Star Wars fever is real and running more rampant than ever. Seething, even. Before you ready your wardrobe for the movie this Friday, you’ll want to prime your 3D printer. The official BB-8 Builder’s Club just released open-source plans on how to print your very own BB-8 replica just in time for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The BB-8 Builder’s Club is an official organization dedicated to the development of high-quality BB-8 modeling using 3D printing and rapid prototyping. The organization was recognized by the LucasFilm Ltd. and has over 1,800 members from 27 countries. It’s newly-released prototype looks exactly like the real thing and is said to be of screen quality. I must admit, that both the Sphero and Hasbro controllable BB-8 were a bit on the small side. See my write-up here. The real one is like a beach ball. (Uh oh, BB-8 beach balls inbound?)

To build your own, you’ll need a 3D printer with a build area of 9 in. x 6 in. x 6 in. If you have a smaller build area, you can change the dimensions to print a mini BB-8 (weak), outsource the printing of the dome, or section off the dome in smaller pieces. All of the pieces you’ll print connect together like a puzzle, and you can get creative with your force on how your BB-8 will come together.


You can build your model using standard filament and the Star Wars squad suggests printing parts by using 5 or 6 shells at 0.2 mm layer height and using hexagonal infill of 10-15%. Once it’s assembled, the club suggests roughhousing with the drone, to ensure it looks as is it’s traveled the galaxy and has tales to tell.


The model takes roughly 65 hours to build; just enough time to print yours before the movie hits theaters (If you start today). The club is also working on releasing plans for both a simple and life-like BB-8, for those who lack the patience to dedicate 65 hours of their lives to the project.


In order to get the complete instructions and STL files, you’ll need to join the club’s Facebook group. The club announces updates constantly and you’ll want to check back periodically to ensure your building plans are the most up-to-date.

The leaders of the club, Club leaders Michael Erwin and Tiny Panganiban, are credited with spearheading the modeling endeavor. The duo suggests using Simplify3D software to ensure your files print properly. If you use another software, however, don’t worry – there’s nothing a little tinkering can’t fix.

The Force Awakens is set to hit theaters this Friday. You’ll want to buy your tickets now if you haven’t already, as some shows are already sold out. There are many rumors surrounding the plot, including leaks that some unexpected characters may have joined the Dark Side. But you’ll want to see it for yourself this weekend. Now… how do we make it motorized and controllable?

Cheers, and may be awakened force be with you.



The one-man ace engineering wrecking crew - If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find me, maybe you can hire... the Cabe-team.