of cool too though.

I used these addressable fairy lights which made wiring so easy.

Was planning on individual LEDs to hide all the wiring, but after some trial it was just too much. I’m able to bend the wires down to hide them a bit more, and I don’t really mind the visible parts as it complements the gold PLA I used for printing.

I’m able to see alright while wearing it, enough to navigate my house. The LEDs face outwards so I don’t get my eyes blasted. The front and back hemispheres are hinged to get it over my head and latches magnetically, then it just rests on top of my head with a thick beanie. I had a complicated armature that came down and rested on my shoulders, but it was so cumbersome and I prefer that when I turn my head the sphere follows. Its light enough that it’s not too bad to wear.

Still need to do wire management, I’m going to line the collar with fur for comfort and to give a diffused glow. I need to replace the 3D printed hinge as it’s a little flimsy. And now I definitely want to try the sensor board!

Can anybody tell me-
Is there a way to “skip” LEDs in a line? Instead of cutting and soldering, I just added another LED in the line to bridge bigter gaps. You can see it on the back of my head and the sides on the inside. I’d rather just leave them in line but code them out.

Any patterns I should try? I’m just using ones from the community and haven’t tried to make my own, also I don’t know much about coding. I actually think the debug 3d XYZ sweep looks kind of cool on this.


This is so cool, and an inspiration while I work on a different helmet wearable myself this afternoon. Such a beautiful build. What’s the understructure / how’d you make it so it’s somewhat comfortable to wear, and is the battery hidden in the sphere itself, or connected to the wire going down your back?

Hey that’s so nice of you to say, I appreciate it.

I mentioned it in the post, but for now I’m actually wearing it- at first I had this wire structure that came down wrapped over my shoulders. I saw Adam Savage of myth busters saying that you shouldn’t support anything with your head. But it was flimsy and super awkward to wear, so I got rid of it. What you see in the video is me just wearing a thick beanie and it resting on the top of my head. I wore it for about 30 minutes, it’s not heavy and seemed alright, but I’m going to try and fill it out with foam for something more permanent and add fur to the collar to support the bottom more. I also prefer how it looks when it moves with my head rather than locked to my shoulders.

I just have a USB running down to a battery pack in my pocket, definitely won’t have the battery in the sphere itself.

The whole thing isn’t complete, and I’m trying to find solutions as I build. I’ve had to change plans a couple of times and I figure I’ll have to change as I go some more. For instance, the hinge is also too flimsy so I’m going to replace that too.

That makes a lot of sense – the current project I’m working I’ve taken the interior supports out of a hardhat (the nylon webbing + the adjustable headband) and that’s working really well. You can buy them separate for relatively cheap – e.g. https://www.amazon.com/Replacement-Suspension-Adjustable-Attachment-Accessory/dp/B0C6KZKLVN (or a million other listings; not endorsing that one in particular just using it as an example).

I generally agree with “don’t put weight on your head” but when I do so, I try to use things that are DESIGNED as a helmet or hat as the base.

1 Like

Awesome build! I can see Rezz’s goggles as your inspiration, and perhaps deadmau5?

1 Like

I hadn’t seen deadmaus LED head, but I definitely see the resemblance. You’re not the first one to mention it. What kicked it off for me is the helmet design from the game prey 2017. I love that triangular pattern

That and the head of the flesher from the game soma. Wanted something alien and weird but geometric

This is so cool! I love that its just a ridiculous amount of LEDs on your head, and that you can still see out!

I would try any 3d pattern, you can search for these on the new preview of the pattern site:

Even more could be adapted from 2D using polar coordinates, with a quick adapter implementation of render3D. e.g.:

var centerCoordinates = true //NOTE: turn this off if the pattern uses the coordinate transformation API to center the coordinates
var theta, phi, radius
function toPolar(x,y,z) {
  if (centerCoordinates) {
    x -= 0.5
    y -= 0.5
    z -= 0.5
  radius = hypot3(x, y, z)
  if (radius === 0) {
    // Arbitrarily set theta and phi when the point is at the origin
    theta = .5;
    phi = .5;
  } else {
    // Calculate the polar angle (latitude)
    theta = acos(z / radius) / PI;
    // Calculate the azimuth angle (longitude)
    phi = (atan2(y, x) + PI) / PI2

export function render3D(index, x, y, z) {
  render2D(index, phi, theta)

This is inspired, great work!

1 Like

Some people wrap their head around their challenges, you wrapped your challenge around your head!