Soon, Disney will begin lining its commercial Star Wars coffers with plastic action figures, T-shirts, and collapsible lightsabers. But one French 3D printing outfit took more of a "screw it, I'll do it myself" approach — by creating a 3D-printed version of the new Star Wars lightsaber.
One of the many things to love about widespread 3D printing is the technology's ability to liberate us from the whims of toy manufacturers. Now with FabShop's printed guidelines posted to Thingiverse, anyone can make their very own lightsaber, complete with that cross-guard that's been already endlessly debated. The entire project is printed out on an FDM desktop printer using PLA filament.
In case you forgot what lightsaber we're talking about here.
Because we only see the controversial lightsaber for about 1.5 seconds, the FabShop team admits that some creative licence was needed. However, the really neat thing about all of this is the design is customisable, so if you think the new lightsaber "is unrealistic and like...totally lame" then you can opt for the more conservative styles from the first two trilogies.
Of course, the "darkness" of the movie sequence and the lack of details on the weapon itself left a lot of place for imagination and interpretation. A dozen of 3D printable lightsabers being already available for download on internet, we decided to make one that would be completely customisable. The modular system we invented makes hundreds of configurations possible. From Yoda's lightsaber to Darth Maul's.
Even though this is just a fun little project, it will be interesting to see how commercial 3D printing and Star Wars get along in 2015. As more and more trailers come out, I can't imagine Disney will take lightly to character designs, action figures, and other collectibles being available for free download. 3D printing is something Star Wars has never had to deal with, and thank goodness. Because around this time 15 years ago, we would have all been 3D printing busts of Jar Jar Binks. [Instructables via Comicbook.com]