Sunday, November 7, 2010

Test fitting the skins, legs...and then there was two!

 Today I brought home my first R2-D2 from my parent's place.  I couldn't resist taking some pictures of both droids side by side.

I did some test fitting of the skins on droid 2 and there are a small areas where the Goop adhesive needs some trimming.  The excess that dried up on one side is making it difficult for the door to close completely.  Easy fix.

As you can see, I have the droid back in 2-leg mode and as such, sitting on top of a milk crate so it will not fall over. The ankles and shoulders have free movement.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Feet installed on R2

Tonight I worked on attaching the feet to the ankle & legs.  I was eager to see how everything looked all together.

The first step was to install the round brass pivot piece into the ankle.  

Having installed these before on the first droid, I used a file to take the edges down and working the file all around the surface.  You want to take some of the material off but not too much.  

With the first portion able to fit inside, I used a piece of wood under the ankle.  I used another piece of wood and lightly tapped with a hammer, slowly putting the piece in place.

Go slow because you may have to wiggle the brass barrel a bit to correctly line up with the other side.

With the ankles ready, I found that the ankle fit into the foot groove with ease.  On the other droid, it was a lot of grunt work to get them in the groove, then trying to line up the foot so the bolt could pass thru.  On this droid, it went very easy.  Despite being bolted in as tight as I could make it, the ankle pivots with ease.

With this "uber" version, linear actuators and ball-screw drives, under computer control, will actuate the ankle and shoulders, allowing them to pivot into 2-leg or 3-leg mode.

I do not have the "stop plate" used in the shoulders installed to lock the shoulders into the 2 or 3 leg position, so everything moves rather freely.  

While trying to get R2 into a stable 2 leg position, I had to work hard on finding a good balance for the picture.  As I was grabbing the camera to take the picture, R2 fell forward, breaking both utility arms.  No biggie, those were old resin ones I was testing paint color on.  But that's the last time I want to hear the THUD of the Jawa-face-plant.

Here's how it looks in two-leg mode.

With R2 being so unstable in 2 leg mode, in quickly put the center ankle and foot together and installed it inside.  Here's R2 in 3 leg mode...

That's it for tonight!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

R2-D2 #2 now has steel feet

Today the JAG steel feet for my second R2 arrived.  I was able to purchase a set from another R2 Builder who was willing to part with them (pun intended).

These are identical to what I have on my first R2-D2.  The gentleman I bought them from had already cleaned and primed them, so that saves me some time!

With the exception of some detail pieces, I have both legs, ankles and feet for the droid. 

Now I can start doing some prototype work with some ideas I have for locking and pivoting the ankles for R2 to go from 3-leg mode to 2-leg mode (known as 2-3-2 in the building world).

In a few weeks, the foot drives should arrive, which is what R2 #1 has been using with great success.   

I am also looking to make this droid lighter than the first.  Things like using resin detail pieces instead of aluminum is one area I am looking to try.