Coming Soon: Building R2-D2 v2.0

As time progress, my R2 has seen a lot of action, and as such, he is in major need of spare parts.

Rather than just changing out the parts that needs to be rebuilt, I’ve come to a drastic decision: Time to rebuild. Time to fix the small things that I wish I had done while building him in the first place. Time to build R2-D2 v2.0!

And thats not all! While doing so, I will be doing a video blog about the ENTIRE build, so you can build along with me… just pop off to astromech.net (the official R2-D2 Builders club website, and register (it’s free) and you TOO can be an R2 Builder!

By |2016-12-06T00:00:01+01:00December 29th, 2015|Building, R2-D2|Comments Off on Coming Soon: Building R2-D2 v2.0

3D Printer Upgrade: Cable Chains

For a while, I wanted to change out the cable braids on my MakerGear M2 for chains, and now the work has been started!

Firstly, I found this nice model on thingiverse, tosdjuenfs Cable Chain: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:40124

I printed out a bunch of those, first to test my PET, worked great, but I wanted them black, so back to the old ABS.

To mount them to the M2, I found another nifty mod on thingiverse by rklosinski: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:151024.
Since I was not using a store bought chain, but rather my own, I downloaded the original Makergear part, and inspired by the thingiverse cable holder, I made my own version of it with a cable chain end point integrated.

I cut off part of the model in order to allow for this to be printed without supports, as well.

Screenshot 2015-09-12 20.32.14

Then I also needed to fasten the other end somehow. There is a very nice little hole near the edge where I’ve previously had a cable tie holding the Y axis cables in place. This was perfect for my needs. Now i just needed to draw and print a holder that was made for this task:

Screenshot 2015-09-12 20.22.09

Once I had printed enough links in the chain above, it was a simple matter to remove the braid and carefully thread the cables one by one (largest first) through the cable chain.
While doing this, I had them broken un into segments of 4 pieces, as this was easier to thread the cables through smaller segments.

There was one big 4MM bolt that helps holding the top plate to the steel frame that was a bit in the way, but I replaced this with a smaller screw that should normally be counter sunk, but it got the bolt low enough to allow the chain to pass over without issues.

Here’s the result of the Y-axis DONE!

Now for fixing mounts for the heated bed and X-axis….

By |2016-12-06T00:00:06+01:00September 14th, 2015|3D Printing|Comments Off on 3D Printer Upgrade: Cable Chains

Ankle Work

Since the dawn of time… well.. since R2 was finished originally, that is, he’s had a pair of heavy resin bulks under the Ankle Cylinders.

The Ankle Cylinders was scratch built 3 years ago, and was basically a piece of PVC pipe with thin strips of styrene wrapped around it, with custom made end caps.

See this post for the original build: Scratch building ankle cylinders! They have done the trick up until now, but I wanted to have a set that looked a bit better.

The main reason for revisiting this, is that the original pieces have only been taped to the ankle with double stick tape that has (mostly) done the job, but they have had a tendency to fall off.

I don’t want to glue things in place here, as if I need to do any work on the cables inside, I need to be able to remove these to get to an access hole that is hiding behind them.

I had also lost a few of the ankle wedges (see Building an ankle wedge) that is supposed to sit on top of the cylinders. They were also just taped to the ankle…

The total assembly looked like this: IMG_6906

(Mounting the Ankle… stuff)

But now it was time to fix everything in this area. I had not been 100% happy with the aluminium tape wrapped around the pipe, even if it has done the job.

So, armed with my trusty CAD program, the avid reader know that I have been printing Ankle Cylinders in the past.

This is the parts that I drew and printed:


These were printed apart to get the grooves in the cylinder as sharp as possible.


The new ankle cylinders holders. 3D printed, hollow and extremely light. I have glued 12mm magnets inside them for holding them to the ankle later on.


Here are the new wedges. They are a lot sturdier and better than my old ones! These ones also has magnets inside them. The idea is to pin the wedge inbetween them.


Like this.

Since I can disassemble these, it makes for easy painting.


End pieces sanded and ready for painting!

IMG_7909 IMG_7910

I started off by painting them with a filler primer. I chose this as it fills up any imperfections after not sanding enough, or print imperfections.

A dab of the old “Satin White” ..


… and some R2 Blue…



… add a little rub and buff …


… and the assembly should be ready for mounting on the droid.



I must say I am very happy with the results. The rub and buff really looks like metal!

Next up, fixing the magnets to the droid..

All in all, a great upgrade. Next up is adding the new Ankle Details in aluminium and then weather the new pieces on the ankle.

Finale assembly:


By |2016-12-06T00:00:10+01:00August 30th, 2015|Building, R2-D2|Comments Off on Ankle Work
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