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3D Printing

BB-8 Build Log 2

BB-8 Build Log 2

I've been holding off on this second build log. I kept waiting to make a bit more progress to share. Well I certainly have some progress to share, as well as some setbacks.


I finished printing and gluing the entire inner frame. For reference, it's the Cary Christie printed frame. I'm so happy to finally be done with that!

Aaaand then, I broke it. while fitting one of the rib sets, one of them twisted and popped off one of the tabs. Which super sucks because they are glued and I now have to reprint, not one, but four frame pieces. Damnit!

Ok moving on, I started printing some of the skins. I printed a triangle first, which seems to be a tad on the small side. Which is fine, I assumed I would need to slightly scale those up anyways.  Next I attempted to print the first circle in one piece.  The first print failed at about the 36 hour mark. The filament bunched up inside the extruder and I wound up with a failed print and a pile of filament spaghetti.

And the second time there was some curling due to the extreme overhangs that snagged on the cooling ducts. I paused to readjust, but the damage was already done and the x-axis position was off. So upon resume, it was printing off to the side. Third time will hopefully be the charm. I readjusted the ducts and added more support underneath. Fingers crossed!


With the CR-10 working(ish) I attempted the one piece dome print. Thankfully it finished! But it does have a few issues. I didn't have the x-axis belt tight enough, and the z-axis had a bad wobble. So it's got some pretty bad ghosting and banding issues.  I've sanded the crap out of it and done a few coats of filler. I'm still not happy with it, so I think I might attempt to do a third version of it now that I've fixed those issues.

I did manage to make some good progress on the DMM though. I'm using Cary Christie's new style DMM. Dani was able to pick up a few items I ordered when she was in the States last week. So I was able to get that put together, and it's pretty nice. I'm hoping by the the next log, I'll have the dome together and painted. I need a few more pieces to finish up the electronics.

Drive System

This is coming along slowly. I've been gathering and printing parts. I started doing some electronics work with the remote as well. I'm considering doing a new design for the remote shell and using a slightly different display if I can get it working with the adafruit feather.

New Printer

Tomorrow my Prusa i3 mk3 kit arrives. I'm so excited to add a third printer to the stable.  This one will have a slightly bigger print area than my monoprice and some nicer features. I'm hoping it will allow me to press forward on this build a bit quicker.

BB-8 Build Log 1

Even before I got my first 3D printer last summer, I had been mulling over building a droid. I had originally thought I would start with Chopper. But as it turned out, I fell in love with the idea of building my own BB-8.  And so began the research...

Dome v1 (actually v2)

After joining the BB-8 Builders Club and gaining access to the club files, I dove right into to dome printing.  My first dome was the official club v2 files. Printing and working on this was a great learning experience. 

I've since decided to reprint the dome with the single part Paul Wanamaker files and using Cary Christie's BMM/DMM. I've decided this for a couple of reasons: 

  • Weight. The stand alone v2 club dome is heavy.
  • Independent skirt. Using that system, you get a dome that spins independent of the skirt right.
  • Cleaner Movement. It should move better with casters vs the ptfe plastic bearing rollers.
  • Better reprint with better materials. The print quality on my current dome isn't the best. Since I have the CR-10, I can now print the dome in one piece. I'm going to print in PET-G so it's more durable. And hopefully I'll get a less flawed print this time.

Frame and Body

I've started printing Cary Christie's internal frame. I purchased all the hardware before we moved, so I have that to get started. I'm about half way done with printing the parts. Currently waiting on more filament to finish that up.

Drive System

I'm building my droid with Joe Latiola's drive system. I've started ordering parts and printing drive pieces in PET-G. I really need the CR-10 back up and running.