If you are like me you then anytime you
have seen a lightsaber scene in Starwars you think to yourself that it would be awesome to have one of your own. With that in mind and trying to come up with my next fun project I came across this lightsaber cutaway model on Pinshape.com it instantly stood out to me so I decided to give it a try and put the Zortrax Inkspire resin 3D printer into action. I wanted to make is a tad bit more unique and more of my own as I did not create this model so I wanted to make a interesting base/display for the lightsaber and also to add a bit of color. This in the process I took so lets get at it.
Click here to download Lighsaber Hilt Cutaway Print Files: https://pinshape.com/items/24930-3d-printed-custom...
Model was designed by :cworthdynamics
Step 1: Download and Layout
I started by downloading the cutaway model on Pinshape.com this particular model is free as well as some of the other models they offer. With the model downloaded it was time to start laying out the prints on Z-Suite for the Zortrax Inkspire resin printer. This lightsaber model uses multiple different parts that will need to be assembled later on. To print out the parts there is a print list that is among the model files with the download for the lightsaber. Make sure to read over the entire print list before you start printing. I learned this the hard way ha ha. Some of the parts are optional as well as some of the parts such as the manifold can be printed as one piece or as multiple parts that you can assemble. As I had never printed or assembled this model before I went with printing out the completed parts such as the manifold instead of assembling them. If I were to ever make another one of these lightsabers thought it would be done with assembling all of the individual parts. While laying the parts out in the whatever program you are using for your 3D printer I suggest starting at the top of the print list and then working your way down the list keeping up with what parts you have printed as you go. Most of the parts I used a medium support setup and it held just fine. Also parts that are listed and look like they can be printed directly on the platform I would suggest raising from the platform to make removing them much easier. Also you can print these parts at whatever resolution you would like I printed most parts at a lower resolution to speed up printing time and it would not be noticeable once painted. Resin printers like the Zortrax Inkspire print with an extremely high amount of detail so even low resolution prints look great.
Step 2: Printer Setup
Another thing that is listed and to keep in mind while setting up your prints is the material you with to use. If you are using a resin printer as I did you can print particular parts. I decided not to do this as I would be painting and adding color the parts. So changing materials was something I did not have to worry about. I went with the Zortrax basic gray material. This material has a hard set and is a tough material as well as it is a somewhat quick printing material. I used this material for all of the parts except the main crystal witch I used a pigment free resin that I dyed a transparent blue color. After selecting the material in Z-Suite and export the print file and upload it to the machine or to the thumb drive you are using. With the Zortrax Inkspire you also need to select the material and resin level on the printer. Now simply hit print and the printer will do its thing.
Step 3: Printing and Print Cleaning
After each print with the Zortrax Inkspire resin printer you need to treat the tank as if you are changing colors. I had tried to do multiple prints with the same material but with small amounts of residue forming on the tank film from each print it will have an adverse effect on the next print. Remove all of the resin and clean the film in the resin tank. If there are any issues with the film such as bubbling, loose tension, or spotting remove and replace the film. I had 6 or 7 separate prints with multiple parts on each print and had no problems with film. Use whatever cleaning solution that is required by your particular printer to clean out the tank before each print. Also if you have a ultrasonic cleaner such as I did it is a good idea to clean the parts thoroughly as soon as you can or at least before the resin is allowed to come into contact with any UV light. This will help to ensure that the prints have the highest amount of detail once they are completely dried and cured. Once the parts are cleaned and dried place them into the sunlight or under a UV light to ensure the resin in completely cured. Some resins do not require this step but I like to do this anyways as it ensures the resin is completely hardened.
Step 4: Painting the Parts
After all of the parts are printed,cleaned, and cured I placed the on a piece of cardboard preparing them for paint. Some of the parts are oddly shaped and required to be elevated off of the cardboard. Mainly the manifold as the shape was such that It needed to be able to be rotated during spraying to get an even coat. I did this by simply pushing a Phillips head screwdriver through the cardboard and then placing the manifold on to the screwdriver through the manifold tube. Depending on if you are printing the individual parts or not you will have to place and spray the parts in a different manner. I decided to go with a chrome silver on most of the parts with some of them being black with blue accents. I however did not want a chrome finish on the silver parts I wanted to look more like a machined surface. I accomplished this by using a matte finish clear over the high gloss silver paint. This would up looking just how I had hoped with it looking like a freshly machined piece of metal. The spray paint I used cured and hardened quickly especially in the sun and they came out looking great.
