I have been very exited on the project me and Ryanne started. We are constructing a dragon costume for children in wheelchairs. There have been a lot of bumps in out path so far. At first we were a little ambitious and though that we could make two fully functioning consumes. However, we recently came to the conclusion that with our given time left to work we will be able to make one well done costume. We are currently working on the construction of the dragon wings this is so far the longest processes. We are half way done with completing our wings. The materials we have decided to go with include, neoprene rubber (donated to us form the former Guppies Group project), 3/8in PVC pipe, and multi colored spray paint. We wanted to keep the number of materials to a minimum in order to keep cost down .
We have estimated that the materials will cost approximately 40$ to obtain. This price includes; 2x Spray Paints, Cardborad, Neoprene Rubber, 10ft 3/8inPVC, and Acrylic/Tempera Paint. With this we have constructed the body and half of the wings which has taken us almost 23hours. Hopefully we will be 100% done with the costume in under 30hours. This amount of time could allow a parent to easily get the costume constructed in three 10hr work sessions (or six 5hr work sessions). We want to make a project that is both cool in design and easy in construction, so that anyone could make it.
One really cool discovery that we made while working with the neoprene, is the way it picks up color. We found that by mixing a gold and red spray paint on its surface give a leathery look(as seen in the picture on the right). This adds a special and realistic effect to the wings that we are using the neoprene for. It’s been really fun working on that part of the construction. Right now our biggest challenge is working the attachment of the neoprene to the PVS. We are going to see if hot glue can act as a well enough binding agent, and if not we are going to see if twin would have more support.
Overall I am very exited to see the end product. We have worked very hard on making everything work together. The goal is to be able to present the costume at the first ever ARS Makers Fair. So until then we will continue to make progress.
Post Done By: Angelic A.
It’s pretty cool that you guys are making a costume to put on a wheelchair. Our team last semester, Scarlet, was planning to design a dino wheelchair that would have attributes of a dinosaur such as dino feet as foot rest, dino body backrest, and a dino head as a headrest. I have a couple of questions. For the wings, how will the neoprene be placed on the wings? What I mean is that will the neoprene be covering the PVC pipe and a thinner fabric will be the patagium? If so, you can possibly use nylon or linen fabric for the patagium. Or you can wrap neoprene around the PVC and use paper mache to fill in the patagium. Also, how wide or big will these wings be? Sometimes children that are in wheelchairs have a difficult time moving around with the bulky chair. How are you solving for that? Smaller wings? Will the wings stretch out a certain distance?
Another question is how will these wings attach to the wheelchair? When we were designing the dino chair, we would run into problems in how certain aspects of the chair would detach or fold into the chair. If you are planning on attaching it on the back of the chair, I would make sure that the wings aren’t heavy because they can cause the backrest to move back slightly. This can reduce the amount of support that the child has on his/her back and can hurt the alignment of the spine in the long run (here’s a patent that discusses chair alignment: http://www.google.com/patents/EP1318776A1?cl=en ).
When you are attaching the neoprene to the PVC, I wouldn’t suggest hot glue because it can keep materials for just a certain amount of time and probably won’t stick well with plastic. I would say that you can possibly use vinyl adhesive to glue the neoprene. You can probably buy it at HomeDepot or Lowe’s, if not, here’s a link to ebay: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR10.TRC2.A0.H0.Xneoprene+glue.TRS0&_nkw=neoprene+glue&_sacat=0 .
This project is so interesting! My mom is a pediatric physical therapist so I have some knowledge of how complicated wheelchairs can get! Is this costume being designed for a power wheelchair or a manual wheelchair? I ask because I was wondering how much this costume would weigh and if that would be a problem for any small children in a manual wheelchair.
I love the wings, the neoprene with spray paint looks amazing and surprisingly realistic (or at least how i imagine dragon wings would look!) Are you going to create a headdress or something for the child to wear, or are you creating a costume that is based solely on the wheelchair? I assume that you’ve thought through how you’ll attach the wings and other parts of your costume, but I’ll be interested to see exactly how you go about it. Do you have any child in mind for the costume or will you donate it to a general charity? Either way, I think you all are doing an amazing job and some little kid will be very excited to be a dragon for Halloween!