Its been a few weeks since my last post. As usual with this kind of challenging project its 2 steps forward and 1 step back. In my case it was 3 steps forward and 2 steps backwards. Long story short, the cheapo motor to drive the forward and reverse couldn’t handle the sheer weight of my BB-8 and the (plastic) gears, well you can guess. My BB-8 weights a whopping 32kg!! Which is great for stability but hell for cheapo motors. I’d didn’t know they were plastic. So I invested in a proper robust motor with solid metal gears. It runs at 100 rpms on 12 volts. I can post more specs if wished. After changing out that I noticed my original designed control box fitted but gave limited room for anything/everything else. I redesigned it from the ground up making it 2/3s smaller than the original. Its now using three Pololu Simple Motor Controllers. One for each of the main motors. I’m using two 24v12s and one 18v7. I got three because its cheaper and easier to change out one instead of a more expensive all-in-one solution. Also this new solution is much quieter as well as being programmable.
After all the changes and minor tweaks I could finally do a test run and it works. I forgot to record a video but trust me it works. I’ve finally now have been able/comfortable with closing up the entire BB-8 body while leaving 2 detachable access panels for future “thumbs-up” animatronics and so forth. Also these access panels are just big enough to remove every internal component if need be. This past week I’ve been covering, sanding, covering and sanding to get a nice smooth finish before I started the layers and layers of white glossy. BB-8 isn’t suppose to be glossy but I’ll flatten the gloss after all the detailing is done. So enough said and here are the pictures.
Things will be publish a bit more often the coming weeks as I’m nearing the end (hopefully) of this build. Today’s video just shows the now almost completely painted vacuum formed dome with lights installed. I’ll be weathering a little later to bring out the details even more but I’m happy with my results so far.
Sorry, no pictures this time. However, I did a test of all the BB-8 rolling and head movement systems and it worked better than I could have imagined. It was one of those milestone moments when you realize that its going to work. I have a new main motor on order because I want a certain speed and that should arrive any day now. Once I got that installed I can finish the body painting and coverings. So I’m guessing you’ll be seeing a video of my BB-8 a week or 2 after that. An AWESOME feeling🙂
I’ve been working a my 3d printed dome for BB8 for a while and I’ve been trying to find way to make it lighter. A few weekends ago I decided to try vacuum forming my printed dome and to my surprise it actually worked. I then tweaked my settings a few times to get the optimal look. The pictures below are versions 1.0 and 2.0 next to the original 3d version. I’m impressed not only that it worked but also by the amount of weight I’ve saved. It now only weighs about a 3rd of the original 3d version. At present I’m painting and installing the lights so I’m saving the final picture of the completed dome for a few more days. I’ve also stumbled over a way to save on lighting weight as well which I’ll show at a later date. My present dome I’m working on will do full revolutions meaning the entire dome and skirt will spin together. I’m also working on a 3rd dome version where the “skirt” doesn’t turn at all, just the dome itself will turn. This is the way the original BB-8 in the movie works. I should also note that the internal mechanisms are already installed and setup to work that way.
This past weekend was the yearly Star Wars themed Legoland weekend in Denmark. It was too far to travel with R2 as he has already been shipped off for another event later this week in the northern part of Sweden. Anyway, I was invited to attend the Logoland event with over 100 members of the 501st and Rebel legions. I attended as Finn from the Force Awakens. It was a very busy schedule over the 3 day weekend but so much fun and well worth it. Here’s a few pics from the weekend. My next posts will be back on target😉