Oct 29, 2015 | By Benedict

Although the charming Star Wars BB-8 droid has really captured the public imagination this year (including 3D printing pen legends 3Doodler), there is still a place in all geeks’ hearts for the classic droids and machines featured in the original trilogy. A mechanical engineering student from the University of Michigan going by the name of Dan Olson has designed a 3D printable, motorised AT-AT Walker, a replica of the iconic four-legged combat vehicle first seen in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back.

The talented maker has shared the .stl files for the incredible print on Thingiverse, so Star Wars fans can get ready for the massively anticipated seventh instalment, The Force Awakens, with a ~1ft tall 3D printed model of one of the franchise’s most iconic creations. A word of caution for enthusiastic makers: wrapping some kind of cord around the four legs of the AT-AT could result in irreparable damage.

Image from Star Wars

Using roughly 750g of PLA filament, makers can 3D print the 69 individual parts of the AT-AT (spread across 28 .stl files). Olson estimates a total print time of around four days, but warns that your 3D printer must be large enough to handle each part, as they cannot be scaled down. The largest part of the 3D print is 205 mm long and 11 mm wide, but the maker has provided a ‘split’ version of that component for smaller printers. He printed the parts at 0.2mm resolution, except for the body and head pieces which were printed at 0.3mm, with everything set at 10% infill.

The AT-AT requires just three non-3D printed parts: a motor, switch, and 9V battery clip. These parts can be obtained for less than $15 in total, excluding shipping costs.

Olson writes:

I designed the gear tooth profile to be 3D printing friendly, but you likely will still need to floss the teeth with a file to get them to mesh well.

Many of the parts required a decent amount of clean up work (especially the gears) and you can make good use of files, sandpaper, wood chisels, and super glue. Some of the joints may be a really tight fit and don't need to be glued depending on your printer.

There are two LiftGear parts that look similar but are mirrored. It's important to print two of each. The same goes for the two LegPivot parts.

Images from Thingiverse

The monstrous 3D printed AT-AT will bring back many memories for those who collected Star Wars toys as children. In spite of the large volume of 3D printer filament used, this 3D printed model is certainly cheaper than the official alternatives. Its motorisation is also pretty impressive for an amateur creation. Back in the 1990s, I had to move my AT-AT by hand, although I had no problem with that.

The official Star Wars website describes the AT-AT (All Terrain Armored Transport) as a “four-legged transport and combat vehicle used by the Imperial ground forces. Standing over 20 meters tall with blast-impervious armor plating, these massive constructs are used as much for psychological effect as they are for tactical advantage.” At almost a foot tall, Olson’s replica can likely offer a tactical advantage over small household pets, and wield psychological power over young children.

Here's a little video showing it in action:



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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