We all remember the iconic chase from Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, in which Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia evade Imperial Scout Troopers thanks to their 74-Z Speeder Bikes, zipping through the forests of Endor as their foes’ bikes explode fantastically against the towering trees behind our Rebel heroes.
As a tribute to this memorable scene, Australian Maker dad Tez Gelmir decided to build a speeder bike for his daughter’s first birthday. A worthy endeavor — any self-respecting nerd dad will want to make sure that they are equipping their young Padawans with the tools they need to keep peace in the galaxy.
We’ve written about other speeder bike builds in the past, but so meticulous is this build, so far flung is the scope of the skill set involved, that this bike is truly fit for the Princess of Alderaan herself. In order to complete this build, Gelmir had to call on his knowledge not only of 3D modeling, 3D printing, and woodworking, but also sewing, painting, and electrical engineering.
Gelmir broke down the project into three distinct parts: the speeder bike, the rocking base, and the electronics. Many components for the bike itself were 3D printed. The plywood base was more or less guesstimated to balance the center of gravity of the combined weight of the bike and a toddler. As Gelmir describes, the electronics are composed of “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 templates for the base, the STL files for the speeder bike, and the rest of Gelmir’s extremely detailed build notes and tons of pictures can be found on his Instructables page for the project.
To see an adorably epic demo of the speeder bike, be sure to check out the video below: