Nov 4, 2015 | By Alec

After Halloween, attention usually shifts to Christmas almost immediately, with stores, malls and offices suddenly transforming into a huge festive display. However, this year will be different from most because another important event has placed itself on many calendars: the release of the new Star Wars movie a week before Christmas. Only being about six weeks away now, tensions and expectations are rising, and the 3D printing community is reading itself with plenty of cool Star Wars-related projects. The most impressive we’ve seen so far is undoubtedly Jason Loo’s amazing 3D printed life-sized BB-8 droid, which is gearing up to be this movie’s key droid.

The twenty-five year old Jason has a background in industrial design, and is extremely fascinated with movie props and toys, so understandably he is one of the millions going mad about the upcoming movie. Currently working at local toy company MightyJaxx, he is also no stranger to design. Working on numerous versions of props, he is hoping to find a career in the film industry, and this latest project will doubtlessly help him along the way.

As he explains to, Jason was obviously inspired by the teaser trailer featuring the BB-8 robot. ‘I was working on a Sphero version of BB-8 after watching the teaser trailer, but unfortunately Sphero announced the release of their BB-8 toy and I was contemplating about finishing the project,’ he tells us. Jason is actually one of those people who got hooked on Star Wars as a kid, watching The Phantom Menace . ‘Episode One was the very first movie I’ve watched that immersed me into a whole new world of movie magic. The experience felt like a dream after the movie, and it really made me want to recreate that world I just came out of,’ he says.

Fortunately, he came across an open community of like-minded Star Wars fans/makers called the BB8BuildersClub. As the name implies, they were working on a full scale version of the droid as well, and shared their full scale 3D printable files on the web. ‘And since I happen to own a 3D printer, I decided to give this project a shot,’ he adds. Fortunately, few of the files needed any adjustments, so they could be sent on through to Jason’s Zortrax M200 3D printer fairly quickly. During these steps, however, he kept a close eye on as many images (and the trailer) as he could.

Almost all of the parts visible in the photos have been 3D printed, from the dome head to the body panels. Jason 3D printed everything in ABS, with the dome alone taking about 60 hours to 3D print and the body up to 500 – but then you do end up with a very cool result. Before that, a lot of post-print processing was obviously necessary. ‘Every single piece printed needs to be filed and sanded down smoothed before priming and painting them. Apart from the never ending sanding and smoothing, I guess the main challenge will be maintaining the dedication and patience to complete the project,’ the Singaporean designer tells us. ‘There are many repeated parts for this build, and eventually there will be a point where you'll feel like giving up.’

Fortunately, working with the BB8Builders community served as an immense boost to his enthusiasm. ‘The community of BB-8 Builders provided the much needed motivation with many of their progress shots, and that made me push myself to complete the project as soon as possible!’ he tells us, and we are very thankful for that. To complete the look, Jason already added some LED lights but is currently working with the BB8Builders community to make it fully movable too. That would be immensely cool, but Disney’s lawyers probably wouldn’t be too happy about it.

While the final creation is quite expensive – close to a low four-figure sum – the results are truly amazing. What’s more, BB-8 is actually an intermittent project, as Jason is actually focusing on a 3D printed Ironman suit, but just had to satisfy his Star Wars needs first. ‘The 'Force' is too strong for me to not build BB-8!’ he tells us, and we know exactly what he means.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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JoshHodge wrote at 3/8/2016 2:32:03 PM:

You need to be a member of the BB8 builders club on facebook, from there you can download them

josh wrote at 2/24/2016 7:51:38 PM:

where can i get the stl files

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