Welcome to the final installment of the Practical Print: Custom Lightsaber Mounts series!
Here are the main aspects that we needed to test as we prototyped these mounts:
For the Darth Vader lightsaber, we needed to make sure both the notches fit into the canal and are secure
For the Anakin Skywalker lightsaber, we needed the latch to fit snugly around the hilt and press fit into itself so we can trust that it’ll be secured.
For both lightsabers, the bottom mount needed to fit the bottom of the hilt and hold it in place, and the ribbon cable needed to come out of the bottom stand without being pinched
The two lightsabers have varying depths, so the mounts needed to be offset such that, when adhered to the wall, both lightsabers were the same distance from the wall.
The depth of each top and bottom pair of mounts needed to ensure that the lightsaber was standing upright.
Darth Vader Lightsaber
We ran through several renditions of the top mount to see which would secure it best.
One version had a canal that’s shaped to fit each notch separately. This proved to be a bit more difficult to have the notches fit perfectly, and wasn’t accomplishing the goal as well as we had anticipated.
We opted to have a single-width canal and depth that fit the larger of the two notches, and the thicker of the two notches, that way we could guarantee both fit. This worked great for our use case.
The bottom mount only required one adjustment to get the diameter just right, and we were good to go.
Anakin Skywalker Lightsaber
The latch that we were designing was the most challenging part of this design. It took several attempts to get the air gaps between the hinge parts just right, but once we did, it glided smoothly and easily. The other aspect here was the press fit part of the latch. Because this was a very thin component, it had difficulty printing at first and was somewhat delicate, so we had to revisit the model to increase the thickness all around so that it could be a more sturdy part.
In a similar fashion, the bottom mount was a straightforward model that required very few adjustments.
And after all that hard work, here are the results, fully mounted and ready to harness the Force!
With every model we pursue, we like to take away some learning lessons, either from the modeling itself or from the printing experience. Here were our takeaways from this project:
As always, measurement is key. We were very deliberate with our measurements of the dimensions and getting that right the first time around which made the prototyping process much smoother than it might have otherwise been.
Check that your printer is tuned, and consider the printer you’re using when making small adjustments.
We did some early prototyping of this model to check that the geometry and sizing was right, but the printer we used (Printrbot Simple Metal) for these early prototypes was not the printer we ended up using for the final product (Prusa i3 MK3s+).
These models required a lot of fine dimension details, and since every printer may have a slightly different dimensional accuracy, the minute adjustments we made as a result of our early prototypes may not have been necessary, which is something we later realized when we printed the same models on our Prusa.