Bem vindos ao R2 Builders Club!

R2 Builders Club Droids

Where Should I Start?

That is the most important question you can ask! The amount of information available on building a droid can be overwhelming for someone that wants to build one but is new to the concept.

The first thing to do is to look around the website here and see how things are organized.

Get a feel for how the group runs things. You will find an enormous amount of information posted here as well as on the Yahoo group forum. This information will include:

The Yahoo! Group holds most all of the "Official" plans that we use for building our droids and making parts. These can be found in the Official Plans folder in the Files section. The link to the Files section will be seen on the left side of the page and accessible once you have logged in.

Introduce yourself and get to know the other builders! There are club members located all over the world and there is a good chance that someone else may live in your area, so tell us where you live, and ask if anyone else lives nearby. It can give you a big boost getting to meet a local, fellow builder and seeing their droid or even their prized collection of parts up close in person.

The next step is to start doing your research! Figure out what you want your droid to do and what materials you feel comfortable working with, and are within your budget. Then start compiling the information posted that you can use when building your droid. A very good suggestion which many members have done is to get themselves a thick notebook or binder to keep printed plans, material, ideas, etc. in.

Check out other builders websites and blogs. There are many talented members that have been at the forefront of coming up with new ideas and techniques for building droids. Some of these guys are simply amazing and their personal websites have tons of good info to sort through.

Learn who the trusted part suppliers are and what parts are currently available. When a part run is Builders Council approved, you can be assured that great care has been taken to get the highest quality part, in a reasonable amount of time, without any major problems.

Are Your Droids The Same As The Ones In The Movies?

That is a very good question. The truth is that all of the droids that were made for the movies and seen in other video, film, and television specials all have differences between them. None of them are identical in every way and most were designed to do different things to add to
the story line.

The R2 Builders Club has gone over every bit of info available on R2 and other Astromechs seen on film and have compiled a standardized set of plans that are the most accurate you can get. This is in no small part to the friends the club has gained at LucasFilm and certain insiders like Don Bies who have given the club members special access to many of the props and other material used in the films.

The thing about screen used props is that they usually only have to look good on camera from a few feet away, so up close it may not be the clean, precisely detailed object that you thought it was. The R2 Builders Club has much higher standards than that. Each official part that is produced by club members is finely detailed with crisp, sharp lines and are of the highest quality available.

One thing to note is that these are all replicas and no one among the R2 Builders Club would want to pass their droid off as an authentic
screen used prop. Although it is fun to note that some of the members droids have been used in certain very popular Star Wars fan films, special television events and commercials, as well as Weird Al concerts, and other events and conventions.

Can I Buy A Kit?

The R2 Builders Club does not offer kits. However, we can help point you in the right direction to get the best quality parts available for building your own Astromech droid. There are kits and even whole droids available from other sources such as popular auction sites and internet vendors, but beware that what you get may not be of the highest quality or accuracy for the high price they may want for those. You also have to be careful of who you are dealing with on the net. There are many instances of people purchasing droids and other items from some internet vendors and never receiving what they paid for.

How Much Will It Cost To Build A Droid?

That is a very good question, and one that builders are asked the most often. The Answer: It all depends on what materials you use, what skills you have, and how much of the work you do yourself. A nice looking full sized, motorized droid can be built for as little as a few hundred dollars and some members have built static or scaled down versions for less. Or a droid can be built for many thousands of dollars and have all the bells and whistles, all custom machined aluminum parts, with every panel, door, and accessory operated by remote control.

It all depends on you. But don't let the above statements frighten you. There are many members who started out on a low budget with little or no experience, who now have complete or nearly complete droids. The great thing about this club is that there are many people willing to help you get started and give you advice, as well as many different ways to build a droid within various budgets.

There are many ways to keep costs down. It all starts with doing the work yourself rather than buying machined parts. As mentioned above, the more you can do yourself, the more you'll save, but you'll have some choices to make and possibly some new skills to learn. You'll make the best choices if you spend some time and research how to go about your build.

