If you’re a fan of Star Wars AND 3D printing, we think you may just enjoy this article!
In the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens we meet BB-8, who is a unique, and almost silly design of a rolling sphere-shaped body with his half-dome head perched on top of it. BB-8 could have come straight from a kid’s drawing. But he was a real, working robot that rolled on to the set, filmed with and interacted with the cast and basically felt as if he was actually alive.
JR Bédard is a video game programmer and software engineer, and decided he wanted a BB-8 of his own!
“His version of BB-8 is completely 3D printed, hand painted and is powered by a simple Arduino-based robotic platform. Bédard never managed to crack the rolling ball thing, so he put his version of BB-8 on a pair of self-balancing wheels–the kind on those hoverboards that aren’t really hoverboards that have been catching on fire lately–and controls him with a basic RC controller. Bédard’s BB-8 also makes authentic sounds and beeps, and contains several programmable LEDs to complete the effect.
Bédard designed his BB-8 droid in SketchUp, and then 3D printed him on his 3D printers. He used about two hundred metres of white PLA filament to print all of BB-8’s various parts, which took a little over fifty hours to print.”
This project displays really amazing technology, it is unbelievable how advanced 3D printing has become!
Here’s a short video to watch about the whole process: