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I have built my son lots of projects but with my daughter's first birthday coming up I felt it was her turn to get some project love and what better way than with her own Speeder Bike?!

The 74-Z Speeder Bike is best known for its appearance in the 1983 movie, Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. In which Imperial Scout Troopers, on the forest moon of Endor, engage in a vicious chase with Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa after the Rebels commandeered the speeder bikes to pursue their foes.

I have to say though, when the design first came to mind, I had no idea the time and thought that would be involved....

Step 1: Design

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.

Materials:

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

Not a Speeder but credit for the idea is due<br><br>Thanks
<p>In my 80 years, I have witnessed that anything that can go wrong WILL eventually go wrong. When that kid goes forward over the handles, she will be scarred for life when her head hits the front of that thing. I'm sure you would not want that, so please take preventative design measures.</p>
<p>Did you watch the range of movement in the video? I never witnessed any kid fall forward on a rocking toy, even when they have a much sharper range than this one. Sure, one in x million kids might figure out a way to seriously hurt themselves on this, but that's the real non-ideal world we live in: some kids are going to die from normal, safe activity, that doesn't mean we should discourage, prevent, or ruin those activies for the masses.</p>
<p>You asked, &quot;Did you watch the range of movement in the video?&quot;</p><p>I don't have to watch the video to know a 9 month kid without any kind of seat belt suspended 4 feet in the air over sharp objects is an accident waiting to happen. I spent 20 years in Fire / Rescue witnessing the results of bad judgement like this. </p>
<p>Working around and with disasters overexposes an individual to powerfully negative consequences of risk, this will understandably bias their world view, but it does not change the reality that emergency situations are between uncommon and rare for any given individual. </p><p>And if you had actually looked at the design before rushing to judgement you'd see that the &quot;9 month kid&quot; is not 4 ft in the air, nor over sharp objects, nor does the range of motion facilitate falling forward. </p><p>This would be an excellent toy for a 3 year old, and if a parent of a kid that isn't ready for a simple rocking toy lets them play without being closely supervised, responsibility falls on them, not the toy. </p>
<p>The hazard isn't really with a child on the saddle that it is for children<br> running around the area where to toy is placed who could who can run <br>into it face first As for as far out as the toy looks, it's impossible <br>to rationalized away the potential hazard it presents. The first time an<br> adult jams a leg into it the toy is going to be put away in record <br>time.</p>
You mean it's a toy that requires supervision to be out and used? Gasp.<br><br>Seriously though, if someone has the tools and space to make this they probably have the space to at least cover it. And if they dont then this toy is not for then. Plenty of toys are potentually hazardous, just be reasonably responsible as a parent and don't blame the toy if you fail to manage a clear risk.
<p>Its called being a responsible parent. If your kid is too young to stay put in the seat.... don't put them on it. If they are old enough (big enough) to rock it over... guess what? they are too old take them off. simple as that. this is a great to for age/size appropriate children.</p>
<p> A fine looking final result for sure. Downside is that the front looks to be eye level for some kids that will be running around. While it's integral to the overall look, I can think of a way to make it less a hazard. Then again having fully functional eyes, nose and teeth may be overrated ;)</p>
<p>my first reaction was pointy thing on front, having gone over bicycle handlebars as a kid...</p>
So f-ing cool. Makes me want little ones again (but not grandkids! I'm too young to be a grandpa!!!!)
Great project will thought out shsme i dont have access to a 3d printer still to expensive here in GB
<p>Parenting level - Jedi</p>
<p>Great device, great video!</p>
<p>The sharp front edge needs adjustment otherwise someone could get hurt!</p>
<p>Sharp edges for the kids to run into! Thanks!</p>
<p>Good Evening I am trying to get the measurements of the spine could you help me out how long is it as there are no measurements on this job at all I am just hoping that my printer can sort it out for me..</p><p>Thanks</p><p>Matthew </p>
<p>Hi Tez,</p><p>finally I finished to print all main parts and I can start with the carpentry job.</p><p>Please, could you upload also the documentation for the rocker arms or sharing some additional information like dimensions?</p><p>Many thanks for this great project!</p><p>Have a nice day</p>
<p>Where do i find the template for the rocker arms?</p>
<p>Yes, please. I'm looking for the rocker arms as well.</p>
<p>Good Evening I am trying to get the measurements of the spine could you help me out how long is it as there are no measurements on this job at all I am just hoping that my printer can sort it out for me..</p><p>Did you get a reply for the rocker arms....</p><p>Thanks</p><p>Matthew </p>
<p>Good Evening I am trying to get the measurements of the spine could you help me out how long is it as there are no measurements on this job at all I am just hoping that my printer can sort it out for me..</p><p>Did you get the info on the rocker arms</p><p>Thanks</p><p>Matthew </p>