Step 5: Casting the Focus Crystal
Two of the parts in the print list are crystals they are meant to be clear and allow for the LED to light up the crystals inside the lightsaber. While you can get and print them using clear resin I did not have any clear resin on hand and decided to print the main crystal out of a blue tinted pigment free resin and the focus crystal I printed using the standard basic gray resin. I then made a silicon mold using a technique that uses silicon calking and corn starch to make a mold to cast the part with clear epoxy resin. I will be making a video and an instructable on this process as I did learn a lot from it this go around and there a few thing I feel are important to know with trying it. But that is for another time. With the mold completed I mixed up some crystal clear Total Boat Epoxy and cast the mold. I would not remove the mold from the pressure tank until later on when the focus crystal was needed.
Step 6: Starting on the Base
I thought long and hard on how I wanted the base to look and stand out. I found a piece of walnut burl and filled in all of the splits in the wood with Starbond Adhesives Black CA glue, then sanded the out side of it to remove all of the debris and dead bark and slivers of wood. After sanding down the outside I used a 2 inch fostner bit to bore a 2 inch hold into the top of the burl at a slight angle. I wanted the base to have a look almost like stone. With the hole bored into the top of the base I used a die grinder sanding drum ( in my drill as my die grinder died) to sand down the edges of the hole as well as smooth out the interior of the hole. I then lined the inside of the hole with a piece of soft felt. This would not only add a cleaner look to the base but also stop it from damaging the end of the lightsaber once it was placed into the display. I then set the base aside to allow for the glue dry that was holding in the fabric inside the hole.
Step 7: Installing the Magnets
Its now time to start assembling the lightsaber its self. Start by installing the magnets into all of the parts that require them for the lightsaber to function as a cutaway. Each of the hilt parts as well as the parts for the “power cell” have small cutouts that are designed to house a 1/8 by 1/ 16 inch magnet. The main thing is to make sure that you are installing the magnets in a way that the opposing magnet has the correct polarity facing outwards. If the magnets have the same polarity facing each other they will repel each other and not hold together. The best way I found to do this was to install the magnets one at a time as they came as column in the package. Dab a small amount of glue in this case Starbond Adhesives thick CA into the cutout for the magnet. Then flip the column of magnets so that the last magnet facing out repels when gotten close to the magnet you just installed. Add more glue to the corresponding cutout and install that magnet using the column to set it into place. The repealing face you just tested should be facing down leaving the attracting polarity facing up. Repeat this process on all of the cutouts for the magnets. This takes some time but it ensures the polarity is correct and also makes sure that all of the magnets are installed. Do one full piece at a time ex, the hilt, the pommel, and so on. Once the magnets are installed test fit the pieces to ensure they are correct before moving on to the next part.
Step 8: Painting Accents
While with this model you can print out all the accents individually I had printed out most of the pieces whole. So any accents on a particular part that I wanted to have a different color from the rest of the part I had to mask off and paint those accents separately. On the pommel it was the small grip accents on the side the pommel its self was black but I wanted the accents to be a blue color to match the hilt grips. The hilt grip pieces by the way I did print separately as there were 36 of them total and would have been to much to tape off instead of printing out and painting on there own. To paint the blue accents on the pommel I used masking tape and covered the pommel and used my fingernail to get the tape pressed into a tight form around the accents. This also served the purpose of using the corners as a line to follow to cut the masking tape. Once all of the tape around the accents had been cut using a sharp razor blade or hobby knife carefully remove the tape over the accents you want to paint. I sprayed the accents with the same color I used on the hilt and cooling fins and let it completely dry. Then carefully remove the tape from the part pulling the tape up and away from the painted areas.
Step 9: Assembly Pt 1
To start the assembly some of the parts much have some per-assembly done before hand. The cooling fins, emitter, emitter housing and cooling fin housing all need to be per-assembled . One thing to keep in mind is that if you are painting the parts the tolerances from part to part will be much tighter so it can be best to sand down any paint that will cause a tight fit. Using the same Starbond Adhesives CA as before glue the parts into place and let them dry. Make sure you are not forcing any of the parts to fit. The prints can break if forced to much. Do not be afraid to lightly sand off small amounts of material until the parts fit snug but not to tight.
