I’ve been very interested in 3d printing lately. The R2 Radar Eye is on the top of my list as a 3d printed part candidate. I sent the file to Jason Hillman, a coworker’s brother who built his own delta 3d printer. He graciously accepted the challenge and set up a web cam that I could check on the progress of the 14 hour print. The curvature of the dome fits the print curvature exactly. Thank you, Jason! Next steps for the Radar Eye are bondo, lots of sanding, a base primer for metallics, and the secret sauce blue dome paint.
This weekend I finished both the inner and outer dome surfacing. Using 400, 600, 1000, 1500, then 2000 grit wet sand papers, followed by two rounds of Mothers Billet Polish. Also I marked all the panels according to the specs from Astromech.net.
I read yesterday a post by a metallurgist in the Astromech forum. He said the best way to polish billet is to avoid sanding and removing material, just use some Mothers Billet Metal Polish. You put a small amount on a terry cloth and just rub on the dome until a black residue appears. Wait about a minute and then wipe the residue clean with a fresh terry cloth. I was skeptical, and the billet polish is not cheap, but I’m a believer now. Below is a photo of the dome after polishing the left side for less than 2 minutes. I used about a quarter size dab of polish.