Wednesday, 13 January 2010

R2D2 Computer Mod


I have always wanted to build a full sizes RD2D computer mod from the early days of moding computers and building alternative cases but it has been one of those projects that always either seemed to diffiuclt of time consuming.
At last I decided to give it a go.
From the begining I decided that I did not want to produce an R2D2 replica but instead an inspired copy, adding some of my own design ideas.
Now that it is nearly completed I have been totally bitten by the R2D2 building bug and have decided to build a full size replica,
I did not keep a photo record from day one of building but instead took a few shots as I went along.

Initially I searched around on the net to find dimensions of the full sized unit and managed to find a few basic drawings and specs. With these I started cutting wood.The majority of the R2 unit is made from wood with all the detailing being done with 2mm cardboard.

As I got into the build I found I needed more size info for different parts and that is when I came across the massive on-line community which is the R2D2 users clubs. There are so many sites and blogs where people are building these Droids and some fantastic user groups where you can download detailed blueprints. I never really imagined that there would be so many people building these Astromechs and they are fondly called, but as yet I have not seen a full sized computer mod with all the working bits. There are a few smaller R2D2 computer mods which look great but are static. 

After a few weeks into the build are started to get carried away a bit thinking about how I could build the motor system to power my R2 around the room. After some experiments with cordless drills set into the feet and basic speed controllers I managed to get a good speed out of the basic shell. It was at this point I stopped playing around with motor power for the feet, mainly because I had not really given to much consideration to the power system the unit would have to carry to power both the motors and the computer. I wanted to stay with a full sized mother board so there would not have been enough space inside the body to house everything I needed. I toyed with the idea of a micro main board but considering that I already had a fair few full sized computer parts ready to go into the unit I dropped the main motor idea. This was not the case for everything else though, The dome roto, periscope, aerial and motorised main board slide would all still be fitted.

I have now spent hour trawling through Astromech builders blogs on-line and looking at plans and really feel that I want this build to be an artistic take on R2D2 and not a replica. I will build a replica in the future and pay real attention to all the fine details but now I am going to have fun with my own designs.

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