After two days of learning and practicing, officially this is my first project in 123D Design, the Autodesk CAD program made specially for makers. Also, this is my first time with a CAD program. You know how I love to get my hands dirty and build things with physical stuff and physical tools. But It's always good to learn something new.

So, I decided to make a transformer, not as complicated as the Michael Bay ones, but more like the vintage toys from the 80's.

The difficult parts are the joints and that everything you make in the robot mode, you have to consider it in the car mode and vice versa.

  • 2 arms (car sides)
  • 1 main piece: torso, face and thighs (car front)
  • 4 wheels
  • 4 long pivots (for each limb)
  • 4 short pivots (for each wheel)

About the 123D Design software, I have to say: I really like it. It's friendly, you don't need to be industrial designer or engineer to learn it, but having visual-spatial ability helps a lot (relax! most of the makers have it). And it's free! You can download the program in this link.

NOTES: I used the 123D Design 64bits version for PC. My laptop is a Samsung with Intel Core i3-2370M 2.40GHz  processor, 4,00 GB RAM and Windows 7.

In the design, I used the orthographic view in almost all of this instructable.

I recommend: when you are working in a project, save it in your computer every time you can, because the program don't have auto-save.

Robot mode:

Car mode:


Step 1: Robot's legs (back of the car)

TIP: Before starting, remember: this project has 17 main pieces. Every piece is made combining primitive solids. Don't forget to combine each form into the single piece. If not, when you try to manipulate a piece looking for how it fits to another, you will have forms dispersed everywhere.

I started designing the legs. Each one is a big primitive box with others smaller primitive boxes giving form to feet and decoration. In this design I use a lot of negative extrude for hollowing the pieces where another pieces need to be housed in car mode. For the "knees" I used chamfer. I made one leg, then I duplicated it, verifiying the symmetry. In each leg I use a hollowed half cylinder for housing the wheels. I made a primitive cylinder as wheel, for keep a reference for each robot limb and its place in car mode.

TIP: Negative extrude: Do you want to make a hollow into a piece? Create a new primitive form with a face equal to the form you want inside the piece, and situate it exactly over the place you want to hollow. Use the "extrude" tool over the mentioned face. Extend the face negatively (positively: blue color; negatively: red color) until you finish to carve the piece. It's a very useful tool. In the real world, I love the rotary tool for working with physical objects. In CAD, negative extruding became my virtual "rotary tool".
<p>Brilliant project! I'm also a lifelong Transformers fan, and I can attest that designing transforming figures like this is a nice, challenging creative exercise, and well worth playing with. I don't have a printer myself yet, or live near anywhere like your Annex (as far as I'm aware), but I get them printed via Shapeways, where I've got a few for sale.</p><p>I would point out though, in response to your intention to try printing a working figure in one, that while it might be an interesting experiment, I can almost guarantee that it won't work very well, for a couple of reasons.</p><p>Firstly, you'd have no way of cleaning out the leftover material. you'd wind up with lots of un&quot;baked&quot; plastic caught inside all the joints. The only way I can see you'd be able to get this out is essentially through continuously moving the figure, pulverising the material out of the gaps.</p><p>Secondly, in order to prevent the parts fusing in the printer, you need to make sure they have sufficient clearance. Depending on the printer and material, it usually requires at least 0.5mm between parts (IIRC), and when you're talking about joint tolerances, that's actually quite a gap. By the time you've worked out the aforementioned unfused material, you'll have extremely loose and floppy joints.</p><p>That said, if you want to try it out as an experiment, by all means give it a crack; I'm just pointing out potential pitfalls to consider.</p>
Thanks DrawnSteelHero. Actually, some weeks later, I printed a fully articulated robot action figure, already assembled. This is the instructable:<br><br>http://www.instructables.com/id/123D-Design-Jaeger-Fully-Articulated-Action-Figure/
Now I want to design a mini unicron! (Without the girders or horns and with a much simpler transformation, of course)
He looks like one fo those old transformers I used to get back in the 80's when I was a kid.
I am basically the transforming robots guru, because I have researched most of the transforming robot brands of toys found on the internet, and, Gobots aren't very hard to come by. I've researched most of the Japanese brands, and most of the knockoff brands. Your design however, looks way better than a lot of the toys on the internet! In fact your design of a 123d design transformer is the only design I can find on the internet! <br><br>So, simple but cool 123d Gobots for the win! :-)<br>Try to say that five times really fast, you can't.<br><br>-J.R.
Thanks Craft Maker!
I just thought of something. Maybe you can design more figures this size and then you can make them have connector ports on them, so that you can combine them! Autodeskabots, merge into DESIGNOR!<br><br>Puns intended.<br><br>-J.R.
<p>Hello, I just want to start my first day of being a member by saying this, I am obsessed with transformers! Those toys that turn from one thing to another, whether big or small, simple or complex I like them all! Hey, that rhymed!</p><p><br>I am working on a complicated transformer in 123d design. Similar to Movie megaton (the tank kind of thing).<br><br>I just joined instructables.com today, so I hope there are a lot of nice people!<br><br>-J.R.</p>
<p>That's awesome! Welcome! :-)</p>
I've done three instructables so far, so be sure to check them out!<br><br>-J.R.
Great!! Thanks for sharing!
I was just wondering if you are interested in making a transformer out of aluminum foil! May sound stupid but I am almost in love with shiny transformer crafts! I want to have a race with you and see which of us can do an instructable about foil transformers first! There will be no prizes, Just wanted to do it for some fun. Please respond and tell me when you want to start or if you even want to do it at all!<br><br>Cheers,<br>J.R.
Just wanted to say that I did a new instructable about a transformer made of wire.<br>But I have added some foil and some details with a sharpie.<br>Here are some pictures:
I have no paint at this time, so I am working with what I have.<br>Hope I can paint it soon!<br><br>-J.R.
do you have premium on autodesk because when I tried to use the 2D feature, it said I needed premium
Premium is awesome! I recommend it!
That was an awesome tutorial! Having grown up with the 80's version of Transformers, I like them better than today's version, personally. Your design looks just like the 80's version. Great job! I may have missed mention of it, but what material did you print it in?
Thank you very much Randavian! It's good to see somebody doesn't see a GoBot... LOL! Well, I don't know exactly what kind of material is. It's some kind of prototyping plastic. I sent it to the Instructables anex in the TechShop and the printed it for me.
Looks more like a Gobot to me, but nobody would know what a Gobot is anyway. Nice job!!
I thought the same thing, so you are not alone.
Yes. I gave up. It's a Gobot.
Exactly what I was thinking, especially since this looks like the ones they used to put in the Cracker Jack boxes as prizes back in the 80's. I miss mine :(
Gobots were cool!
I know what a Gobot is, and I used to watch the show! Nice work, M.C.
Thanks MakeitwithJason!!! :-)
Thanks Jeffromg! I'm glad you like my &quot;Gobot&quot;! LOL! :-)
Im new and interested with the hobby, what material are you printing with and would you recommend it for beginners? <br>Oh and its awesome <br>
Thanks dhill10! Well I don't know exactly what kind of material is. It's some kind of prototyping plastic. I recomend you to check out the 123D group on Instructables and practice with the awesome 123D Design program. In TechShop there must be classes about prototyping, if you are interested.
nice 'ible; I invite you to check out what some very talented Transformer fans are doing with Shapeways over in TFW2005's Radicons Forum ^__^ <br> <br>http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/search.php?searchid=4075088
Thanks WuLonTi!
This is awesome! What are you going to name him?
Thanks Mike! Maybe &quot;Gobot&quot;! :-)
Thanks! :-)
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Which app do you use ?
Hi Midoman. I used 123D Design in my computer. The specifications are in the intro.
Pretty awesome.
Thanks Bruno! :-)
That is so sweet!
Thanks a lot Penolopy!!!!! :-)

About This Instructable


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Bio: I'm Mario Caicedo Langer, from Colombia, former Navy officer and BSc in Naval Sciences. Right now I'm Technology Program Manager and Lego Robotics ... More »
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