Step 10: Crystal Assembly
Now I removed the mold from earlier from the pressure tank and removed the focus crystal from the mold. It looked good and had great lines. I used some 12,000 grit sand paper and wet sanded the focus crystal to make it a bit clearer. After sanding the focus crystal drill a small 5mm hole is needed in the back of the focus crystal. This is to house the led that will light the lightsaber. The depth will be dependent on the led you are using so use a piece of tape and make the depth of the led on the drill bit to make sure you do not go deeper into the epoxy than needed. Next mount the focus crystal onto the focus crystal mount and glue it into place. There is a hole in the rear of the focus crystal mount to allow the LED to be installed. With the focus crystal glued in place move onto the main crystal slide the main crystal clamps over the crystal and use small dabs of glue to hold them into place. Then set the crystals aside.
Step 11: Manifold Assembly
The manifold by far needs the most involved assembly process. Remember your process will be different if you printed the manifold pieces individually. First insert the manifold in to the top of the power cell and glue it into place. As mentioned before you might have to sand down the paint used on the manifold to allow for the tolerances needed to install the parts. Once the manifold is in place in the power cell cut 10 small 5/8 inch pieces of wire. Using a set of needle nose pliers to shape the wires and install one piece of wire one at a time into the ends of the manifold tubes and into the corresponding hole in the power cell and glue the wire into place. NOTE: This step can be completely skipped as it is not needed but it is a great way to add some awesome detail to the lightsaber and make it look more realistic
Step 12: Wiring
This is one step of the process that I honestly had a bit of a hard time with. Not because of the degree of difficulty but because I have large fingers and these parts are pretty small. Solder one end of the needed transistor to the switch, solder a 3.5 inch length of the 3mm wire to the other side of the switch and another equal length of 3mm wire to the transistor. These wires will be then threaded through under the wiring tube glued to the back of the hilt housing. ( Please refer to the assembly guide in your download for this. Depending on glue up the position of the wire tube will shift slightly). After running the wire through the tube from the male end of the power wire extension cut a length 4.5 inches in length. ( It is ok to cut this a little long as it will be tucked away behind the focus crystal). Then solder all of the wires into place per the wiring directions in the diagram downloaded with the file. I Want to explain this process better but as I messed it up a few times before I got it correct I will refer you to the video of assembly that I refereed to. When all of the wires are in place router them under the focus crystal and there they will not be seen.
NOTE: Click here for all electrical components used: http://www.adafruit.com/wishlists/408530
Step 13: Final Assembly
To finish assembly place the switch in place in the switch housing making sure to install the switch wedge. Then place the main crystal assembly into place as well as the switch housing securing them into place with more small dabs of glue. With all of the pieces into place and secured glue on the printed switch button. Make sure not to use to much glue as it will run down the edges of the button installed making the button not work properly. Now you can install battery, charger and the power cell housing before installing the outer removable hilt. You may also attach the belt clip at this point but as it interfered with the base for this piece I decided not to install the belt clip.
Step 14: Finishing the Base
To finish the base I went with some Danish Oil and applied a healthy coat and let it sit for about 30 minutes before applying another coat. I repeated this process about 4 times giving the base a deep color and also the base came out just as I had hoped looking like a rock that would be holding the lightsaber.
Step 15: Take Down Some SITH!!!!
The lightsaber is now ready for you to take down some sith lords and a bounty hunter or two. I love how the saber came out especially in the base. The light on it looks great and give a realistic feel to it as well as makes it even more of a conversation piece. This was a blast I wish I could take the credit for designing it but I cannot that belongs to https://pinshape.com/users/105302-cworthdynamics#d...make sure to go check him out for more awesome prints.
If you enjoyed this project make sure to head over to my YouTube and Subscribe. For more videos, pictures and to keep up with I am working on next follow me on Instagram @jpaynewoodworking . If you would like to read the article on the build check it out here: https://jpaynewoodworking.com/2019/04/11/making-a-working-excalibur-inspired-starwars-lightsaber-in-the-stone/
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Thanks for viewing and I will see you on the next one!!