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Cane / Staff - Star Wars Obi-wan Kenobi Lightsaber Style

by kresty, published

Cane / Staff - Star Wars Obi-wan Kenobi Lightsaber Style by kresty Aug 24, 2015

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Summary

SEE COMMENTS: I'M TRYING TO IMPROVE THE MODEL - WIFE KEEPS BREAKING IT, AND I'VE ADDED LIGHTS...

We needed a cane for my wife, so taking a page from Peter Mayhew, we decided to build a lightsaber cane! It's an Obi-wan Kenobi based one because that's what we had the best plans for, though we have some optional extra parts

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4scLdEmIqs has video of the newest one!

Sort of a random thing, but if you like my stuff please check out my Lego R2-D2's blog at http://L3-G0.com or L3-G0's YouTube, and please tweet of facebook a link to his page, every visitor helps!

Instructions

There's a PDF with just junk in the files....

OBI-WAN LIGHTSABER CANE / STAFF

This is an Obi-Wan style lightsaber cane, ala Peter Mayhew, except his is a lot longer, and different. I modified this when it was clear my wife would occasionally need her cane after hip surgery, yet we wanted to do fun convention things.

WARNING:

This design currently is split in the middle of the handle. You may want some serious glue there for safety, especially if the user puts a lot of weight on it. I might try to address that in a future revision. Inspect often, you don’t want to use it if it’s falling apart!

Additional Parts:

• You’re gonna need a ¾” acrylic rod, preferably a translucent blue.
• You’ll need a ¾” cane/crutch type foot.

Printed Parts:

A – Pommel
BC – Combined Lower Gear and Clamp
(See below for optional B & C1/C2 variations)
D1 – Lightbulbs
(See below for optional D2 Circuit Board variation)
E – Switch (Short or Long)
F – Pin (May need different sizes or trimming, or without supports)
G – Buttons
H – (unused at the moment)
I – Grenade
J – Flywheel
(See below for optional Luke variations B & C)
K – Emitter Housing
L – Emitter Lens
(See below for optional Luke combined KL variation)

Preparation:

Cane Height:

This cane isn’t really designed to be adjustable. Have the user try a “normal” cane, preferably with a knob-type grip, to find a comfortable height. Once they’re happy with that, measure the length of their cane, you’ll need a rod almost that long.

The Rod:

You’re going to need a ¾” rod. They come in cast and extruded. I’m not sure, but cast might be preferable, it’s stronger… extruded might be more consistent diameter. Translucent blue might be nice, but whatever color makes you happy. It only needs to be 4-5” shorter than the person’s cane height. I’d chop off the bottom end after assembly so the user can try the height. It’s easier to make it shorter than longer!

Printing vs Rod Diameter:

Just to be annoying, not all rods are created equal. The 3D models were designed based on the first rod I have, and the tolerances of my printer. I’d be really amazed if those worked for you first try!

A ¾” rod is supposed to be 19.05mm. The model is designed at 19.20mm, which doesn’t allow a lot of room.

Try printing the flywheel part J first. The main handle is going to be much harder to get on than the flywheel (more surface area touching the rod). You want it to press fit. If it’s not fitting, scale the model a TINY amount, like 101% or 99%. Be careful of the fragile bits. Remember you can sand.

Your rod’s not going to be a uniform diameter. My flywheel was very tight in a bit, then loose, then tight again.

Printing

I printed everything with 20% infill, on MakerWare’s medium setting (0.2mm layer height). If you can, print the lightbulbs in clear filament, they look really good that way.

Make sure you get the temps right. Someone’s going to be leaning on this, you don’t want it to delaminate because the print wasn’t hot enough!

You may have to fiddle with the clip, I’ve had a hard time printing it well. It may need a raft to hold it or slow down the printer. They’re tiny, print a couple

Print the different pin sizes. You’ll want a tight fit.

Assembly

The odd thing is that when Obi-wan holds a lightsaber, the pommel is generally “down” and the blade “up”. Like a sword. So we’re kinda building it upside down.

A pair of rubber gloves can help hold the rod and whatever part you’re trying to move.

Look at the picture to see where the parts go.

