Over the past few weeks, I've been working with my friend, Fred, on some ideas for R2 to look a bit more "industrial". After all, in the movies we know R2-D2 is one of many, mass-produced droids to do various tasks. So, let's make R2 look that way.
One of the other builders already offers the door details in plastic. However, I prefer aluminum and the ones offered do not account for the space the hinges take.
After measuring up the available space on the door panels, it was a matter of replicating the pattern on the computer and scaling it down. Once we were comfortable with that, we used some pre-painted 0.040 inch aluminum and cut it on the CNC.
For my droid, I made the tall door details 12.125" inches by 1.875" inches wide.
The "large door" panel, also known as the Data Panel door, worked out to be 4.00" inches by 6.00" inches.
Here's how they look all installed on R2-D2 #2 (the Charge Panel is removed to fix an alignment issue).
Next up was the small door on the lower left. A few weeks ago, I came up with an idea that replicates the design of the Data Panel. This door is where I have R2's main power switches for electronics and drive motors.. I wanted to something different and started work on it tonight, drilling holes for the DPDT electrical switches to fit.
I wasn't sure how I felt about cutting the details out, having R2's "guts" show thru the small gaps. However, the door is seldom open and from past experiences, people are just in awe to see what is inside the robot that makes it work.
Next up is the label that appears inside the charging port door. In "Return of the Jedi" it is briefly visible when R2 zaps Jabba's rodent pet and when he zaps apart the chains on Princess Leia.
The R2 Builders have dug, researched, done slow motion replays to try to figure out what that text says. Like most of the Star Wars text, it uses a font called Aurebesh I'll be honest, I am not entirely sure what the text is supposed to be but based on what others have made for labels, I took my best guess. Fred, being the signmaker and CNC guru of the bunch, fired up his Gerber vinyl printer and made two, one for each droid.