Some examples:

For the skins:

Detail parts:

Booster covers:

So to compare for just these parts (this is all approximate and may or may not count shipping):
Aluminum: $750 (to $900) + $215 + $120 + $275 = $1360 (to $1510)
PVC/Wood/Resin: $285 + $120 + $20 + $60 = $485
Scratchbuilding: $125 + $20 + $3 + $8 = $156 (approximately)

This also doesn't take into account your time, any tools you might need, or adhesives or screws/bolts, etc. But it does show that if you do the work yourself it is cheaper. This is not to discourage you from purchasing parts, however. The club produces awesome quality parts for the best price possible. But if you're on a budget you're going to have to plan on fabricating some of the parts yourself.

How Long Does It Take To Build One?

That depends on many factors. Of course, the amount of time you have to put into it each day, week, or month will vary. Also the availability of parts can effect the time it takes to complete a Droid. Whether you buy parts or build them yourself is another factor. Some members have built droids out of inexpensive and easy to work with materials in only a few months. Others have spent several years collecting parts and doing research on the different ways to build a Droid.

Where Can I Get Parts From?

Parts can be made out of many different materials like resin, plastic, metal, wood and fiberglass. Some members build their own parts while others buy parts from individuals who supply them. Some parts can be made on demand and others are produced through part "Runs". Typically the harder to make parts such as intricate aluminum parts are made in runs where a machine shop is usually hired to make them. It is much cheaper per piece to have a machine shop make 50 or 100 of the same part than it is to have only 5 or 10 made.

There are several club members that supply parts for the group. You will learn who those suppliers are, and when orders are being taken for part runs by keeping up with the posts on the Yahoo! Group as well as checking the Part Listings page. Standard parts used for our droids that are purchased from non-club suppliers or other retail outlets may be found on the Suppliers Index page.

Any member that wishes to supply parts for the group should get approval from the Builders Council. The Builders Council oversees part runs to make sure that the same part is not being produced by two different suppliers at the same time.

Parts that are made on demand (Such as resin parts) do not usually require BC (Builders Council) approval.

Is There A Diagram That Shows Me The Part Names?

Diagram of parts and where they go

For a more in depth look at the parts on an Astromech droid, check out the Part Terminology page.

Other Parts That Builders Use

What is a Rockler Bearing?

What club members refer to as a Rockler bearing is a 17 3/8" diameter heavy duty aluminum Lazy-Susan bearing made by the Rockler Woodworking and Cabinetry company. Most club members use it for rotating the dome on their droids. See the expanded information in the wiki here: Rockler Dome Bearings

What is the Aspects Dome that I've read about, and Where can I get one?

The Aspects Dome is an 18" diameter clear plastic squirrel guard made to cover a bird feeder. While many of the club members have used the Aspects squirrel guard as the dome for their Droids, unfortunately, it has been redesigned and is no longer suitable for our purposes.  Since the aspects redesign, club members now have access to the more accurate dual layer C&D styrene domes offered on the parts listings page.
A few of the old version of the Aspects squirrel guard may still be found in certain retail stores such as Wild Birds Unlimited. Check your local retailers that carry bird supplies and make sure it is the 18" wide by 9" high, hemispherically shaped version.
There are also a few suppliers for hemispherical plastic domes that may be used instead. Ask on the forum for a recommended supplier.

For more info on domes that have been used by club members, check out the Dome History Page.

Where can I get lenses for the HP's? (Holoprojectors)

What is used for the lens in each HP is a 1 1/2" diameter acrylic hemisphere called a cabochon. This can be purchased from
Tapp Plastics or other online and possibly local sources if you search them out.

Misc. Questions

Has anyone ever thought about taking the electronics from one of the Interactive R2-D2 toys and using it in a full-sized droid?

