R4-D4 Dome work progress 2.5

So yesterday I re-designed the servo panel and sent it to the printer. Four hours plus later, it finished....just in time for me to leave work.

Once home, I removed the raft & supports. There wasn't much cleaning up needed.

Later I then test fitted the components & whilst I had some free time, connected up what I could.

It may look complicated, but I don't do complicated lol, all 'plug-n-play' here.....with a bit of splicing of the digital volt meter to be soldered to the output pin connectors of the voltage regulator unit. The bottom two red wires are to the momentary switch I used for testing. This you can see in the picture below.

Here's a quick video.


R4-D4 Dome work progress 2.4

Today saw the second can of primer/filler used up on the dome. But it was worth it.

The lid edges were shaped to specifically match each corner, so only one orientation. I applied PVA wash over the edges. Before it was dusted with spray. So this part of the dome is done. But there's still loads to do.

The light really shows up the edges best in this picture. Am really pleased so far.
Once all dry, a light sanding will follow.

I started on location lugs for the lid to fit inside the dome's hole. More on this in next blog post, if it works lol.

Here's a picture of the new/old 3D printed panel that didn't print so well. I did test fit it to see how it looks inside the dome.

The new new 3D printed panel is being printed. Two hours and it's only half way through lol.

Some good news about the Radar Eye lens. After searching shops for the 99p fake CCTV dome version, I had to bid on eBay. Found a set of 4.....yes, I know, but in order to get them this side of Christmas, it had to be done. The price for the 4, I could of paid for 1, the increase since I bought one for my R0 dome last year is ridiculous!!

R4-D4 Dome work progress 2.3

Last week, the last two panels have been worked on (17.11)

Panel 5 received a PVA wash, rasp work to take off the edges and sanding with paper (repeat until smooth). Wood filler was then applied, then once dried, this was sanded smooth.

Then it was onto the last curved panel. Trimmed it to fit along its edges (the clamped edge), then glued and clamped into place. First side.
Once dried, I glued the second edge down and then trimmed off the excess along the bottom edge. Then it was back onto rasp file work, and sanding smooth.

Friday I glued up the first edge of curved panel no6, I took the dome home and at the weekend I was able to finish glueing the second edge. Then a PVA wash and some wood filler, ready for work on Monday.
After sanding the filler and wood smooth, I gave the whole dome a spray with primer/filler.

Then on the lunchtime, I gave the whole dome a smooth sanding.

This process helps pickup areas that need small amounts of wood filler.
I also started on making the lid.


I had some luck re: on/off relay circuits. Thanks to pointers from fellow builders, it lead me to one which is now in the post to me. More on this when it arrives.

I have also been working on drawing up a circuit board panel to mount the trigger board, voltage regulator, digital volt meters and once it arrives, the on/off relay circuit board.

This is the second design. The on/off circuit board doesn't have mounting holes, so I'll have to attach it to the board via clips glued on perhaps.

Well, I wasn't happy with this version, so I re-designed and drew up another.
This has the fixing bracket already fitted with a screw location hole too.


R4-D4 Dome work progress 2.2

Came up with an idea to cover over the screws for the Holo projector Eye.
3D printed a ring with some details on it. Slightly filed two flats to better fit the panel side walls.

And here it is test fitted on the Holo pod.
The idea is that this could be fitted and if work ever needed to be done,
so unscrewing required, paintwork wouldn't be damaged.

Not posted up pics of the LED lit up inside the Holo Eye, theres a mini video on my Instagram page. The pictures give the impression it's REALLY bright, but that's just the camera adjusting to the brightness.

The second picture is better for being able
to see the insides of the nozzle.


My friend Paul popped over with a un-used 3D printed Radar Eye. It will of course need the sides worked on to get them sitting flush to the curvature of the dome panel. But I've managed this before on R0-D4's dome.

Had to be done, lol, a test fit of the Radar Eye on the Dome.


Then it was back on with sanding the primer
& then applying wood filler onto the panels again.

R4-D4 Dome work progress 2.1

Build progress....
  • Glued on more rear support pieces for the curved panels.
  • Wood filler over primer.
  • Extra support pieces added.
  • Inside securing blocks added.
  • Sanding and smoothing.
  • Holo projector eye fine tuning.

 I know this looks like tha last picture I posted up, lol, but it isn't.

