Archive for the 'R2-D1' Category


radar eye

So I made a lens, and painted and mounted it and my radar eye.

The lens was made with a plastic ball from Micheal’s crafts, which I painted the back of with black primer. This was the item used:

It’s a 2 piece plastic ball, I think meant for christmas decorations. Its only like $2 and thick enough that it should hold up. I got the 100mm one, since I thought the curve looked best behind the eye. To trim it down to the right size I placed the hemisphere in the eye opening, and traced around the rim with a marker, then cut out the lens from the hemisphere with my dremel, then sanded it until it would sit flat against the dome.

I mounted the eye to the dome using the method in the wiki here, it is held on my 4 4-40 screw shaft superglued into small holes in the eye and bolted inside the dome. Seems secure enough.

I think the dome is looking grea tso far, and I hope to recieve several more servos and a pololu serial servo controller in the next day or 2 to continue making my various panels open 🙂


lifter prototype

So I made a quick prototype of a lifter, after much thought and reading about the old droidstuff lifter. I’m using a cheap brushed motor from all electronics, a regular 1/4-20 threaded rod, and a bunch of scrap aluminum from my garage. The only interesting part really is the shaft coupler, which I ordered from servocity. The screw drive uses a square nut, which engages the lifter bracket using a kind of clip i bent from scrap 1.16″ aluminum sheet, and the periscope bracket itself is drilled and bent from 1/8″ aluminum scrap. The rest is angle, the vertical being 1/16″ thick 3/4×3/4 and the base being 1/8″ thick 1.25×1.25

I got these miniature drawer slides at my local ace hardware, the drawback is I only get like 4.5″ of travel out of this, whereas the droidstuff lifter did a little over 6″. I thick it will be just barely enough, at least I hope so. I have diodes and limit switches I have not added yet, which will limit the travel and make sure I don’t stall the motor at each end.

heres a few more pics

in that second one you can see the crappy temporary motor mount I made. since the motor sleeve thingy is only anchored on one side it allows the motor to vibrate a lot.


Servo pie Panels

so on a lark I decided to try and make a quick linkage for opening my pie panels tonight. So, with no proper tie rods or whatnot I mcguyvered it up with paper clips 😛
Anyways, it works pretty well, so i’ll probably just go with it since the cost is low. I will need a few more servos though, for the other panels. I just had these 2 and a hitec I had no servo horn for lying around.

the pie panel i showed here works pretty much perfectly, despite the ridiculous amount of play in the hinges, but the other tends to twist and doesn’t always close completely, catching on the edges of the cutout. I think I can make some guides for the hinge to keep it in line, so I’ll give that a shot and see if I can correct it.



So, I have forgotten to update this blog in a while, and had just been posting on the forums again. So, this will be a mega update, of all the stuff I have missed posting here over the last few weeks 🙂

My styrene 300mm dome arrived!

The gap at the top is maybe 3/16″, so I think I may possibly be one of the lucky ones who can get the inner and outer together without cutting. Perhaps not though, one way or the other, I won’t force it.

I got most of the smaller cutouts on the dome done, like the holos, dome bumps, and logics. I marked for the pie panel cutouts, and cut out the top circle thingy. I used a pencil with a small bit of drinking straw over the point to get lines inset from the pie panel cutouts on the outer dome. That way there should be a few mm of ledge for the panels to sit on. I intend for all the pie panels to open with servos, and have a periscope and maybe LFS on lifters as well. I will probably ignore having the little perimeter panels on the dome open, since they are sort of less interesting.
I bought a movable holo off of selgus, which arrived very promptly (thanks!), and already have the logic surrounds, and one static holo. I have some resin dome bumps but they don’t seem to be the right size, so I’ll have to find something that fits better. I ordered a resin radar eye from wayne, though I also have my scratch built one, which if I use it will need some adjusting to fit the dome curve properly. I’ll probably just use the resin one and save the scratch one for later.
Once I get paid I can order several little things I’ll need to continue on the dome (MDF craft rings, cabochons, another static holo, etc…)

Then, its several months of saving up for the frame, skins, feet, drives, etc. 😛

I have an idea for the slides for my 2-3-2.
I would get aluminum C-channel, in 5″ and 3″ widths, and with the 3″, and a pile of skateboard bearings, make little rolling trucks that ride inside the wider channel. For the shoulder rotation I will probably do a single linear actuator and lever with a piece of 3/4″ keyed shaft as an axle connecting the legs.

For the leg drop itself, I’m undecided. Everybody does screw drives, i’m tempted to try the window motor like rmeyer, or maybe just chain and sprockets with hardpoints to pull on the leg carriage. Ah heck even just a lambert system with some other kind of motor who knows.
At some point I’ll make up my mind, but I won’t have a lot of cash to dump on this for a bit so whatever heh 🙂

After having gotten all my pie panels cut out of the inner dome, and drilling some holes around the carapace for tacking it together better (idea blatantly stolen from bmunger), I glued my inner and outer domes together with some weld-on #3. Also sprayed all my little dome panels and pie panels with primer, and painted the pie panels too.

My wife tells me I work too fast and should slow down so I don’t run out of stuff to work on again 😛

I painted my dome metal-colored…

I used my nickel shimmer again, in the interest of having it match the metal color on R5, so that I can swap domes and have it look good.

I also painted the pie panels before, and now have painted the other dome panels too….

