ball4This has been a big weekend, not only for shoppers, but also for Star Wars fans. Despite the fact that the film is still over a year from its premier, the hype machine for Walt Disney’s ‘Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens‘ has just kicked off with the very first preview being released this weekend. With a budget of approximately $200 million, the franchise, which is now owned by The Walt Disney Company, who purchased the rights from Lucas Films in 2012, is sure to be a hit when it’s released in December of 2015.

‘The Force Awakens’ will be the first movie of a trilogy, the third Star Wars Trilogy since the original film was released back in May of 1977. Taking place 30 years after ‘Return of the Jedi’ the latest film will feature many new characters as well as those from the past (30 years older of course). As you know, technology progresses rapidly in a 30 year time span, and this also looks to be the case within the Star Wars setting. Whereas C-3PO and R2-D2 were the robotic stars 30 years ago, this latest film will have to feature new more sophisticated machines, and new robots to keep up with the times.

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In the preview, which Disney released this past weekend, we get a glimpse of some of the vehicles, as well as a cute little robot within the film, which is being referred to as a ‘Ball Droid”. This new robot has been described by many fans as a soccer ball with an R2-D2 head attached, and in fact there are already several social media fan pages for the tiny little robotic device.ball2

So perhaps by now you are wondering how this is at all related to 3D printing. Well, thanks to 3D printing, within hours of a new character, such as Ball Droid being revealed, we already have the means of creating a physical model/toy of the little robot. Thingiverse User, lilykill has taken the time to 3D model the ball-like robot, and post that design for free so that anyone with a 3D printer can download and 3D print the Ball Droid figurine. Posted with a Creative Commons – Attribution – Share Alike license, the model is made up of a single STL file.

The uploaded Ball Droid model is 1:1 scale with the head being approximately the same diameter as R2-D2’s. Of course in order for this model to really stand out, those who do end up 3D printing it will need to add a good deal of paint, otherwise this sophisticated little robot may end up looking like nothing more than a melting snowman.

Let us know if you have 3D printed this Ball Droid model. How did the print process go? Feel free to share some images and your experiences in the Ball Droid forum thread on 3DPB.com.  Check out the preview below:

Oh and if you want a 3D model of a new Light Saber from the upcoming film, thanks to Sketchfab, you can have that as well:

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