Making R2-D2 Part 1 // Styrene Frame, Aluminum Dome & Skins
I have always wanted to make an R2-D2 from Star Wars as I am a big Star Wars nerd. I eventually got up the courage to begin the construction and I'd like to take you along with me! So come one, follow along with me as I go through the process of making one!
For this R2 build, I'm using the amazing community at the R2 Builders Club for any help and alleviation. I went towww.astromech.net and found a truckload of information about the right material type, make plans, templates, and indeed access to technical parts brokers. There are tons of different building options, but I chose to make the body of the unit out of styrene and cover it with screen-accurate aluminum forums.
I loaded up the CAD lines into my CNC. These files were given to me by an amazing builder named Mike Dempsey, and they were fit to be cut. My friend helped me to cut the different bits out of the specific density of styrene and I got engaged in assembling the same. To do this, I had to print out huge 1-for-1 templates to get the correct placement for each cut piece. I scored the placement lines onto the frame segments and utilized CA adhesive to bind them together.
Using the same CAD files, we cut the leg assemblies out of further styrene. The legs were a bit more robust because they would be holding the burden of the entire R2 unit. Many of the sections were assembled out in sandwiches layers and ribbed joints. The legs will ultimately be bolted onto the frame with some1/4-20 bolts.
This step was particularly odd for me. I had the choice of making the intricate details on my own or employing the craftsmen atastromech.net to shop them out of aluminum for me. Obviously, this marketable route is pricier, but the upside is that I've beautifully made, screen-accurate elements that are ready for paint or powder coating.
I ordered the dome, the external skins, and many of the iconic R2-D2 contraptions from sellers atastromech.net and I chuckled like a 3-year-old when they arrived in the post. We couldn't make these parts as flawlessly as the different vendors did, and I am happy I chose to go down this route.
This design is going to take a while to complete and as it's has been a life-long fantasy of mine to have my own R2, I really did not want to rush into the procedure and end up with something that I’m not satisfied with. In the coming video that is part 2 of this project I hope to have the rest of the body, substantially the other leg, the electronics, and some of the doors completed. Thank you for following along with this magically amazing project from a light-year far, far away.
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