I have 2 HPs, and a full set of logic surrounds to shape, paint and mount, and I even have PSI lens plastic 🙂

still need some support rings, so far I have been using one of my old embroidery hoops i had for the PVC tube cutting. Works great, but not much actual vertical support or any good way to attach it to the lower dome ring….

I’ve been gluing all the non-moving red panels in place, now that they have had several coats of paint.

Also hit my two HPs with some primer…I will still need to acquire a third HP, preferably another static resin one somewhere…

I ordered my MDF rings, so those should come soon-ish. I had some of those mcmaster hinges, but cant find em now… I’ll need several of those hinges to attach my pie panels so they can open, so I might just order more.

I got 2 more LED flashlights at harbor freight to light up the 2 static HP’s as well, so i should be able to do a nice little light show 😛

WHEW!! Ok so will try to keep this updated!


Legs all routed out, Think I killed a router bit…

Welp I got my legs all routed out, I finished up the 3/4″ pieces and the little 1/4″ mdf bits.


At some point towards the end of doing this, the sound of my router bit changed sort of, and it began to catch and pull the wood more often. I’ve used pretty much just this one bit for all my routing so far, its a diablo 3/8″ pattern bit from home depot, and I think I’ve just dulled it or something. I finished up the 3/4″ bits (I was on the last one) and then retired that bit.
I used a spare bit I never used because it only has 1/2″ cutting length to finish up the little MDF pieces.


rough cut legs

Well taking a break from fretting about 2-3-2, I spent some quality time outside with my jigsaw, and rough cut all the pieces for a full set of wood legs.

I might still get to routing some of the pieces tonight, but pretty soon it will be dinner time, and since it’s father’s day in Atlanta, I pretty much have to go have some barbecue 🙂

I like research and designing new stuff, but just making something you already understand, and just “doing the work” is very satisfying too.

Routed out all the 1/2″ pieces, then called it a night 🙂


Better wood leg templates

For R5’s wood legs I just used my one leg template, and then altered the pieces to nip off the point, or cut them at the ankle bracelet. Trouble with that was I didn’t get them all the same, so I had to use a little filler, and even do a little trimming of the legs to straighten stuff out. This time, I made a full set of templates, a template for every unique piece. I’m probably not done for tonight quite yet, I might trace these on the real plywood and even jigsaw a few out. Tomorrow, I will be trying to get all the pieces cut out for the full set of legs.

The sharp eyed will notice I didn’t make a separate template for the pointed pieces of the center ankle, I just re-use the one from the outer leg. I consider them to be the same size, even though they are very slightly different in the official blueprints. Again, me playing fast and loose with the specs, I consider them guidelines 🙂

Since I am re-using many processes I learned for my first set of wood legs, I anticipate making these will go faster than the first time.

I am researching linear actuators for my 2-3-2 design. I was looking at the track actuators from firgelli automation.
The worry I have with these, is the wiring for them appears kinda specialized, like they designed it so that it works with this special power supply and hand control that plugs into 120AC. I would want to operate it from 12 or 24VDC and a speed controller. I have not yet found a write up of somebody hacking one of these to operate this way, So before ordering something that expensive I wanna know that it can work. Has anybody here used one of these before?

I am still thinking drawer slides for the leg carriage, and perhaps an axle between the legs, like a gas pipe, then a lever and 4-6″ stroke actuator for the tilt. Then some kind of locking mechanism for each the tilt and the center leg. Oi. lots to do 🙂


Buhatkj’s Hybrid 2-3-2 R2-D1

One of the funny things about having leftover droid parts, is inevitably one finds themselves thinking “well all I need is these 50 other things and I’ve got a SECOND DROID!”

I am not immune to this.

SO! Without further ado, I announce I will officially be beginning a second build, starting well, now, and ending, well, whenever it’s done 🙂

For my first build, R5-X2, I went with the good advice of others on this forum, to start simple, and take on something I could more reasonably accomplish. So I have built a straightforward 3-leg mode only budget-oriented droid, with basic RC and no particular bells or whistles. I am quite proud of this, and it was undoubtedly very challenging, but my success has given me more confidence to really reach and do an UBER droid.

With this one, its GO time. I want to do a 2-3-2 droid, with a periscope, servo-operated panels on the body and dome, and a full kit of the Ardu-D2 setup, so Teeces logic displays, a SSC-32, and rMP3 shield, all run by an arduino.

for my color scheme, I am going with R2-D1. What can i say, I like red and white, and I’ve already got some of the right color paints 🙂

Here is what I have so far:
My scratch built radar eye, having just recieved a coat of Red Pepper

And a nice pile of resin goodies, much of it from Steele, and some secondhand, and some Azman utility arms.

I also have more than enough good quality plywood to make another full set of legs, and a 4×8 sheet of .040″ styrene, good for all sorts of things. And of course, an overflowing box of various scraps from R5 heh.

Since this is an R2, I will need to get a dome at some point, I will probably try to pick up a 300mm styrene dome on the next run, or secondhand, as i don’t have the money now for it.

For the frame, i will be buying a secondhand T&J frame, one of the earlier aluminum frames, from Samurai early next year when he upgrades his. I have voted in the aluminum skins poll, and will be buying a set of those when John runs them, probably this fall.

This is very early, and it will likely be some time before I really make progress on this new droid, as i still have a few little things to finish on R5, but as time and money allows, i will start taking baby steps 🙂

June 2017
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