3D Printed Body Frame & Concept

3D Printed Star Wars R2-D2 R6 Droid

This page is about the 3D Printed Frame, check out the main project index for the rest.

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There are many Astromech droid builders worldwide, along with readily available plans, CAD drawings, and blueprints which you can use to build your own droid. Check out the US and UK builders clubs.

Typically the projects built by members are made from wood, aluminium, steel or plastic parts. Some of the metal droid weigh up to 100Kg, while the Styrene droids are much lighter. I already built one very crude R2-D2 back in 2008, which has several details missing and does not have any motors. This was built from mostly wood with plastic skins and coating, it’s still fairly heavy and needs to have its legs taken off for transport.

But what if we could make a droid out of a rigid material that was lighter than plastic!?. Well we can – with 3D printing, because we don’t have to make the parts solid. We can use a lower density infill for the parts and build them as low as 10% solid, which makes them 10 times lighter than solid sheet material. Probably 30% realistically.

So my intention is to make an almost entirely 3D printed droid with full mechanics and motorisation, lights and sounds. I’d also like to leave as much of the skins off as possible so the internal mechanics can be seen. This will be more of a demo & 3D printing showcase project than a movie accurate prop.

Here’s the CAD so far for the frame, it’s mostly made from laminated 5mm thick sections which are all small enough to fit on my Lulzbot TAZ 3D printer bed:

The printed parts so far:

The parts are printed in ABS and Acetone welded together:

Some body details, and many more to follow:

Unitilty arms:

Vents and ports:

Coin returns: