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I’ve been working on my full-size R2-D2 for over 3 years, but he is finally finished! Come see how we completed this amazing droid and check out the rest of the build series.


Thinking About Making One?

I have finally finished my full-size R2-D build. Well, I mean there won’t be any more videos about it; he will never be “finished.” Rather than a step-by-step tutorial like we have done in the past, I want this post to be a wrap-up of the previous milestones in the R2-D2 astromech droid build. If you are interested, I must direct you to the official R2 Builders Club website This project has taken me 2 and half years to complete (off and on) and is one of my favorite things.

If you are thinking about build a genuine full-size R2-D2, or any other astromech droid, you have to go into the build with your expectations set. There is no kit. There is no full-assembled version you can buy (outside of Disney World). You must put in the work. It is like a scavenger hunt that eventually leads you to a huge puzzle. I found skilled makers on the astromech forums that would batch out specialized parts in lots. You have to reserved one of these rare pieces before they sell out.

Perfect Skill Building Project

This R2-D2 puzzle is not a snap together set. You spend your time making unique shapes from an array of materials. I made my R2 unit out of styrene plastic and aluminum but you can make one out of anything. The material you choose; wood, foam, styrene, etc., must be rigid enough for your intended purpose. I always wanted my R2 to roll around and have full automation, hence the stronger materials. If you wanted a large-scale model to show off in a room, then 3d printing may be best.

I was forced to learn how to TIG weld for the aluminum feet, form plastic for the structure, and paint with new materials to get that custom blurple color. It was a super adventure in making and I am better all around because of it. Again, make sure you determine what your R2’s intent is before you start building your droid.

He’ll Never Be Finished

Once I finished the electronics and assigned the controllers, he was drivable and very expressive. There is an electronics coding package called S.H.A.D.O.W that connected all of R2’s motors, servos, sound boards, and lights together. It was instrumental in making R2 the fun and lively droid we all know. I was able to drive him around my house and outside down the street, which made me so happy. Finishing R2 made he feel like I did when I was a kid watching him on screen. He is one of my favorite characters from the Star Wars series and having him roll around in front of me is like meeting one of your heroes in person.

I still want to weather him and give him the on-screen treatment he had in Empire Strikes Back. That will take a lot of time and energy that wouldn’t make sense in a stand alone project video. So, I’d like to leave this series on a high note. If you are considering making your own R2-D2 or any other astromech droid, do it. Yes, it’s a lot of work. Yes, it’s expensive (I stopped counting at $5,000). But if you like to make stuff like I do, this is a Holy Grail project. Get to work.

Tools List:

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Finishes & adhesives I like:

3d Printing/CNC/Laser:



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