BB-8 on a Budget





Introduction: BB-8 on a Budget

About: I am a software developper, addicted to props

Today, I will show how to make a lifesize BB-8 with a budget of around 100$. It doesn't move, but it looks very cool for display. First, you will need these materials:

  • a 50cm/20 inch diameter styrofoam ball. (Overjoyed) (35$ + 35$ shipping)
  • a 30 cm/12 inch diameter styrofoam HALF ball. (Micheals or Overjoyed) (20$)
  • a 30 cm/12 inch styrofoam disk of 1 inch tick (Micheals) (10$)
  • a 3D Printer (for the black parts that you can see) (Already have it)
  • paint (5$)
  • a sharpie

Step 1: Draw the Shapes on Your Ball (and the Head!)

Before drawing the shapes, be sure to sand your styrofoam, because there a lot of imperfection on it.

For the shapes, look for some pictures on the internet. To make the the round shapes, I took large kitchen bowl and draw around them with a pen (for all the round shapes => different size of kitchen bowl). For the gray parts, I used pictures from the internet and draw them the most accuratly possible.

Step 2: Painting

After drawing the shapes, the next logical steps is to paint your bb-8. I choose Orange, White And Gray from Home Depot to paint it. An easy step, that takes patience.

Step 3: Head Details

For the bottom of the head, I used my styrofoam disk and cut the inside to make another layer under it. Then I sand these two layers at angle. For the middle part, I used a foam band and cut it about 2 cm tick. I glued all the parts together.

Step 4: 3D Printed Parts and Antenna

For the accessory parts, I used my 3D printers. There is other tutorial online about making these accessories without 3d printers so it is not a lost cause! You can find all the files here. (From BB-8 Builder Club). After the print you can simply make hole in the head with an Xacto and glue the printed parts on the head.

For the antenna I simply used a solid wired that I found in my garage.

Step 5: Last Details

The the round, engraving and details I simply used some Sharpie pen. I used the bottom of it in angle to engrave the gray details. And I color around the circles. Simple as that!

Step 6: Result

An easy DIY project for everyone who like Star Wars. It doesn't cost a lot and it looks very good! You can even add sound or LED to it. Hope you enjoyed it, any comment is welcome.



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    It looks so lifelike! :D


    Great Idea!! Good Work!! ;)

    it would be cheaper if you used smaller styrofoam balls

    1 reply

    Of course, but the idea here as he mentioned is to be full size

    This looks great! Couple of questions. Did you glue the head onto the body? A couple of strong magnets may work for that. And how do you keep it from rolling over? Terrific job and thank you for sharing.

    Why has no one mentioned the super cool suits of armour in the background of the pictures? They look amazing! More pictures of those please !

    Also, as part of the build process, you can use a soldering (sodering - in US) iron to draw or cut shapes in polystyrene. They use polystyrene a lot here in Spain for making Nativity sets and intricate details and freehand cutting it is quite often done with a hot soldering iron, especially the time consuming detailing of brick walls etc. (just do it in a well ventilated area cos the melting plastic is gassy and probably really bad to breathe in!)

    Great job on your BB8. :-)

    i would think it possible to insert the circuitry if you scooped out the innards but yes i love. not to mention i own a r/c full scale replica that my grand father and i 3d printed


    if you made it out of wood you can make a speaker

    1 reply