Instructables
Picture of Steam punk light saber
This an ongoing project to build a laser light saber with a retractable blade,
 
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Step 1: Starting point

Picture of Starting point
A battery powered tape measure! :)  If you extend a tape measure, fold it back on itself, it can be pushed in and out and remain stiff....

Step 2: The design

Picture of The design
PIC_0001.JPG
PIC_0002.JPG
The drawing shows a three laser mount that rotates around the guide for the tape measure blade, the laser beams project out to a bounce mirror then bounce up again and so on.

The blade comes out of the mount (shown left of first picture) goes round a guide at the top (shown to right of first picture)
Second picture shows the actual top end.
Third picture shows the rotating laser mount

Step 3: Laser mount and power

Picture of Laser mount and power
sliprings01.jpg
brushes01.jpg
brushes fitted02.jpg
First picture is the plastic mount for the lasers, inside is a tube and a pair of bearings to allow it to rotate
Second shows the slip rings which will connect the supply to the lasers.
Third shows rings fitted and the brushes ready to fit
Fourth shows it all assembled.

Step 4: Motor drive unit

Picture of Motor drive unit
motor running01.jpg
TLtryout01.jpg
This  mount drive is a small motor ang gearbox that drives the lasers around via a belt drive.
Second photo shows it rotating....at speed!
Third shows the lasers when stationary

Step 5: Assembly

Picture of Assembly
subassembly01.jpg
subassembly02.jpg
These pictures show the drive to rotate the lasers, the slip rings that transfer the power to the lasers and the tape measure body.

Step 6: What next

Picture of What next
This will not be finished by the closing date of the wicked lasers competition so here is an impression of the finished item.
The sleeve at the right hand end of the handle will hide the end of the blade when closed.

There are 3 movies, the first shows the blade extending in daylight.

http://www.vimeo.com/21548348

The second shows the lasers lit and the blade extending.

http://www.vimeo.com/21549102

The third one shows the lasers lit and the blade retracting.

http://www.vimeo.com/21547573


This is a work in progress and I know it will never look like a real light saber but as a punk build it has an appeal to me

Regards rog8811