This is probably the most popular question asked by new members. The answer isn't necessarily if you could, but if you should. The Interactive R2-D2 toys are fun, but it's one matter to control an 18" plastic toy and quite another to try to control a 200 pound aluminum robot that seems as if it has a mind of it's own. It's a fine thought, but in practice it may not work so well.

Where can I find the official club logo?

The R2 builders club logo can be downloaded here
Please Read the rules for proper use of the club logo here

Is it the "R2 Builders Club" or the "R2 Builders Group"?

The Official Club's name is the "R2 Builders Club". Many tend to call it the "R2 builders Group" because they are confusing the club name with the "Yahoo! Groups" Forums, that the club was originally started on.

The Builder's Council

What is the Builder's Council?

The Builder's Council is a group of thirteen builders who moderate and oversee the R2 Builders Club. This group consists of:

Where can I contact them?


What do they do?

They moderate the forums as well as work with and oversee part suppliers to ensure that duplicate parts are not being run at the same time. This is to prevent others from undercutting the work, time, and money that each part supplier has invested into getting their parts produced.


About Astromech.net

Astromech.net is the official website of the R2 Builders Club and exists as a service to its members worldwide. The site contains the clubs reference galleries, parts listings, and builders map, as well as hosts the most popular discussion forums.

Who runs the site?

Astromech.net is owned by Wayne Orr and is administered by Wayne, pixelFiend, Cole Horton and Chris James.
The forums are maintained and moderated by a team of experienced builders:

New Members Forum: Admin Team
Astromech Discussions: Jason Smith, Alex Kung, Jerry Chevalier, Guy Vardaman
Look What I Did!: Admin Team
Droid Parts!: David Shaw, Wayne Orr
Off Topic: Admin Team
Club Activities: Admin Team
Housekeeping and Administration: Admin Team

Site Features

Astromech.net has a variety of features to help you learn how to build your droid.

Astromech.net Forums

The forums are broken down into logical sections to allow users to zero in on the content they are looking for and to find a suitable place to ask questions.


The DroidWiki is a user-contributed knowledgebase outlining how to build droids and how to find information, navigate, and gain the most benefit from all the R2 Builders Group has to offer.

See the Main Page for more information concerning the layout and description of the parts of this wiki.


The Astromech.net Galleries offer a space for users to post progress pictures of their builds, as well as a place to go for reference images of droids used in the movies and traveling exhibits. There is no limit on the number of pictures you can upload. They should be images relating to droid building however. Members are encouraged to use this free hosting for all things droid building.

Each member can have a gallery album (or multiple nested albums), but it is not required. A link to your gallery album will appear in your site profile. See the Site Tutorial section to learn about how to open your album and to upload images.

Part Listings

The Part Listings section provides a snapshot of the part runs available to the group at any given time. Part runs are separated into the following groups: Council Approved Runs, Other Runs, Always Available Parts, and Previous Runs. A section for Proposed Part Runs is available for members who already offer parts to show what they would like to offer in the future. See The Site Tutorial section for information on how to become a part supplier and how to use this section.

Builders and Material Supply Links

Links to Builders' Sites are offered for the edification of site members. Much can be learned by reading and seeing what more experienced builders did. Often, detailed building tutorials are available, and for this reason perusing these sites should be some of the first level research done by beginning builders.

Material supply links are provided, showing where to find components that are commonly used by the group, as well as online sources for building materials such as various metals and plastics.

Builders Map

A google map based user contributed map shows member locations based on longitude and latitude. Find builders local to you! See the Site Tutorial section to learn how to add a marker for your location.

Builders Profile

The Builder's Profile section is a bi-monthly spotlight on your fellow builders!

Droid Registry

The Droid Registry is a listing of builders and the droids they are working on. It is wiki-based, and shows the model droid being built, who owns it, a link to an external website, location, radio frequency used if remote controlled, and level of completeness. Links to specific droid wiki pages can be added. See the Site Tutorial section for more information.

