1993’s Jurassic Park was both technologically-groundbreaking and a masterpiece of storytelling on film. While the dinosaurs were, of course, the most attention-grabbing part of the movie, it was also full of other interesting plot devices. The iconic Jeeps, the Unix file system, and the legendary night vision goggles all made us drool in envy. The night vision goggles in particular were as coveted as Home Alone 2: Lost in New York’s Talkboy and Back to the Future Part II’s Hoverboard. The Talkboy actually was released after the movie, but the Hoverboard never was. Now, maker Estefannie has built some Jurassic Park night vision goggles.
Estefannie built these for the Coolest Projects technology fair in Ireland, but they would be a hit at just about any event—whether it’s focused on technology or not. Most of the work for this project went into 3D-printing, post-processing, and finishing the plastic parts. Estefannie started with 3D models created by Jurassicpaul. The main body alone took 43 hours to 3D print—after many failed prints—and then several daysto smooth out with Bondo body filler and sanding. The other parts were printed in Polymaker filament and then smoothed out with the Polysher, which I reviewed back in February.
The 3D-printed parts were then painted to match the night vision goggles from the movie. A headband from a welding mask makes the goggles comfortable to wear. LED rings were custom-wired using WS2812B individually-addressable RGB LEDs. Green acetal film “lenses” impart a night vision-like effect to the view. Finally, a Raspberry Pi Zero W is connected to a Raspberry Pi camera that looks through one of those lenses. Estefannie programmed it so that whenever someone on Twitter mentions Jurassic Park, it automatically snaps a photo and then tweets that photo back at them. As Estefannie points out, these goggle were heavy, but they aren’t expensive.