For the most part, the facade of the speeder is based on the original concept drawing for the movie prop I found on the net, while using photos of ultra high quality scale models to fill in the gaps. Customizing the design to suit its purpose as a child's rocker (sturdy with no small breakable parts).
I see the overall design as three main parts, firstly the speeder bike its self (the hull etc); secondly the rocker arms/frame and thirdly the electronics.
- My first consideration was strength and stability for the safety of the little ones, as though this project is for my 1y/o, I also have a 5y/o who no doubt will want a turn. The need to be strong enough to handle a beating led me to the first part of my design, a rigid backbone with a solid plywood top for the seat platform. This gave me a good foundation for things like the handles and outrigger to mount from, and somewhere to fix the 3D printed hull shell.
- The rocker arms were the source of great deliberation (as you can tell by the multiple sketches above) as the effects of the weight of the speeder bike and a toddler over a guessed center of gravity was quite a challenge. My solution was to use the two center rocker arms to clamp either side of the speeder bike's timber backbone but still have clearance to slide the rockers back and forth 50mm or so to find the center of balance. This design also has scope to easily replace the rocker arms with maybe a (motorized?) rolling mobile base..... I'm just thinking out load.... stay tuned....
- In terms of the electronics I am not going to go into too much detail as I feel it is a little out of the scope of this instructable and I would recommend doing an Arduino setup (where as I used bits and pieces I had laying around).I wanted to end up with an LED blaster canon with the sound of the blaster and another button on the control panel that spun the turbine on the power cell. My initial idea was to use the guts from a toy blaster but it turned out the circuitry in the toy blasters were very fragile and I managed to damage the sound chip while assembling. So I ended up using a simple 555 timer flashing LED for the blaster and a sound recording/playback module I had laying around from another project. The power cell turbine is a simple circuit and I just used a small DC motor I found from a car windscreen washer pump.
The main materials I chose to use are practical and some of my favorite to work with:
Plywood: Super strong, easy to cut and can look quite classy if finished off correctly. Low cost.
3D Printing: Great for the technical curved parts like the hull and detailed small parts. Low material cost.
PVC Tube: Light, easy to work with. Low cost.
Screws: G2 and G4 countersunk screws in a range of lengths
Bolts: Mostly M3 and M4 bolts