• Print and test fit the flywheel (part J). If it you can’t get it on, make it bigger (101% maybe). If it’s loose, make it smaller (try 99%). If it’s really hard to get on then the hilt will probably be a disaster, so maybe try bigger.
• Test fit the Emitter Housing (K) and Lens (L). Sand or whatever to make them work.
• Take them apart (it can be hard to put them on the rod together)
• Put the Emitter Lens on the rod, facing down toward the floor.
• Put the Emitter Housing (K) on the rod. The handle/pommel side should be about 13cm or 5” from the end of the rod.
• Add the flywheel (J), the ridge part goes up, towards where the pommel will be. There/s about a 9mm or 3/8” gap between the flywheel and the emitter.
• Press on the grenade (I). There’s a little lip which is where the rod seats, so put the rod through the other end. It should be difficult to install, you don’t want the rod falling out when someone’s using the cane! If it’s really hard (I had to slam mine on the floor), then don’t expect to get it off!
• Put the pommel (A) on the Lower Handle (B). This is removable but should fit snugly. If concerned you can glue it.
• One of those 1” LED lights will fit inside the handle/clamp area, the pommel can provide access. (But you’ll need a really light colored rod for that to work).
• The buttons go in the holes in the clamp. You may have to glue them.
• If you printed a separate clamp/handle, put the clamp on the lower handle, little button goes away from the pommel. (Though it’ll work backwards)
• Shove the grenade (I) into the clamp.
• Slight the lightbulbs (D1) (or circuit board) into the clamp.
• Insert the pin (F) from the button side. You want the pin to be fairly tight to hold the grenade tight.
• Slide the switch clip (E) over the pin end, the end goes toward the pommel. I had to clean mine a little with a hobby knife. Again you want this to be tight.
• Temporarily put the rubber cane foot on the bottom.
• Stress test the cane. If the grenade part is at all loose in the clamp consider a really good adhesive. You don’t want this to break when the user slips and needs it for balance!!!
• WARNING: Make sure everything is tight and can’t fall apart when someone puts a lot of weight on it. Apply glue if necessary. If uncertain DO NOT USE IT!!!
• Remove the rubber foot and cut the cane to the right length using appropriate tools and safety protection (goggles, etc). Err on the side of too long, you can always cut it again if need be.

Notes

Since the cane is upside down, the lightsaber parts are labeled backwards. The pommel would normally be on the bottom, yet it’s the top of the cane.

The clamps have different holder dimensions for either Obi-Wan style lightbulbs or stunt style circuit boards, see variations below.

Stunt clamps have each side narrower by 2.75mm, so if you wanted to put lightbulbs in one, then stretch it by 2.75mm on each side.

If you really want to print a pin without a support there’s a file for it.

Diameter of shaft is expected to be ¾” (radius 9.5mm)

Variations

The easiest way to make it yours is the color of the rod. I’ve also stuck some variant parts in the build in case you want to try something different

Alternate lower handles (consider gluing to clamp for strength)
B – Lower handle with a heatsink gear OR flat variation
C – Graflex Clamp, either the Obi-wan ANH version or variations for the Stunt lightsabers
D1 – Use lightbulbs for the C1 clamp
D2 – C2 clamps have the circuit-board appearance, us the circuit boards for that.
E – Long or short switches.
J – Luke ROTJ type flywheel, “C” is flat, “B” might need supports to print
KL – Luke ROTJ type emitter & Lens.

Note that I don’t have the rest of the Luke ROTJ style handle right now. The “lower handle/clamp” area is different, and the “grenade” part has a slightly different pattern. The pommel is probably close enough for most folks though.

Electronics Files:
You can skip the LED holder and Xmas_Saber.ino and FastLED.zip if you aren't doing the lights (see Electronics below)

Acknowledgements

This is based on the slightly modified Obiwan Lightsaber, which in turn is based off of Ultimaker’s complex lightsaber. Thanks for the model.

Main difference here is this one has a hole, it’s been reinforced somewhat, and parts have been combined to make it stronger. It’s also been tweaked a little where the original’s accuracy bugged me.

I also added the bajillion alternate parts.

Also using the FastLED library.

If you like my builds, follow me on Thingiverse, http://www.thingiverse.com/kresty and visit my Lego R2-D2 on YouTubehttp://L3-G0.com has links.

I tweet sometimes @ShawnsLego. http://twitter.com/shawnslego and have a boring FaceBook account https://www.facebook.com/shawn.steele.988

Electronics

It's more fun if it glows!

We all know this is more interesting if it glows!

The easy way is to drop one of those little LED flashlights in the handle. It's just about perfect for the 3 AAA ones, but some have knurled edges that make them slightly too big.

Advanced Lighting

For more advanced lighting I used an Arduino Nano attached to some 5050 SMD RGB LED's (like neopixels, but I bought a ton on ebay for something like .25 each). I hooked digital output 6 of the Arduino to the data in of the LEDs and used the attached sketch.

Power is trickier, especially at the new 90% long lightsaber (her original one was too long to work best as a cane). I ended up buying one of those spare power LI batteries in a kind of tubular case. Unfortunately it was a little too fat (& long), so I had to remove it from the case. The procedure was straightforward if you know what you're doing, but shorting the battery would be bad and my technique hacky so I'm not going to go into that here. Alternatives would be 4 AAA batteries.

