AMS Spring 2023

Detect Ghosts in Your Closet with this 3D Printed Ghostbusters Giga Meter

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“Ghostbusters…
If there’s somethin’ strange in your neighborhood,
Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters!
If there’s somethin’ weird and it don’t look good,
Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters!”

Boy, doesn’t that song bring back some good memories? I remember having sleepovers in elementary school, and spending the entire night watching Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II with my friends. I must have watched both films at least two dozen times, and many people from my generation can probably say the same. gigameteraniDebuting over 30 years ago in 1984, and starring none other than Bill Murray, Ghostbusters burst onto the scene with this comedy/sci-fi fantasy film which has created quite the legacy as far as film history goes. Not only has Ghostbusters made its mark in theaters, but it has also become a franchise featuring action figures, board games, video games, and more.

One young man, named Chris Nevlin, is also a big fan of the Ghostbusters franchise. So much so that he decided to create a replica of a movie prop from Ghostbusters II. That prop is the Giga Meter, a device which, in the film, was used to detect ethereal energies (i.e., ghosts). It measures “phychomagnotheric energy in Giga Elecron Volts, which are the standard unit of measurement for high-energy physics.”

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“It’s kind of an ambitious project that some Ghostbuster prop fans take on. The body is based on an old handheld power scrubber called the scrubber n’ buffer,” Nevlin tells 3DPrint.com. “Those are really hard to find, so when I finally got my hands on one, I didn’t want to tear it up for the prop replica. I needed to 3D model some pieces for the giga meter anyways, so I ended up just recreating the entire body in Solidworks — in multiple pieces.”

gigameter3Nevlin, who has been a supporter of 3D printing ever since he discovered the technology, originally built his own MakerBot Thing-O-Matic several years ago. However, for this creation he had his parts 3D printed by Shapeways.

“I have a few of the parts for the giga meter available for sale on Shapeways for people trying to make their own, though I do not have the main body available yet,” Nevlin tells us. “There’s a few issues to work out there. Still, a few people have messaged me on there and ordered the parts that are available and have been very happy to have the 3d printing option available for their project.”

gigameter1Nevlin’s Giga Meter isn’t just a non-functioning plastic object though. While it doesn’t actually have the ability to test for the presence of ghosts, it does utilize a mix of electronics to make it appear to be a working device. It features a spinning dome with LEDs, which was adapted from a generic spinning light toy. The 7-segment LED display is run by an Arduino-compatible microcontroller, which also happens to run the two separate servo motors used for moving the antenna.

“All of the other blinking LEDs are run by the microcontroller as well,” says Nevlin. “The inside of the body is a rats nest of wire wrap wires. It wasn’t planned out as well as it [could] have been, but it works.”

As you can see in the photos provided and video below, the giga meter came out very nice. It accurately depicts the Giga Meter seen in the Ghostbusters II film. What do you think about Nevlin’s creation? Do you think he should have done anything different? Discuss in the 3D printed Giga Meter forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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