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.
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.
Not trying to post too many post about every single thing but this is a milestone moment. The basic shape has finally come. Its still a long way off to completion but pretty cool to see some progress in the right direction. I made a spin-wheel for supporting the dome. The idea is to keep the dome as light as possible and yes it will have working lights as all.
Just getting back from my vacation trip and am back at this crazy build. I call it a crazy build because I really have no 100% certainty that this will even work as I have intended. And having only a few months to complete this is an added challenge. Anyway, while waiting for some key parts to be delivered I’ve decided to test vacuum forming the dome with different plastics and thickness’s. The optimum seems to be 3-4mm polystyrene for the main dome shell and then 1-2mm polystyrene for the dome panelling. In case you’re wondering I found this 28.5 cm bowl at IKEA which is actually the exact size I’ve been looking for and I’ve been looking for weeks. The pics below show the main dome only.
I normally don’t lift up companies on my blog but this has to be the exception to my own rule. Building all of my robot projects is a world of fun on many different levels but equally expensive beyond belief. However, on occasion one gets introduced to new acquaintances and on occasion from these acquaintances you get introduced to the right people and companies. Vink Plastics in Stockholm has just volunteered to sponsor my plastic needs for my past, present and future robot projects making it possible for me to stay creative and carry on with my charitable and creative hobby. Vink doesn’t usually have contact with private people as their focus is towards major companies and corporations. Vink Plastic has different locations around the world and I can’t speak how they are locally in other countries however the Stockholm branch has really offered me a wonderful thing and I’m totally humbled.
It feels like I’ve been building my Wall-E for a long time but finally he’s rolling about. All that’s left is the detail work that I’ve put on hold until I got him up and rolling. This is truly a milestone for me personally on so many levels, both design, construction and learning new skills. Here a short video I made to commemorate the occasion 😉