The curved panel support struts, were held in place at the top by panel pins & PVA glue. I removed the pins and added some cut to fit securing blocks.

Curved panel 4, goes on.

I marked up, cut to length and glued into place the last two curved panel supports struts.

And cut out and scored the panels to be curved.
The pins are there to help hold the panel in place while glueing and clamping takes place.


The holo projector eye, rear cowl, needed some more smoothing on it's inside face. When the main body was rotated, the slightly ovalness, meant it wouldn't freely rotate. Then I used the 'breath easy' nose strip's, cut down to help smooth the contact areas.

I also lightly sanded the silver part of the body. This has dulled it down more to give a more worn/tarnished look, which I like. Pictures in next Blog post.....

More primer/filler spray applied, over the latest work done.

Once dried, more sanding and wood filler....and sanding to be done.



R4-D4 Dome work progress 2.0

I'll be keeping all dome progress now in one post,
was getting a bit much trying to order when work was done when lol.

So far, the weekend I managed to get a lot done.

  • measured and cut extension blocks.
  • drilled and screwed them all into place.
  • glued into place, curved panel no2.
  • had problems with glue not drying on panel no2.
  • had to fix glue problem by cutting out and redoing.
  • cut and fitted more of the curve panel strut supports.
  • sanded, applied wood filer, sanded and repeated.
  • fitting curved panel no3.
And now for the pictures:

Friday lunchtime I measured up and cut to length the extension blocks needed for height.
Test layout of spacing them.

Then on the evening I positioned them to give me an even spacing, without the blocks interfering with where the lazy susan location pins will protrude up into the dome. I then marked and drilled clearance holes and using decking screws (left overs) I secured them in place.
Once this was done I could then get on with gluing the next curved panel edge. This has to be done, one edge at a time to allow the glue to dry and hold the panel in place. Time consuming and fiddly too.

Trimming the excess edge of curved panel.

And an artistic picture of the dome curves and flats

This is the dome with one side of curved panel 2 glued in place.....gluing the second side is when things didn't stick well.

I know now why it didn't stick. Basically the inside panel was too wide and therefore had to much land that couldn't curve enough for the curved panel to make contact with. It did in the lower, less curved part, but the upper 'tighter' bend it didn't.

Whilst this was not setting, I carried on with cutting out the remaining triangles.

And using panel pics to secure in place whilst the PVA glue set.

Here are two more artistic pics of the inside of the dome structure.
 Where the Holo projector unit will go.

Now onto the 'fail' part. As mentioned above, due to the with of the backing piece of wood, it didn't make enough contact due to the curvature. So I tried to force PVA glue between the panels to go under the panel, but after a day, this still hadn't worked & the edge still moved when touched.

So I started to cut away a bit at a time till the wood to wood contact was good. I then applied PVA glue to bond what was good wood. Once dried I started to fill out the area with wood filler.

More on this in next post.

In the mean time I got on with cutting more 'rear' pieces and glued them onto one panel at a time. This is easier to only have to clamp two parts, instead of juggling three pieces, clamping blocks & clamps!

This then made clamping the edge of curved panel no3 a lot easier.
Glued in place, panel pics helping to hold curve.

Other work done:
  • mini locking blocks cut for the inside of the curved support pieces (pics to follow)
  • PVA washed over exposed sanded wood, seals and helps with smooth sanding.
  • a few coats of primer/filler spray on completed sanded & smooth wood work.
More in next blog, including electrical control of the holo projector servo unit.


R4-D4 - 3D printing internals 1.3 'Tangle Free wires'

More 3D printing.

I came up with this idea for tangle free wires. The concept is not a new thing, as I've found while searching more online. But this way hasn't been done before (as far as I can see online) so it's a simpler way of powering/rotating without tangling wires.

The idea is to use a normal bearing, sleeved, and push fitted into the rear of the holo eye.
(the 3D holo eye version off astromech.net forum)
The LED wire passing through the LED holder (also 3D printed) and passing through the centre of the bearing. The Holo Eye body is free to rotate on the outside edge of the bearing with the LED wires, staying fixed though the middle of it.

After several ideas and re-design's, I've finally (for now lol) settled on this version and gone with the large 10mm LED. Next is to re-wire the LED with heat shrink sleeves.

And this is it push fitted into the holo body.

Next up is to sort out connection of the servo to the LED holders shaft.