May '15

I've always wanted to design and fabricate my own lightsaber hilt. My first idea, an aluminum hilt turned on a lathe, proved to be too expensive. Good thing I worked at a rapid prototyping lab!

As with every print, I made a test print to determine how much I needed to adjust my dimensions for variance. After that, creativity could run wild! I took inspiration from the lightsabers wielded by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader.

I designed the lightsaber so that everything could be assembled together, instead of one giant print. This solves the problem of build space and overhanging prints.

After assembly and surface finishing, I poured a silicone mold. With some breather tubes and a pour spout cut, the mold form was ready for a resin pour. My first pour had too many bubbles; the second one used a vacuum chamber to eliminate them.

Ask me about:

  • the importance of test prints
  • working with low-resolution printers
  • my job at RapidTech
  • designing a product for post-print assembly
  • working with silicone
  • the resin I used for the final product
  • surface finishing
  • why I never painted it