Beeps and whistles fill the staging area as an Astromech droid begins to take shape. But don’t be fooled, we aren’t in a galaxy far, far away. Last week, Mechdyne teammates were busy pre-building an R2-D2 sculpture made entirely of canned food and non-perishable items for the third annual Marshalltown “Can-Do” sculpture event.

As one of Mechdyne’s five core values, we seek out opportunities to serve the communities in which we live. The week long Can-Do event invites local businesses in the area to create sculptures made of non-perishable food items, all to be donated to the Emergency Food Box in Marshall County on May 4. As one of 14 businesses participating, Mechdyne has worked through our design for several weeks to get it just right.

The team approached this project just like any other project by creating as-built drawings and pre-building the droid in our Technical Center. We follow our STRIVE process to ensure the R2 design will support the weight of the cans before setting it up at the Marshalltown Mall this past Sunday. Our dedication to process and quality, even when designing a can sculpture for charity, proves it’s worth every time. Made of approximately 200 cans of green beans and corn, 20 boxes of pasta, 80 boxes of fruit snacks, and 200 cans of tuna, the team completed set up in under an hour.

Senior Vice President Jim Gruening is proud of the team’s efforts in designing and building the structure, but he is most proud of the participation throughout the community. “The most humbling aspect about the entire effort is that it’s for a great cause,” says Gruening. “People in our community will go less hungry due to everybody’s participation.”

For more about the Marshalltown Can-Do event, visit If you’re in the area, we encourage you to visit the mall and donate your own non-perishable items for this worthy cause. Vote for Mechdyne – this is the droid you’re looking for.

Mechdyne R2D2 ConstructionMechdyne Team with R2D2

Mechdyne R2D2 planningMechdyne R2D2