Who do I contact with problems?

If you have a question or a problem with using the site, contact Wayne Orr.

For issues with the forum, contact an administrator

For technical problems with the CMS (non forum problems), contact pixelFiend or Chris James.

The R2Builders Yahoo! Group Forum

The R2 Builders Yahoo! Group was founded in 1999 by Dave Everett who had a desire to build a full size replica of R2-D2 and wished to contact others with the same desire to build an R2-D2 replica.

To gain access to the Official Plans that members use to build their Droids, you will need to sign up for membership in the R2 Builders Yahoo! Group. If you do not already have one, you will also need to sign up for a Yahoo! ID. When you sign up for this ID, the user-name that you choose will be permanent and cannot be changed, so choose wisely.

However, you will have the option to add and choose different profile user-names and email address for each different Yahoo! Group that you belong to.

If you need to change the name on outgoing mail from your Yahoo email account; Click on "Options" --> "Mail Options", then go over to the left side and click on "Mail", then you'll see the "Mail Options" menu. Click on "General Preferences" and change the name at the top of the page.

How To Subscribe To the R2 Yahoo! Group Forum

Send an email message to: r2builders-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

How To Unsubscribe

There is an "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of the page in each message sent to your inbox. You may unsubscribe by sending a message from the same email address you subscribed with to: r2builders-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

You may also unsubscribe through the Edit Membership page as explained below.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION For Subscribing To the Yahoo! Group Forum

When you subscribe to the R2 Builders Yahoo! Group forum you will begin to receive emails from the forum with every post that is made by the members of the club.

The forum tends to generate quite a bit of traffic and can average anywhere from 70 to over 100 messages each day. Each one of these messages will show up in your email inbox. If you do not wish to receive all of these messages, you will need to adjust your membership settings. This is how you do it.

You can either login in to the Yahoo! Group forum and click on the "Edit Membership" link near the top of the page, located right above the R2-D2 Builders Club banner. (See the red arrow in the screen shot below.)


Or you can adjust your settings by finding the link at the bottom of each message emailed to you. At the bottom of the message look for the Yahoo! logo. You will also see links for adjusting your settings that look like this:

Change settings via the Web (Yahoo! ID required) Change settings via email: Switch delivery to Daily Digest | Switch format to Traditional Visit Your Group | Yahoo! Groups Terms of Use | Unsubscribe

To stop getting the emails all together you will need to click on the "Change settings via the Web" link.

When you click on the link, the Edit Membership page will appear. Here you may choose to make other adjustments like adding a special profile for each different Yahoo! Group that you join, or add another email address to receive messages at. The next section will discuss the different choices you have for receiving or not receiving massages.

Individual Email / Daily Digest / Web Only

Checking the box next to "Individual Email" will send all messages posted on the forum to your email inbox. Checking the box next to "Daily Digest" will compile all messages posted on the forum and send them to you in only one or two messages at the end of each day. However, You will not receive any attachments that are added by members to their messages. Checking the box next to "Web Only" will stop all messages from being sent to your email inbox. If you wish to only receive important messages from the group owner or moderators, you can check the box next to "Special Notices". If you want to keep up on the messages being discuss you will be required to log in on the Yahoo! Group forum to read the messages.

If you decide that you no longer want to be a member of the R2 Builders Club, you can click on the button at the bottom of the page that says "Leave Group".

How to post messages to the Yahoo! Group forum

You may log in to the Yahoo! Group forum and post messages directly from the board, or you may send an email message to: r2builders@yahoogroups.com

To send file attachments to the other group members such as photos, ect... simply attach the file using your regular email and send to the address above.

File Attachments/Photo Archives

The Yahoo! Group Forum does not store any attachments (files, photos, ect..) that members may send to the rest of the group.

All attachments are currently sent to, and are being stored here so that those who do not receive emails from the group can still view the files and photos.