<p>Hi All,</p><p>for your benefit, I tryed to print the &quot;Hul Mid&quot; section as designed by TEZ but it was too big for my printer so I splitted it in two parts. I've already printed them and they are working fine.</p><p>I uploaded them on thingverse: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1120421</p><p>Have a nice day</p>
<p>Hi Francesco, I'm splitting this very piece as well and I was worried about warping, did you have any problems with warping on the bottom? I also noticed that you laid the pieces vertically, was that to try and deal with the overhangs?</p>
<p>Good Evening I am trying to get the measurements of the spine could you help me out how long is it as there are no measurements on this job at all I am just hoping that my printer can sort it out for me..</p><p>Thanks</p><p>Matthew </p>
<p>Good Evening I am trying to get the measurements of the spine could you help me out how long is it as there are no measurments on this job at all I am just hoping that my printer can sort it out for me..</p><p>Thanks</p><p>Matthew </p>
<p>Just a query can you tell me the length of the 45mm spine as my printer dosen't want to play the game and tell me......</p><p>mattygodfrey@live.com.au</p><p>Thanks</p>
<p>I have tried to download the 3D images and I am having trouble as the are not formatted to my makerbot's format, Any help. Thanks in advance</p>
<p>How much did the 3d printed pieces cost all together? That looks beyond awesome but I'm sure it was very expensive!</p>
<p style="margin-left: 20.0px;">Don't try and print it at a commercial store. I was quoted prices of $3-500. I ended up buying my own printer and the filament cost $24. <br><br>Of course, I've been printing for about 2 weeks straight though.... </p>
<p>Hy i'm looking for the rocker arms templates?</p><p>Where i find it ?</p>
<p>It looks good and there's no doubt the creator put a lot of time, passion and effort into it. A lot of people shared their concerns about safety which I too think is very important. I want to talk about something else here. Inflicting one's beliefs onto another. This toy is fine and all, but does the toddler even know what Star Wars is yet? Would she like it if and when she sees it.</p>
<p>It's not even about the physics involved in riding this contraption; what made me vomit is the immediate danger of any sharp object in a toddlers vicinity. When my children were that age we 'house proofed' any corners, sharp objects, glass etc. The earlier comment that 'emergency situations are rare' didn't have my busy little ones. Instantaneously I envisioned the point in a curious wanderers eye.</p><p>Three year olds are much more taken with 'horsies' than vicious chase scene Star Wars monuments. My son graduated from Franklin to Spiderman&hellip;. then to Star Wars. What I do like is the costume in your picture. Very safe, very warm, still very Star Wars.</p>
<p>no way a Li'l munchkin is gonna hit the nose. If he/she flips his fat little head's going straight down over the bars. If she's really got some movement going, maybe during an especially rousing chase scene, she may do a cute little flip, end up laid out on the rails, thinking, &quot;pretty sky! oh! oh!.... A cloud Wookie!!!</p>
<p>I'm thinking that if my toddler does perchance flip over the handlebars and poke out an eye on this it will give me the excuse I need to next build a backyard pirate ship for him/her!</p>
<p>As a mom, grand-mom, the front of this frightens me. Little ones are noted for losing their balance and falling against things. Those sharp and pointed looking projections at the front are just at eye-height, forehead height and I shudder to think of what might happen with a toddler running towards them or falling against them. Please, please, modify this project to make it safe for your little one! And anyone contemplating making one, please modify the front projections as well. Your child's safety is more important than their entertainment. Thank you. Blessings on your efforts.</p>
<p>Yes, LynneDe and SuzAnne! After thinking, &quot;what a cool, unique toy,&quot; I saw the front. I'm the mom of six, so I'm programmed for child safety, and that &quot;head&quot; is scary. Please do make it safe! </p><p>Thanks for sharing your amazing work! Genius.</p>
<p>This is the first thing I noticed was those pointy projections on the front. NOOO. a more rounded version would be better and safer.</p>
<p>Oh, I forgot, she looks really cute.</p>
<p>Don't you make that baby into a little nerd. She'll be building ice castles before she's five. LOL I know where to go next time I get a really difficult math problem. You guys crack me up. Don't you want to make a satellite dish instead? I am being nice; I think you guys are geniuses. Happy New Year!!!</p>
<p>Hello, I work for WISH-TV in Indianapolis and was wondering if we could us some of your photos on our website with credit. </p>
<p>Why would a business endorse such a dangerous piece of equipment. Putting yourselves and your credibility right out there.??</p>
<p>Hello, greetings from Poland. You have done a really great job. I would also like to do a rocking speeder bike for my daughter's first birthday. Therefore, I join the request for completing the documentation of the rocker arms.</p><p>Thanks</p>
<p>Please don't put a child on this &quot;toy&quot; Dangerous. Ride it yourself?</p>
<p>is this for kids? looks like an adult toy (joke) happy new year</p>
<p>It is an adult toy. Not even our toys of old were this dangerous.</p>
<p>Yeah, I was wondering about those nice sharp points just at a toddler's eye level.</p>
<p>Are you nuts or so,this is a dangerous thing for kids to play with all kind of sharp edges to this thing!</p>
Maker kids need to start learning good judgement at an early age. Builds character.

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