User Spotlight: Gustavo Canales

 In Customer Stories

Gustavo Canales of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, has created an amazing print of R2-D2, among many other exceptional Star Wars costume and prop prints. Pretty impressive for someone who has only been 3D printing for a couple of months!

As a member of the R2 Builders Club and 501st Legion, Gustavo designs high-quality Star Wars props and costumes. He formerly sent the parts to a machinist or Shapeways to be printed. But on February 1, 2015, he purchased a Printrbot Simple Metal so he could 3D print his models at home. At first, using Printrbot’s recommended slicer, he was getting disappointing results, especially with cylindrical parts. After doing some research on Adafruit, he started using Simplify3D in late February.

And his results since then? See for yourself:

Simplify3D - how to 3D print Star Wars R2D2

The dome of the model is metal, but all the accessories attached to it were printed in PLA using Simplify3D and Printrbot Simple Metal upgraded with the Matrix Precision XYZ. “I started my build by acquiring the 300mm aluminum dome,” Gustavo explains. “Then I started drawing the models of the parts, like the radar eye piece and the Vickers light replica. I also downloaded models from the R2 Builders Club that were already made and sliced them with Simplify3D. And voila! We have an Astromech droid dome. This took me just a few hours to print the parts instead of waiting for runs or manufacturing of the parts.”

We asked Gustavo if he had any advice for others like him who are new to 3D printing. Here are his top three tips:

  1. “Properly calibrate or level the bed. It’s so important that the material sticks to the bed for good quality parts.”
  2. “Get Simplify3D and make sure you try the fast and medium settings first. You might never need to go to the highest level of quality.”
  3. “Try on small parts first, and save the factory files once you get great prints so you don’t have to redo all the settings.”

Great advice from Gustavo! He is proof that, with the right tools and a lot of passion, even those that are relatively new to 3D printing can create incredible prints. Check out more images from Gustavo’s prints at, or the fun photo of his new truck-topper below.

Simplify3D - 3D printed R2D2 in truck

Have a great print you’d like to share? Let us know at

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