Introduction: R2D2 Beverage Dispenser!

The R2D2 beverage dispenser

Our motivation for this project came from our group’s communal love for arguably the best series known to mankind, Star Wars.  When we first brainstormed the idea, we didn’t know what we wanted to do, we just knew that it would have a Star Wars theme somehow incorporated. When we found the electronic super soaker pistol, we knew that it was the perfect toy to modify. We were able to break apart its pieces to adjust the water valve it utilized to create a beverage dispenser. We were able to upscale an old protein shake, some Styrofoam pieces, and cardboard to create the body of our favorite droid, R2D2.  Overall our creation is a DIY novelty item that any fanboy or fangirl can incorporate into their everyday life.

Team members:
Matt Fuchs
Jessica Garcia
Zach Hyder

Difficulty: Medium

Skills Required:
Basic sawing and cutting
Dremel use and drilling (all our drilling was done with dremel tool)

Step 1: Materials Required

Tools Needed:
Soldering Iron
Dremel Tool
Spray Paints (Silver, Blue metallic, White primer)
Saw & Miter box
Exacto / Box Cutter / Scissors
Sand Paper

Protein powder bottle (approximately 10" diameter)
10" Styrofoam hemisphere
Blue masking tape
Electronic super soaker (motor required)
Plastic epoxy
AA Battery pack
Water bottle (a little shorter then the height of the protein powder bottle)
Momentary push button
Foam plate (roughly 1" thick)
1/4" vinyl hose x 10"
3/8" vinyl hose x 10"
Nylon nuts & bolts & washers (1.25" x 1/4x20)
22 Gauge red and black wire
10mm Blue LED
200 OHM Resistor (1/2 watt)

Step 2: Preparing the Body

For the body of R2D2 take a large work out powder container and spray paint the whole container with a white krylon primer type paint (check the label for use on plastics)  as shown in picture one.

After the white paint has dried put painters tape on the container and make a stencil design of R2D2. This will allow you to spray paint the small features that R2D2 has on its body.  This step can be shown on picture two.

After the stencil is done take the metallic blue spray paint and spray the area open from the stencil. Then remove the stencil once the paint has dried. This step can be shown on picture three.

The next step is to prepare the container for the drink dispenser, LED and activation button. This will require using a dremel to cut a hole into the plastic container. The hole for the drink dispenser should go in the middle of the bottom square on the front of R2D2. The hole for the LED should go on the second top most rectangular blue strip on the right side or where ever you choose. Then the activation button hole should be drilled somewhere on the side of the R2D2 where placement doesn’t matter.

Step 3: Preparing the Legs

In order to make the front leg like shown in picture one, use a hack saw and a miter box to cut the tube at a 22.5˚ and at a length roughly 2” on the short side. Then spray paint the front leg a metallic blue. 

For the two back legs use Styrofoam and cut out the shape of the R2D2 back legs with a box cutter. Then wrap the Styrofoam with painters tape to prevent the Styrofoam from being dissolved by the spray paint. Then spray paint the legs white then after the paint has dried mask off a section in the middle of the leg with painters tape to paint on the blue strips. These steps are shown in picture two and make sure this is done for both legs.

Step 4: Preparing the Head

To start making the head of R2D2 take a 10” diameter foam sphere and saw it in half with a saw or wire. Then use the lid cap and draw a circle in the middle. Then cut away at the area within the circle to allow the head to fit on top of the main body container. We used a metal file and box cutter to cut the circle. Steps shown in picture one.

Next is to sand down the outside of the head to get the half sphere the same diameter as the main body container. This step can be shown in picture two.

The next step is to take joint compound and mix it with Elmer’s glue. Then spread the mix onto the top of the Styrofoam and let it sit for twenty-four hours. After dried the joint compound can be sanded and smoothed down (use 120 grit sandpaper). After the shape is smoothed out the Styrofoam can be sprayed with a silver metallic spray paint. These steps are shown in picture three.

The next step is to take the PVC pipe that is going to be the tube where you fill up the R2D2 with liquid. Take the PVC pipe and draw circles on the top and bottom of the Styrofoam head. Next cut a hole straight through the Styrofoam head using an exacto knife and flat head screwdriver (or whatever works for you). Make sure the tube fits comfortably inside the hole. These steps are shown in picture four.

The next step is to make another stencil for R2D2’s head where the stencil will be made out of painters tape. Than spray the areas where the head is exposed from the stencil with metallic blue paint. After the paint dries you can remove the painters tape and you are left with a carefully painted R2D2 head. These steps can be shown in picture five.

Step 5: Preparing the Pouring System

We used an electronic super soaker gun ($12 at local Target) which has a pump on the inside that runs off of 4 AA batteries. It has a head pressure of about 6” before it slows down too much so something similar to this will be perfect.

Start by disassembling the super soaker gun by removing all the screws, popping the case apart and removing extra parts like the trigger and battery cover.

The next step for this specific toy was to cut away the battery housing to reveal the wiring on the inside (be careful when sawing or dremeling to not cut the wires on the inside or damage the motor which is right next to the gear box). Snip the wires to battery compartment until you are left with just the motor, gearbox, and pump. Finally cut the orange nozzle about 1/4" off so it expands the outlet diameter from a pin hole to larger (will slow the flow to a reasonable amount).

Next attach extra wire to the pump and solder on the battery pack, LED & resistor and the switch. See wiring schematic. 

Using vinyl hose that fits over the inlet and outlet of the pump, drill a hole in the water bottle near the bottom that fits the inlet tube snugly. Epoxy on the inlet and outlet tubes to the pump, let sit for 20 minutes and then epoxy on the inlet tube to the water bottle. Finally cut down the PVC tube so when all assembled it sits flush with the top of the sphere. Epoxy the tube to the top of the water bottle (put plenty of epoxy around the threads so the beverage won’t leak). Let all the epoxy cure for at least 2 hours before assembling the entire unit.

Step 6: Assembling R2D2

Now its time to assemble the R2D2 the first step is to put the water bottle and all the electronics safely inside the body of R2D2. The first thing to install is the pumps tube in the front bottom of R2D2. The next step is to attach the button to the side of the R2D2 (if using the hex nut that comes with the button, you will need to soder the wires with the hex nut already threaded through). An alternative is to make a slightly bigger hole and just epoxy the button in place. Next apply a thin layer of epoxy surrounding the base of the LED and then push the LED through the hole in the front top section of the body, hold in place for a few moments to ensure proper placement and let cure. Examples are shown on the first picture.

Next you glue the middle leg onto the bottom of the main body. Apply epoxy to the circular edge of the leg and hold firmly for two minutes on the body. Steps are shown in the second picture.

Next take the arms and drill a hole near the top section of the arm. Then you need to drill a hole on both sides of the body, make sure to take the time to accurately mark where the legs should be placed on the body. Finally add a nut and bolt to secure the arms in place. We used 1.5” nylon bolts with nylon washers and nylon hex nuts (use what you have its not specific or critical just decorative). Steps are shown in the third picture.

The Final step is the easiest, just put R2D2’s head onto the body. Make sure to have the head fit on the filling tube. Now all you got to do is fill up the bottle with your favorite beverage. Place a glass under the nozzle and press the button.  Watch as your favorite beverage is poured for you by your favorite Star Wars character R2D2!!

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