Coolest 3D printed BB-8 droid from XRobots (so far)

bb-8 droid by xrobots

Did you know that in the Star Wars : The Force Awakens movie, the director Abrams used little computer-generated imagery and focused on more traditional special effects to preserve visual realism of original Star Wars. BB-8 or Beebee-Ate, a free-moving domed head droid, was one of these realistic looking creations and it did inspire many Star Wars enthusiasts to recreate this adorable droid, like Angelo Casimiro’s homemade smartphone-controlled BB-8, the hand-cranked rolling BB-8 with Lego base, and even a BB-8 rolling luggage suitcase.

Star Wars enthusiast James Bruton of XRobots, who is also a Hackaday Prize judge, has created three 3D printed BB-8 droids. His third version is superior in form & function, and features remote control system to enhance flow control to prevent any runaway BB-8s. Bruton started to work on the first droid a year ago, but wasn’t satisfied with earlier two attempts. However, in third attempt he built a single-axis 3D printed BB-Droid based on hubless wheel and flywheel system, and it looks quite close to the one in the movie. The droid also features Nijaflex guidewheels.

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Except the electronics, entire droid is 3D printed and Bruton created the files from scratch and didn’t even use the famous BB-8 Builder’s Club resources. He continued refining his creations and also documented entire process, and then shared it on YouTube. It mainly consists of 300 mm-wide main ball that consist of twenty 3D printed parts. He chose ABS as a suitable material and used a Lulzbot TAZ desktop 3D printer. Each part took about 4.5 hours to print.

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The droid is slightly wider and better than previous two versions. The BB-8 version 3 has dynamic stability, and it can also tip from side to side. Currently it requires 900 watts to do so, but Bruton hopes to make the final droid more efficient.

A 3D printed BB-8 (version 30 is publically available as open source with CAD and code on GitHub.

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Madan has been writing about eco-friendly gadgets and technologies for over 5 years now. He has an inclination for all things green and wonderful. He is a local social activist with a global vision. When not writing, Madan can be seen capturing the best of urban wildlife in his DSLR lens.

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