Introduction: R2D2 - Laser Cut Wood Model

Picture of R2D2 - Laser Cut Wood Model

Who hasn't wanted their own R2D2? They are usually pretty pricy, but this model can be made for around $20. This Instructable creates a wood R2D2 model. We have included detailed video directions, quicker overview directions for those of you with more experience, and a detailed step by step PDF.

Here is what you will to complete this R2D2 Instructable:
     - Autodesk 123D Make
     - STL File
     - Corel Draw
     - Laser Cutter
     - Wood (to save money you can use cardboard from boxes laying around your house!)
     - Glue/adhesive

Here are the detailed video directions, they are about 11 minutes long.

Here is the shorter overview.

Download a PDF of the instructions with the link below:

Step 1: Download Autodesk 123D Make

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You can download this software in the Mac app store or from

Step 2: Download STL File

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The open source R2D2 file can be downloaded from

Step 3: Slice STL File in 123D Make

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Open 123D Make and import the STL file into the program.

Step 4: Set Manufacturing Settings

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Click wheel to bring up settings at the bottom. Set width to 24”, length to 18” and thickness to .125” to fit the laser. These settings are for the laser cutter and wood that we used. Your settings will need to match your laser cutter and wood.

Step 5: Set Length of Project

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On the left set the length to 12”, this is how tall the finished project will stand.

Step 6: Set Construction Technique

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Select Stacked Slices from the Construction Technique menu in the left hand panel.

Step 7: Change the Slice Direction

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Click on change slice direction and drag the blue diamond to the direction you want the slices to be in.

Step 8: Add Dowel Holes

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Select the radio button for Dowels so the computer will add dowel rod holes to the plans for extra support. We added dowels for strength and support for the finished product. We used 0.25 in. dowels, you can use larger or smaller dowels if you prefer.

Step 9: Get Plans

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Click Get Plans from the left panel menu. Save the plans as EPS files in the location of your choice.

Step 10: Save & Assembly Instructions

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Save the project and look at the Assembly Instructions for how to put R2D2 together. These can be accessed through the Assembly Instructions button on the left panel menu.

Step 11: Open EPS Files in Corel Draw

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Open one of the EPS files in Corel Draw and get it lined up with the art board. You will do this for each file.

Step 12: Print Settings for the Laser

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Open the print box and click on preferences to open the settings for the laser.

Step 13: Set the Power and Speed Settings

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Set the power and speed settings needed for the laser you are working with. We used 100% power, 10% speed, and 300 ppi to cut the wood, and 100% power, 84% speed, and 500 ppi to engrave the wood.

Step 14: Focus the Laser

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Follow the necessary steps for focusing the laser you will be using to cut out the pieces.

Step 15: Cut the Pieces of R2D2

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Press play on the laser to start cutting the first sheet of wood. Repeat for the necessary number of sheets of wood.

Step 16: Organize Pieces

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Once all of the pieces are cut out, organize them by layer.

Step 17: Ventilation and Space

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Make sure you have proper ventilation and space to work.

Step 18: Assemble R2D2

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Using the instructions from AutoDesk 123D Make start assembling R2D2 using spray adhesive or other glue.

Step 19: Let Glue Dry

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Allow glue time to dry, using clamps of other methods to hold the slices in place while the glue dries.

Step 20: Enjoy!

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Enjoy your awesome R2D2!!


This is awesome! From the picture of the finished one I thought it was huge before I saw the picture of you holding it, haha

Thank you! We made it 12 inches tall. You can make it as tall as you want though!

Cool thing about laser cut projects like this is that because they are sliced for a specific thickness, the resolution increases with the size. So making a bigger model has more detail!

audreyobscura (author)2014-03-24

so cool!

Thank you! We had a blast making it.

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