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BB-8 Project Part 1: The BB-8 Project Begins!

BB-8 Exhibition ModelI've been wanting to get into electronics and find a new project. I even bought a 3D printer for whatever it was I was going to build. After watching a lot of YouTube videos of James Bruton (http://xrobots.co.uk) I discovered the BB-8. So I decided that that was challenging enough and that was what I was going to build. I even joined the R2D2 Builder's Club (http://www.astromech.net). I should also probably say that I have no design or electronics experience, I'm a total newb. I'm a software analyst by profession and have been programming most of my life, so that is my only advantage here. All of the work I do here will hopefully become open-source. I wished I could have also made a video log of this on YouTube, but video editing is very time consuming. I may do that for other projects. Well, I'm getting impatient, so lets get started!

 
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BB-8 Project Part 2: The Motor Mounts

polulo gearmotorsToday I'm going to start working on mounts for the motors so that I can attach them to the chassis (to be designed later). The motors I chose are three Pulolu's 30:1 37Dx52L mm Metal Gearmotors with 64 CPR Encoders. It's not likely I'll use the encoders, but I like having them there just in case I decide to. These guys run off 12V which I'll supply with a volt booster; however they do run pretty damn well on 9.6V (really 10V from my NIMH batteries). The torque on these things is great, almost so much that I can't stop them from spinning with my fingers.

So let's figure out how to make these as my first 3D Printed parts...

 
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BB-8 Sound FX (Updated)

UPDATE DECEMBER 26, 2015:
Thanks to Jens on the Astromech forum for extracting these. There are 73 new wav files in this download bb8soundfx-3.zip. These sounds are the new BB-8 sounds we're hearing in the film. They're quite a bit different than the original sounds we heard months ago. It appears Lucasfilm must have decided on different sound effects during editing of the film; just a guess.

UPDATE OCTOBER 20, 2015:
Thanks to Jens on the Astromech forum for extracting these. I don't know how Jens managed it, but there were a lot of good finds in the audio file. The new sounds are 001 through 019 as wav files or download bb8soundfx-2.zip.

I've cleaned up some BB-8 sound effects from youtube videos of the Anaheim Star Wars Celebration. These were done a month or two ago and should sound really good. If you're needing some BB-8 sounds for your builds you can get them here. Please note I don't own the rights to the original sounds. These sounds are not what you hear in the film, please check the update above.

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BB-8 Project Part 3: The Lower Tier Chassis

lower tier v1.0Now that the motor mounts are complete I need something to hold them together. I'm trying and make the most of my limited build volume with the 3D printer so I've chosen a 152 mm (6") diameter circle. I still can't print 152 mm x 152 mm with my printer even though that's what Lulzbot advertises. The Cura generated g-code first prints an outline of the object and that would be beyond my printer's build volume. So, unfortunately, I have to break this up into pieces.

 
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BB-8 Project Part 4: The Audio

audio cadpreviewI would be happy to get this hamster moving, but I really want to go ahead and tackle the audio part of the project. It's also the heaviest part so I need it to be low in the body. In the picture on the left I have the plan. This tier will include: a pair of generic brand 4" automotive speakers, Adafruit's 20W Class D Amplifier, Robertsonic's WAV Trigger, and my own custom audio power & communication distribution circuit.

There was a different plan at first that I almost did not tell you about ...

 
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