In 2017 I started on what has become my most ambitious personal project to date, a life size functioning R2-D2. It’s an enormous undertaking but it has served as my opportunity to learn new skills in working with aluminium and electronics. During the build I have worked with preparing DXF files for being cut on a waterjet and taught myself how to drill and tap for bolts in aluminium.
For example, the frame comprises of over 50 bolts. In addition to acquiring new skills I’ve been able to improve on existing ones in 3D printing, surface preparation and painting.
Due to the high specified nature of the project and the desire to construct it using aluminium, components such as the dome were ordered as prefabricated pieces. However, these prefabricated pieces arrived as a kit with a large amount of work such as deburring slag from laser cutters, cutting and fitting hinges for opening panels and adding a horizonal brushed aluminium effect to reflect what is seen in the film.
The plan is to have it all fitted out with lights, sound and remote control, since once it’s completed he will be used for Children’s Hospital visits and other charity work (like with the Starlight Foundation).