DroidBuilders UK

Uniting all droid builders.

Doug Parr

By: Rob Howdle

Droid (s): (in progress) R2D2, 39.1%, D0v1 plus a fleet of mini learner droids

How long have you been a part of a Droid Building Community?

Just over 3 years since joining the facebook groups, but was a member of the original Yahoo R2 group around 15+ years ago. (couldn’t afford the build at the time so I delayed the plans)

What made you want to build a droid in the first place?

In brief: My love of star wars, love of all things robots and love programming.

Slightly longer answer I had a 200 mm 3d printer and had been printing small things and I had the urge to build something big! The V1 dome was on thingiverse! I couldn’t resist. My plan was printed dome and a plywood based body and some form of skin, then Mr B released the MK2.

Even longer answer, I was born in 70s, I desperately wanted a big track! Never got one, I have been over-compensating ever since. When I was 15 I told the careers I want to build robots, they said there was no career/opportunities for that. I eventually went on to study Software Engineering as a mature student and the urge kicked back in.

What future plans do you have for your droid? Constantly upgrading? Show piece? Events droid?

Initially promotional events for where I teach to demonstrate software development and other computing skills for example 3D modelling. I would like to get to the point of attending more events and possibly charity events.

Do you have plans to build more droids? If so which one (s)?

Going to start another R2 within very soon, the V3, also I would like to build small scale mouse droids for parent-child projects, possible mouse droid racing! Low cost quick prints, easy to acquire parts with programming tutorials and use a mobile phone as a controller.

What are some of the challenges you have faced during your build?

Constant 3d print fails and 3d printers breaking down. Continuing to use badly printed parts. Getting hold of certain electronic items can be pain as a lot of items are not sourced in the UK.

Not organising and cataloguing parts as I print. Ending up with the same part twice or not know where a piece needs to go. Before the Facebook groups, it was tricky to figure out how things were supposed to go together.

Do you have a ‘proudest moment’? If so what would that be (could be from the build itself or an event)

Dome spinning with R2 Sounds being played, but probably more thrilling was seeing the body parts clamped together and dome on top it stopped being 3D printed pieces and became an R2 unit!

Are there any parts of the build process that have surprised you with how easy/ hard you found them? (For example something that you thought would be very hard that turned out to be easy for you etc)

Hard: Gluing parts always seems harder than it should be and getting parts to fit.

Easy: Printing the newer parts without supports! Always seems magical!

What is the most important piece of advice you would give to any new builder?

Organisation, planning and patience. This is not a 1 week project, take your time and enjoy it.

Keep checklists of what you are printing so you can sign them off as you print and possibly label as you store them.