Star Wars BB-8 - Upgrade 3.3

by wkarraker Feb 25, 2016
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Thanks again for making the 45 degree change! I started reprinting it last night.

Very nice job! Thanks for sharing.

I just printed all the parts (detailed version), and I wanted to mentioned that there is too much clearance, now: 0.05-0.1mm is enough to snap fit parts like these... Need for 0.2mm means that there are some printer calibration problems (like over-extrusion).

Anyway, very cute model; this will make a nice gift ;o)

Mmm, I noticed 2 issues:
1) the related size between body and head is not correct. Real size BB-8 dome is 300mm, and body 500mm, which gives a ratio of 0.6. Here, the ratio is 0.66. Also, white bottom ring under the dome should be taller.
2) orange rings arrangement is not correct. Look at this picture: https://blog.lib.uiowa.edu/eng/files/2015/10/BB_8.png, left and right rings should be turned 45°.

@wkarraker, could you provide the BB-8_Body part with the top notches rotated 45°?


is it scalable ? want to try a ~60%.

Several makers have posted that they changed the scale, but I can’t guarantee the parts will fit correctly without some adjustments. Since there are nested parts, tolerances become more critical at smaller sizes. Don’t get discouraged, though, I went through a lot of revisions before I posted the final designs. It’s part of the process one goes through when making something unique.

For anyone interested, i printed 1xbody, 1x ring @ 60% and they fit without adjustment, curently printing 2' body. Anet a8 printer, bowden setup.

For everyone who is searching for that nice stand that others have in makes (not mine just to find it easier)


Adding it to thing details should be nice :)

BB-8 stand

Awesome !!! Me encajan todas las piezas perfectamente, aunque he reducido el tamaño a un diametro de 6 cm, no ha habido ningún problema. Mi sugerencia es si se podría hacer una modificación en la cabeza e introducir las antenas.
¿Como se monta la cabeza y como se añade al cuerpo?


Yes i'm also curious about the hole on the bottom of the head

For my original BB-8 (version 1.0) I had a cylindrical magnet planned for the hole and a steel ball bearing to go inside the two body halves. While the magnet could hold the ball within the body the top heavy arrangement rolled over the assembled droid. At present it serves no function other than to align the bottom pieces to the main dome.

This is not at any specific scale, I created it from a visual reference. I suggest joining the BB8 builders club if you wish to go full size, they offer precision 3D files to scale. Just search the web and you will find their site.

Apologies if this has been asked before, but is this scaled or is it full sized?
Interested in doing a full sized BB-8 when i complete my R2-D2

Really cool stuff! I'm planning on printing mine with a black body, green details and grey inserts (because I don't have white filament, so no point in sticking to the original colors).

About the head, I had the wonderful idea of modifying the body to fit an Arduino Nano and some servos with a magnet inside, so that the head can move around (mounted w/a magnet), and then I can add some lights and/or sounds! Dunno if it will actually happen, but if anyone else is interested in doing something similar, reply and I'll consider posting a Remix with my methods, reworked files, any code I develop, and some assembly instructions.

I was thinking exactly this. And potentially modifying the base to support movement using small motors. Definitely would be interested in a remix like this.

What do I have to print for v1??
I don't have a grey filament

Sorry for the delay, I whipped up a new dome for single color prints. You will need to print the following for a single color BB-8.

BB-8 Dome:
• 1 x BB-8_Dome_Simple.stl
• 1 x BB-8_Dome_Top_Ring.stl
• 1 x BB-8_Dome_Bottom.stl

BB-8 Simple Body:
• 6 x BB-8_Body_Ring.stl
• 2 x BB-8_Body_Light.stl
• 6 x BB-8_Body_SimpleCap.stl

You will likely need to turn on supports as there are overhanging surfaces. Let me know if you have problems as I have not printed this design.

do I not need 8 of the caps to cover all 8 of the faces??

Six should be enough. The caps are designated A - F or you can print six of the SimpleCap.stl files.

My bad I just can’t count ;)

Thanks so much will begin printing asap

Can we get a 3.2 version with his antennae? Beautifully done model btw! The tolerances were absolutely perfect. In fact, most of the pieces that I had printed just snapped in place and held tight like that, so the only pieces I glued were the smaller gray inserts, everything else held tight snapped together.

For super bonus points, make a version with his hinged door and torch behind it.... would be amazing.

I've uploaded a new B insert, it's listed as 'BB-8_Body_InsertB_arm.stl'. I haven't printed it, I'm out of the filament I used for the body. It will likely require supports. Let me know if you have any trouble with it.

The antenna is extremely thin and I don't believe I can create a file delicate enough that would still be printable. You may be better off using a paper clip, straightened out, heated with a match then pressed into the dome for the longer antenna. For the smaller antenna you may be able to use a regular straight pin, heated and inserted in the same fashion. A couple of ideas for you.

Anyone know what the inner diameter of the ball is? obviously the head wouldn't stay on but I wonder if a weasel ball would fit inside it :)

I measured the original file, the internal diameter is 101.6 mm across, if you print the BB-8_Body.stl file as posted on the Thingiverse site. So around 4" in diameter, hope that fits your weasel ball!

I'm having an issue slicing the BB-8 Simple Cap. When I load it into my slicer, it appears only the upper shell is the only part that is rendering, leaving the interior completely hollow.

