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Artoo De Ago's 1:2.3 octagon ports, blank 3d printed

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Smooth Fine Detail Plastic
Artoo De Ago's 1:2.3 octagon ports, blank 3d printed
Artoo De Ago's 1:2.3 octagon ports, blank 3d printed

Not a Photo

Artoo De Ago's 1:2.3 octagon ports, blank 3d printed
Artoo De Ago's 1:2.3 octagon ports, blank 3d printed

Not a Photo

Artoo De Ago's 1:2.3 octagon ports, blank

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Product Description
De Ago Artoo: Octagon ports, blank octagons

Astromech droids, such as our good friend Artoo, have two octagonal ports at the base of the body. These are generally known by Artoo builders as octagon ports. Maybe not a very creative name, but there's never been any in-movie explanation as to what they're supposed to do.

De Ago refer to these as “heat exhausts” though the only other place I've seen that term crop up is on a post-movie blueprint created as ancillary marketing material.

Problems with the DeAgo part.

Anyway. De Agostini's Artoo kit (1:2.3, advertised incorrectly as 1:2) has a number of problems with its octagon ports.

1) They're too shallow. The ports should extend much further into the body – roughly twice as far.
2) The mushroomy shape is just parallel-sided all the way, to save money on moulding.
3) The slots have rounded edges.
4) There's a small gap around the edge of the silver part of the octagon, which makes it look like a separate component rather than a single part. This is kinda subtle to notice.

What these replacements are about.

There isn't quite enough clearance inside the body to accommodate correct-depth octagon ports without altering the metal framework. So this product does not address point 1. But points 2 and 3 annoyed me, so I thought I'd make these nice 3D-printed replacement parts. They simply drop in and replace the existing silver-painted De Agostini parts.

They have basically the correct projection, like a bunch of stacked discs, of the middle bit. And they fit perfectly within De Agostini's blue plastic octagon slot.

They're designed to be glued in, not screwed, since acrylic tends to crack if you screw into it. Because of Shapeways' printing technology there may be fine lines across the surfaces, but they're easily removed with a light bit of sanding. I've posted them using both grades of "detail" plastic, but to be honest there's no real reason to print these at the higher resolution.

Slots or no slots?

Most hobbyist droid makers make octagon ports with open slots in the back. However, I've done a bunch of research on the original droids recently, and I have to say it looks like the OT droids did NOT have open slots on the octagon slots! Yeah. Bummer. The original trilogy droids had flat metal plates with black lines added on using either dry transfers or tape. So this is the version of this octagon port with no slots for accuracy. You then have to add your own lines using whatever technique works for you. It's kind of a lousy decision to make - the blank octagons with lines are more screen accurate, but the slots look cooler!

However, if you'd prefer the cooler-looking slots, I have two versions: one which has the correct slots for ANH, and another which has the correct slots of ESB.

Initial release

For the initial release of this design I examined the plans made by the R 2 Builders Club as starting point. However, my own subsequent research showed that the Builders Club plans were in error when it came to the inner discs. The BC plans had stacked discs where the size difference between the outer and middle discs were different from the size difference from the inner and middle discs.

In reality, the movie props had equal sized size differences between the discs. I also added a sprue connecting the two octagons, since this lowers the printing cost. You'll need to use a razor saw to cut the parts apart, and carefully sand off any remaining nubs.

Finally note that the test print shown in these photos has slots in it. The version you see in the on-screen renders is correct, with no slots.
What's in the box:
R2 Octagon Ports, shallow (7)
6.34 x 3.11 x 0.77 cm
Switch to inches
2.5 x 1.23 x 0.3 inches
Switch to cm
Success Rate:
First To try.
What's this?
Mature audiences only.


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