Archive

Archive for May, 2009

Creating an inner dome

May 29th, 2009 admin No comments
Blank Dome

Blank Dome

In 2003 I was single, living in an apartment in Chicago, and I got the bug (from reading Alex Kung’s website) to build myself an R2-D2 replica. I spent a lot of time reading and researching via the R2Builders club, which at that time was a yahoo email group (but by now has a great forum and wiki at astromech.net). Having just recently gotten my first full-time job, I had a very small budget for robot parts. When a parts run opened up for budget, blank aluminum domes, I signed up. I think I spent $70 on it. Cut to 3 years later, and all I’ve done so far is sand out all the spin lines. Then, over the course of 1 week (I think I had taken the whole week off of work for some reason) I finally started doing some serious work on it

Fiberglass Tools

Fiberglass Tools

To provide a support structure for the panels I would be cutting out of the dome, I decided to create a fiberglass inner dome. This will be my first time working with fiberglass, and I didn’t really know what I was doing. I did the whole thing with fiberglass “cloth”, whereas I’ve seen other people recommend using “mat” for strength. The dome has been prepped with car wax as a release agent, which ended up working really well.

Fiberglass laid into the dome

Fiberglass laid into the dome

Inner dome unmolded

Inner dome unmolded



As the above image shows, the end product has a lot of pits, resulting from (I think) me rushing to lay the fiberglass in. I think I mixed too much hardener into the resin, making it set up really fast. Also, I ended up going back and laying in a few more layers for strength. I then filled in the really bad spots with bondo, but I had to be really careful so the domes would still fit together.

Categories: R2D2 Tags: , ,