Manual Odradek Build

With Adafruit Electroluminescence (EL)

Project Intro

2020 has been one hell of a year. Worldwide pandemic. People unable to leave their homes. Global transformation of our technologies and infrastructure, and Amazon delivery has never been busier!... Rings a bell if you're a fan of Hideo Kojima and Kojima Productions 2019 'Death Stranding' for PlayStation 4. So, with the potential end of life as we know it looming in the near future, I had the idea of creating a basic, manually operated Odradek, which for those who dont know - the Odradek Terrain Scanner is a shoulder-mounted, articulated mechanical sensor that primarily serves as a multi-function scanner, able to analyze terrain as well as detect cargo tags and objects left by other players in the game. There are two types in this project - Sam's original 'Porter' scanner and Mama's BT scanner. I used Adafruit's Electroluminescent (EL) products as part of the build to add a cool lighting effect - check out this simple but effective project and keep on keeping up.

Electroluminescent Odradek


Designing In Fusion 360

I modelled all the parts in Fusion 360 using a GoPro 3-Way Tripod Mount as a start point to minimize the amount of 3D printing needed for something like this to function and the tripod mount is a much stronger material than can be produced by FDM printing. I also wanted both designs to be collapsible and to sit comfortably on the wearers shoulder when not in use, so I designed a small adapter that would allow for the Tripod Mount to attach to a padded GoPro Backpack Strap Mount - enabling each prop to fit onto any backpack. There are a few external wires that can easily be zip-tied up or placed inside some cable housing to lead the electronics and battery into the backpack.

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3D printed parts

All the parts were 3D printed in Polymaker PolMax PLA (supplied by 3d Filaprint) on my Creality Ender-3. Although the PolMax PLA is great for prints that need to withstand mechanical stress, i'd recommend printing in ABS or PET-G. The prop has a few moving parts and there are some 10mm N52 Magnets (8 in-all) glued into the hinges of the four articulated arms to help keep them supported when open. A few M2 screws are needed here and there to construct the odradeks as the parts were printed with orientation in mind.

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Both Odradeks light-up using Adafruit Electroluminescent (EL) Panels and EL Tape Strip. Each of these products connect to a 12V pocket inverter and are powered by an 8xAA battery pack. The inverter is sound activated, it has a little microphone and lights the connected EL according to the surrounding audio volume. The main extendable body is essentially a knock-off GoPro 3-Way Tripod Mount attached to a GoPro Backpack Strap Mount using 3D printed parts I designed. Here is an overview of the parts used to assemble the odradeks:

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Final outcome

See below for a build video demonstrating how I put this prop together. It's a relatively straight forward project to demonstrate a bit of concept design & 3d printing around some cheap off-the-shelf products to create a couple of effective little props.

The EL panels create a really nice defused glowing effect but I'm sure the EL could be replaced by some Neopixel LEDs and a trinket board to get some neat animations going or even just basic reflective tape for a simple cosplay prop! Be sure to subscribe to my Youtube Channel for future projects.

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  • Created by: K Meadows
  • Completed on: 18th December 2020
  • Software: Fusion 360
  • Purpose: Electronics Project

Project completion:

Thank you for taking the time to look through my work, I am always happy to help and if you have any questions give me a shout.

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