A new design for a DIY Star Wars Sith Lightsaber hilt is heftier and better-looking than most others out there, according to its maker, Sean Charlesworth. You can 3D print it from free source files, and there's even a hardware kit available -- not free -- so you can build one just in time for Halloween.
The 3D-printed Cutaway Sith Lightsaber hilt has parts inspired by multiple objects, as Charlesworth explains in the video above. Besides doing his own maker thing, he works at Tested.com, founded by ex-Mythbuster Adam Savage, where you can find out how 3D printing is used in lots of movie props. Although he designed the hilt as a kit, he's not currently selling either kits or fully built lightsabers.
Some of the parts that inspired components in Sean Charlesworth's 3D-printed Cutaway Sith Lightsaber hilt.
(Source: Charlesworth Dynamics)
In the video, Charlesworth discusses how he came up with this design. He says he wanted to build a lightsaber hilt that was bulkier, more attractive, and more realistic, with finer detail. He modeled some of its components after old camera parts, since he used to repair cameras and has lot of these parts lying around. The hilt is designed as a cutaway to show its internal construction. Parts inside of it light up, although he kept electronics to a minimum so there aren't any sound effects.
Designers & Innovators. Learn more about some of the latest designers and innovators and what they're up to at ESC Silicon Valley, December 6-8, 2016 in San Jose, Calif. Register here for the event, hosted by Design News’ parent company, UBM.
Charlesworth used the Form 2 desktop SLA (stereolithography) 3D printer and some new, updated resins from Formlabs. These included an updated black that's more intense in color and shows details better than the previous formulation, as well as a clear resin that's both clearer and resists yellowing better. Also, the reformulated flex material is now dark gray instead of clear. With a hardness Charlesworth says is similar to that of a boot heel, it was perfect for the handgrips on the hilt.
You can download the files here free from Pinshape.com. Charlesworth is also selling a limited number of hardware kits for the cutaway lightsaber on Etsy. In this second video, which runs just over half an hour, he shows you in detail how to assemble the parts once you've 3D printed them. Some assembly is done with magnets, while other parts are glued together. He also notes that, although the lightsaber was originally designed to print on SLA resin printers, it's been successfully printed on FDM machines, although he can't guarantee proper fit of parts made using FDM.
Ann R. Thryft is senior technical editor, materials & assembly, for Design News. She's been writing about manufacturing- and electronics-related technologies for 29 years, covering manufacturing materials & processes, alternative energy, and robotics. In the past, she's also written about machine vision and all kinds of communications.
Some next-generation bio-based materials are superior in performance to their petro-based counterparts, but also face some commercial challenges. This is especially true of certain biopolymers, adhesives, coatings, and advanced materials.
Cars and other vehicles, as well as electronics and medical devices, continue to lead the use cases for the new plastics products we've been seeing, as engineers design products for tougher environments.
LeMond Composites, founded by three-time Tour de France cycling champion Greg LeMond, is the first to license a new carbon fiber production method invented by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) that's faster, cheaper, and greener.
This month will mark the launch of the SpeedFoiler, a super-fast, ultra-lightweight foiling catamaran that can fly short distances over water faster than other foiling designs, in part because of its carbon composite materials.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies.
You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived.
So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.