Finally, A Working Lightsaber!

Just in time for the movie of the decade, [Allen] from [Sufficiently Advanced] has built a real working fire-based light saber. And it’s awesome.

He started out with a replica light saber and designed his own 3D printed enclosure to house a small tank with a syringe valve that goes inside the handle. This allows him to fuel it with a mixture of methanol and acetone, using butane as a propellant. He learned how to do this from [Tesla Down Under], who has some fantastic projects — most notably, flamethrowers.

A nichrome coil provides ignition for the flame, and after he got the pressure just right, it produces a pretty awesome, albeit skinny, flame-saber.

A few months ago [Allen] showed off his very clever build of Mjolnir (Thor’s Hammer), that featured an electromagnet in it — a hidden fingerprint scanner ensured only he could disable it.

What’s next for this guy??

[via reddit, thanks Nick!]

53 thoughts on “Finally, A Working Lightsaber!

    1. Strontium or Lithium = Sith Red
      Sodium = Scholarly Yellow
      Potassium (Cream of Tartare) = Samuel coz-I-F’in-Windu Purple

      Ah, I remember the days when it was just a blue and Green for good, red for evil.

      1. How stupid can they be ? Having a lightsaber with a specific color so you can see if they are good or evil and kill them depending on that. This color stuff sounds completely stupid to me, just pick up a lightsaber and kill your enemies.

        1. Eh, it’s Hollywood…reminds me of this entertaining Arnold Schwarzenegger movie “The Last Action Hero”..where his movie character magically enters the “real world”, and his formerly incredible movie stunts don’t work in “this” real world. For believable fight sequences, Steven Segall’s “Out For Justice” is a masterpiece of choreography. Brutality with pool cues, meat cleavers, anything you can use as a weapon….none of that fake Hollywood “spin-around-with-your-back-to-your-enemy-so-you-deliver-a-kick” BS….perhaps blasphemy, but Chuck Norris was famous for that crap….would be interesting to have a Jedi go hand to hand without a light saber….however, if I was an “Evil Overlord”, I wouldn’t be wasting time with light saber theatrics when a simple blaster achives the end goal of exterminating an enemy.

        2. No worse than wearing a uniform or having national symbols on your aircraft. In a melee, it’s a good thing to be able to identify your comrades quickly. But I like the RGB idea, too.

        3. just googled it
          “While the Jedi used natural crystals, the Sith mostly used red-hued synthetic crystals. Sith-made synthetic crystals create a slightly more powerful blade when energized by the dark side of the Force. Sith lightsaber blades have been known to “break” the blade of a Jedi Saber, but such occurences are rare. ”

          There ya go, a reason exists ;)

        4. Light sabers are tuned the force of Jedi wielding them. This is why there is a variety of colors among the Jedi on the light side. However the Sith use the Dark side of the force which gives the light sabers the world a red color.

    1. Yeah, it was as close as I could manage in 6 weeks. I don’t think it’s clickbait though, the thumbnail is literally a screen capture of the actual video and I mean, even if you consider it to be “just a flamethrower”, I built it into a 2007 Master Replicas Luke Skywalker lightsaber hilt. Maybe the word “Real” is the issue here, but people didn’t seem to mind with “Real Mjolnir”. I thought the understanding was that I’d make these things as “real” as possible. I think with the lightsaber though people were really expecting the honest to goodness perfect actual lightsaber, whereas with Mjolnir nobody was expecting it to actually be the same from the movies in every aspect.

      That’s a lot of words! I really don’t want to be one of *those* Youtube channels, but there may be a fine line between clickbait and describing the video so that people will know that it is something they actually want to watch. I’d like to stay firmly on the right side of that line, but if you believe I’ve strayed I apologize, I really hate clickbait also, but I’m pretty new to this whole Youtube thing!

    1. I was thinking more like 3, but I couldn’t get that done in time for the movie. I actually kinda like the skinny blade after playing with it for a bit, especially since it looks more like the old Ralph McQuarrie concept art.

  1. After 37 years, FINALLY a lightsaber whose blade stops at a certain distance from the handle. This is an epic achievement – no wonder its builder is grinning like a fiend in the video.

    1. Haha yeah it’s a ton of fun. The “blade” stopping was really important for me, since as many have pointed out in the Youtube comments people have made lightsabers with real lasers before, but it’s just not satisfying having the laser go off forever.

  2. I’m amazed how tight that stream stays. Would this qualify as laminar flow?

    I would love to see a bit of copper sulfate added, and a “blade” run in front of a magnetron output. (But not with that lovely hilt or a human wielder.)

    1. Yup! The stream has to be laminar, otherwise the flame doesn’t travel with. As soon as the stream breaks up into droplets the “blade” ends. It was actually really tricky getting that right, since tiny nozzle diameter + high speed flow = turbulence.

  3. wonder if a setup like the dyson bladeless fans could be added to the top of the hilt to put a tunnel of wind around the “blade” for added stability…. though that same breeze might scatter the “blade” also…

    1. That was actually my original design! Had an EDF and a 3D printed annular aperture and everything, but there was just no way everything was going to fit inside the hilt. And considering I was getting a fairly stable “blade” without, I figured the diminishing returns on effort probably wasn’t worth it.

  4. Love it! Ideas: Perhaps it could be moved faster if contained in a wind votex (i.e. “firenado”)? For plasma lovers, perhaps a tesla coil could send an arc down the fire-ionized flame trail?

    1. Not that long, unfortunately. Right now the tank holds about 40ml, which lasts a little over a minute maybe. With some optimization that could probably go up to 80ml, I was in a hurry to finish before TFA so there’s some dead space in the hilt.

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