I've rechecked the uploaded version of the BB-8_Body_SimpleCap.stl file and the bottom of the object was missing! I've re-uploaded a fresh copy and checked it afterwards. Hope it works better for you.

Thanks for everyone asking about creating a version of his evil counterpart, BB-9E. I am nearly done creating the 3D model but still need to break it down into printable parts, I hope to have it ready soon. I am not completely happy with the dome and will likely rework it after more reference images are available.

Till then I'll post a rendering of what I've been able to create so far. The number of polys have been increased on this model to avoid some of the facets visible on the original BB-8. Enjoy!

How's the progress on BB-9E?

i had hoped BB-9E would have been featured more prominently in the movie but was disappointed it only had 10 seconds of screen time. I have the body files done and ready to be posted but I'd like to post the dome files at the same time. The dome is causing me fits because I do not have a full 360 view of it, getting the panel details around the dome has been the issue. I have been able to rework the 'eye' on the head to more accurately reflect the physical design. Next time I'm at a store that carries them I'll have to grab some pictures of a Sphero BB-9E or a Talking BB-9E to use as reference, there aren't many pictures on the web that shows all angles.

Which stl's do I have to specifically print to make a BB-8?

There are two variations on the Body, use the BB-8 Simple Body group for the least amount of material and quickest print time.

BB-8 Dome:
1 x BB-8_Dome_Main.stl
1 x BB-8_Dome_Top_Ring.stl
1 x BB-8_Dome_Middle_Ring.stl
1 x BB-8_Dome_Bottom_Ring.stl
1 x BB-8_Dome_Bottom.stl
1 x BB-8_Dome_Detail_Ring.stl
1 x BB-8_Dome_Lenses.stl

BB-8 Simple Body:
6 x BB-8_Body_Ring.stl
2 x BB-8_Body_Light.stl
6 x BB-8_Body_SimpleCap.stl

BB-8 Detailed Body:
6 x BB-8_Body_Ring.stl
2 x BB-8_Body.stl
1 x BB-8_Body_CapA.stl
1 x BB-8_Body_CapB.stl
2 x BB-8_Body_CapC.stl
1 x BB-8_Body_CapD.stl
1 x BB-8_Body_CapE.stl
1 x BB-8_Body_InsertA.stl
1 x BB-8_Body_InsertB.stl
2 x BB-8_Body_InsertC.stl
1 x BB-8_Body_InsertD.stl
1 x BB-8_Body_InsertE.stl

The fit and finish depends on your printer, let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you for the response.

Which is more screen accurate? I'm guessing the detailed version?

I can't say if either is 'screen accurate', just my interpretation of what I can do with my skill set and tools. I have not had access to the Sphero BB-8 (or the BB-9E variant) toys, just some screen references from the Star Wars Wiki (Wookiepedia.com). As soon as the BB-9E is showcased on Wookiepedia I'll finish it's dome, I already have the body created.

Awesome! Thank you for your reply.

Any plans to make a BB-9e variant? Please :)

As soon as decent pics are available I will. I've been looking at some of the toys but haven't gotten a good read on a full 360 of the droid itself.

Awesome. I can't wait. My daughter's class loved the Red white and blue one. Named him BB-76

I whipped up the body files last night, I took a look at the Sphero droid and it's a little to 'cartoony' ATM. I'll rough out the dome but I probably won't post them till the movie is released.

You're the best!

Thank you for an upgrade of side panels. I've already started printing them. New panels looks much more better then my previous ones with hand sprayed details.

What pieces require support?

The only thing I used supports on were the body halves. The head may require support if your printer has issues with adhesion on angles approaching 45°. Most everything else can be printed without.

Great design, thank you

nice design. i want to make it. side note, looks like you need to tighten you belts on your machine.

This is amazing! Coolest Star Wars model I have seen!

Beautiful. I wish there is a keychain version of this.

HEY! This model has the detail you were looking for on the center caps. Perhaps he might send you some files that might help you cut the grey parts out...


BB-8 Model

At present the dome is just sitting on top. My daughter is working him over and planning on doing a full 'grunge' paint job. She wanted to sand out the striations and make him a little more seamless. Once that is done we will likely find an optimal angle and position where she wants the head to me and glue it to the body. Or add a mounting plate and a spring and make him a bobblehead, hard to say!

Ok, thanks for the info. In the original head file there was a cylinder that could be attached to the body and then the head slipped on so you could move it around, but I do not see that in these files.

how did you attach the head?

Hi AppleTart!

I don't get it neither. Did you find out since May? The body is still printing here but I wonder how too.


There is no specific way to attach the head. You can leave it loose and position it wherever it will sit at will, you can glue it down if you need a more extreme angle, or you can attach the head to the body with a bouncy spring and have your own BB-8 bobblehead! Post pictures with whatever method you come up with!

Thanks LASERMAN! I've thought about making the door details for the center hubs but haven't found a good picture of them. As for the dome I'm working on a new design made of orange plastic that will provide more of the missing detail that others have mentioned. Glad you liked the design, your print looks really good.

This is a great model - wonderful design! I wish you had done the grey parts inside the caps.
(Actually, I wish I had the skill to do it.) There is one model on here that has all the detail, but they didn't do it as separate, snap-in parts - they just did grooves.....I guess I can make stickers.