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