Punk Monk




The character was inspired by an MP Tourism Ad. Punk Monk is a monk wearing headphones and nodding to a beat. A lot of work went into getting the expression on the face right. I experimented with various facial features and settled on the simplest look with just eyes and a smirk.



The first model is a bobblehead with headphones made out of milled PCB. The wooden model and PCB are separate pieces held together by friction fit.

The wooden model was made out of two wooden dolls. The first one had its head turned down on a lathe to leave a holder for the spring on which the head will rest. A long hole was drilled along the length of the body to pass two wires from the base to the head. The wires act as + and – leads to the LED’s on the headphones.


The head was made by separating the head from another doll. It was drilled down to have a hole in which to rest the spring and a wider hole to allow free movement. Two thumbtacks were pushed into the head where the ears would be and thin copper wires were attached to the tacks to act as electrical connections for the headphones.


The PCB headphones were made out of doubled sided FR4 PCB. They were modeled in OnShape, keeping PCB thickness and size of the wooden head in mind. The PCB material itself is not flexible, but the copper layer on the end is. So at a point of bend, the FR4 material is milled away to leave a thin copper layer, this creates a sharp curve, and the appearance on the outside is that of a continuous copper layer with no breaks. A jig was made to place the PCB in the right shape and soldered on the inside to have it retain the shape. The ear cushions were made by gluing another octagon of PCB material.


Electrically, the PCB has two wires running along the inside length. They are for the + and – pins of the LEDs on either earcup. The LEDs are in parallel. The ear cushions act as the electrical contact to the head through the thumbtacks and are electrically connected to the + and – pins on either end. The leads run down the length of the doll and to an Arduino and battery which pulsate the LEDs.


The base is made of MDF with a hole to hold the doll and another, larger hole to hold the arduino and battery.

The entire model was painted with acrylic paints.


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