If you have +5V it can go into the Arduino's 5V line, otherwise you'll have to put it in Vin if you have more volts. The WS2812B 5050 neopixel type LEDs need 5V, so they can be connected to the Arduino's 5V line. The Arduino can power 4 of them safely.

Make sure to connect the data out of the first LED to the data in of the next one, etc. There's a picture of it in the LED folder in the main pictures above. If the LED holder is too loose you might try the "small" version.

The Xmas_Saber.ino sketch needs the FastLED library. I zipped that up and it needs to go into your Arduino\Libraries folder. It was intended for Halawaliama's Xmas lightsaber, so you may want to kill the color changing code &/or program a different color.

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The innards of the latest update's electronics are painful - https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157675966670774 has pix of the guts.  We're working on trying to shrink some of them.

REMINDER: This is printed, she breaks it once every month or two. Superglue helps, but it could be dangerous for people to use and could contribute to falls. Fortunately its usually because she kicks it or drops it or something, but still, she's out a cane 'til she gets back to the spare.

what did you use for the blade did you use clear filament or did you get a full size rod form somewhere I am trying to design a Saber for my son and want to make it as interchangeable as possible but I'm not sure how well the LED at only one end vs. LEDs the full length of the blade will look in a 3d printed clear blade but at the same time I don't want to have to outsource the blade to say acrylic or fiber optic?

how did you solve this problem with yours?

Feb 12, 2016 - Modified Jan 28, 2017
kresty - in reply to CAQB13

The blade is a 3/4" acrylic rod from a plastics shop. They actually aren't very expensive for a few feet.
We have LEDs at one end. Other people have ran a strip of LEDs down a tube instead of a rod. (but my wife needed a cane, so for strength a tube was ruled out).
Transparent filament doesn't really print clear, it prints more frosted (which might actually look good for this, but a rod or tube is way easier)

PS: I haven't finished the sound yet, but I ripped apart one of the toy lightsabers and it seems promising.

BTW, if you want to light it up, a colored rod may be too dark to light. Our blue rod doesn't really work. The clear works OK to light. I was wondering about getting a clear rod and then dying the outside edge somehow but haven't tried that yet. The thinking being that the light could still transmit down the rod since the middle would be clear, but not be filtered too much on the outside.

Hi all, I'm trying to improve two things:
1) My wife keeps dropping and breaking the hilt, so I'm working on strengthening that. Should it happen to you, superglue works wonders.
2) Trying to make more room for electronics inside. I don't have my new brain yet, so that's delayed.

Oh, Lara also replaced the "real" can foot with a 3/4" rubber stop, like you'd use under something you didn't want to mar your floor... She found a pack of 4 at Jo'anne's for not very much and says it works well. (She didn't like the ugly cap and wanted it clear on the end)

hello.. do you have this file..LightsaberBC-_HeatsinkGear+_Obi-wan_Clamp.stl it says 0kb shows on zip but nothing loads? thats the last file i need to put the cane together. hope you can help. thank you

Ok, I uploaded one called Lightsaber BC (WORKING). There's also an "Old" one which was the original one, but I started strengthening the model because my wife's keeps breaking there. Try the "working" one... Note that you'll either need to reprint the "apart" buttons or trim the other ones to fit now that I've made the wall thicker.

The "working" one also has redistributed some of the interior space to hopefully make electronics easier...

Yipes, I'll see if I can figure that out.

Reminder that this can be a little fragile, definitely glue the handle parts together. I'd make it stronger, but I wanted interior room for electronics. We've broken it a few times by dropping it (hence the lanyard), but it fixes with superglue. We love it a lot, but it may not work for all disability levels.

Have you thought of using the print and making a mold of it, then cast it in a flexible resin or urethane that has more durability.

Yes, sort of. Having never cast anything, that's a bit more effort than I've been wanting so far.... We'll see how it goes after a few weeks.

Casting would hopefully be more durable.

Turns out it's a little fragile, wife knocked it over and the handle broke between the "clamp" and "gear" (which is one piece). Superglued together. She wrapped a strap through the hole on the pommel to help keep it upright. May need to reinforce that piece.

If you have trouble like that, one possibility is to fill it with epoxy or something. Glue it back together, block the tiny holes, pop the pommel off and fill it...

We also had to glue the clamp and grenade parts together, pin wasn't keeping it strongly enough.

I need a cane too and was going to create one m..this is awesome

Cool, let me know how it goes :) I'm still experimenting with the rod. I can make the acrylic extruded one bend a little, but I have to push really hard.

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