The official blueprints of the club can be found in the files section of the Yahoo! Group, or by clicking here. As previously explained,
You will need to sign up for membership in the R2 Builders Yahoo Group to gain access.

The Files section as well as photo albums and other group features may be accessed by the links in the navigation box to the left of your screen. (See the green arrow on the screen shot above.)

I can't read these blueprint files, they're .DXF and .DWG CAD files. Is there a free CAD viewer available?

Yes. There are many free to download CAD viewers on the net, however, some are only trial versions or will not allow you to print the file. Here are some that are Free to use that also allows you to print.

Try the eDrawings viewer. Both Mac and PC versions are available, and are used by many club members for viewing and printing .dxf files. Bently View may also be used.

Why Don't I see Official blueprints for every part on R2?

Certain parts like the frame and other parts have gone through various changes over the years while the design, layout, or manufacturing process is improved upon to make them more functional and accurately fit with the other parts as well as conform to what is seen on screen. Until a specific design for such parts has been perfected and is finalized, plans for them will not be posted in the "Official Blueprints" section. The dome is something that is very difficult to get exact specs on and there has been much debate over the exact profile (curvature), and layout that should be used. Again, until accurate info can be confirmed, a complete dome blueprint will not be posted in the Official Blueprints section.

Un-Official plans that are not posted in the Yahoo Group files section are often hosted on the designers private website. Aluminum Frame blueprints for the JAG V5 frame can be found on JAG's website.

The Wood frame files that were designed by Mike Senna can be found on the Yahoo group in the "Senna Files" folder.

If you need a specific plan that is not posted, it's just a matter of asking on the forums. Plans do exist for just about every part that you can think of.

Why do many of the Official Blueprints appear to be missing certain dimensions?

Many of the "Official" plans may only include dimensions of the part's features that are visibly seen on the exterior of the droid.
When it comes to functionality, or how the part is physically mounted inside the droid, often times it is up to the part designer or supplier to decide how the non-externally visible features of the part will be made. Sometimes limitations in the manufacturing process or cost concerns will determine the exact design of the part.

It's interesting to compare some of the older club made parts to the current ones. You can see some serious changes in the overall design of certain parts. Because of this, many of the older parts may not be compatible with other current parts or may need some modification to fit.

Other Related Websites and Groups

Local R2 Droid Builder Yahoo Groups

R2 Builders Australia Group
New England Droid Builders Group
Washington DC Area Builders Group R2DC
Pacific Northwest R2D2 Builders Group
Central R2 (Builders in and around the states of Nebraska and Iowa)
Dallas Fort-Worth Area Astromech builders
R2SF (Builders in the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California)

Other R2 Builder Forums

Astromech Factory
Astromech Builder

R2D2 Themed sites

R2KT Site
R2D2 Central
Kenny Bakers Home Page
R2D2 Droid Factory
R2D2 Hall of Fame

Other Star Wars Droid-Related Yahoo Groups

R7 Droid Builders Group
The Mouse Droid Builders
R2 Autonomous
GONK Builders
T3M4 Builders Club
Treadwell Builders
C3PO Builders
IG88 Builders
Pit Droid Builders
Battle Droid Builders Group
T3M4 Droid Builders Group
R2D2 PCB Group
Resin R2D2 Parts

Other Robot Related Yahoo Groups

K9 Builders Guild
B9 Builders
Volkite Builders Group
B9 Talk
B9 Vendors Group
Valley Forge Drone Builders
Hasbro Interactive R2

Non-Yahoo Robot Sites

B9 Robot Builders Club
The Drone Room
Dr. Who Prop Builders Group: For builders of K9 and Daleks
Dalek City
Project Dalek
UK Robot Builders Group
Start Page for Robot Builders.net (with the original R2 Builders Welcome page link)
The original R2 Builders Club Website (all info is several years out of date.)

General Astromech Droid Info

Movie Droid Info

Interesting Facts