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Author Topic: Custom SF Gladius (v2012) Hammered Texture Grip Build Log  (Read 211 times)

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Offline StormInTheCalm

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Custom SF Gladius (v2012) Hammered Texture Grip Build Log
« on: December 07, 2020, 07:01:22 PM »
Main Features
- Hammered Metal Grip
- 3D Printed Blade Plug + Pommel
- Orange lit AV Switch
- RGB LED

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Backstory
In 2012 I bought an SF Gladius with pretty basic electronics as my first saber ever. I love playing SWTOR and this saber is very similar to the first you build as a Jedi or Sith Warrior in the main stories. However, I decided after learning more about sabers through this forum and lots of Youtube videos that I could upgrade the electronics and customize it to better reflect my personality. This decision came in 2016 right before I started university and I gutted it and it promptly fell into my pile of unfinished projects.

NOW, in 2020 with so much more hype about all things Star Wars and abundant time while still being in school I have come back to this project TO FINISH WHAT I STARTED. I will detail a build log in this thread here. This is the first saber I’ve worked on and attempted to upgrade!

Inspiration and References
I’ve referenced several builds to better understand the base hilt I’m working with. These two threads were particularly helpful!
Custom Gladius re-build with internal core (WIP) [nofollow]
Jedi Lightsaber Custom Build (Custom Gladius with reveal core) [nofollow]

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Electronics
I ordered the Nano Biscotte v4 MHSv2 electronics from TCSS and quickly found that I had neglected to measure all my parts. (measure twice cut once, seriously) So I had the pretty big task of making the parts fit.

The original LED module had an aluminium casing which was entirely too big to fit. I do not have access to many tools so I could not turn the piece down on a lathe. What I DO have access to is a 3D printer. So I 3D printed a very thin-walled piece to serve as the housing for the LED module.

The speaker casing was also too large which I was able to take down thanks to a combination of a Dremel tool and sandpaper. I also widened the switch hole to fit the larger illuminated AV switch.

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3D Printed Parts
I modeled the blade plug off of the many turbine designs I’ve seen. I added tiny holes that would allow light to directly filter around the rim of the saber. It’s a little basic, but I am keen to see how I can continue to model it to make it better.

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For the pommel, I took inspiration from the sign of the Jedi present in SWTOR and built upon it to make a more ornate piece that still allowed sound to filter through. Through testing, I adjusted the diameter and thickness so that the printed piece fits over the speaker housing. To prevent muffling I added a spacer ring. I’ve come up with two designs one with a small box that will allow me to remove it easier, the design is also influenced by the pommel of the saber available in SWTOR. I also designed another pommel without the box so that it has a more streamlined look.

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The Hammered Metal Grip
This was a huge design feature I was really excited about. I wanted something that would make my saber stand out and also add functionality to my saber. I became interested in a hammered metal texture as I have always loved the feel of it and I’ve never seen another saber with a hammered texture (please let me know if there is I would LOVE to see others). This turned out really well! Much better than I thought it would and I definitely had doubts as I was doing it. It adds a really nice, weathered look to the saber and makes it look more handcrafted as well.

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To Do
I need to touch up and repaint the 3D printed pieces but the saber is finally at a point where it is stable and can be used. If you have any advice or suggestions I’d love feedback!
I’ll be adding a video soon and some better photos!

Offline SirRawThunderMan

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Re: Custom SF Gladius (v2012) Hammered Texture Grip Build Log
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2020, 03:55:15 AM »
Looking good!

One word of warning from a 3D print enthusaist to another, though: Your LED will generate enough heat to melt/warp that 3D printed LED cover (unless you've gone with sintered nylon). The reason it's aluminium is so that it can dissipate the heat generated by the LEDs into the saber hilt. High power LEDs generate a lot of heat in operation, and that can be enough heat to damage themselves.

With a plastic casing, you won't be able to dissipate the heat as well, so even if you have a printed casing that's heat resistant, you run the risk of damaging your LEDs.
Better late than never.

Offline Nemezis

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Re: Custom SF Gladius (v2012) Hammered Texture Grip Build Log
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2020, 06:29:29 AM »
Woaw.. Hilt looks really great. I like the hammered part a lot.

Offline StormInTheCalm

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Re: Custom SF Gladius (v2012) Hammered Texture Grip Build Log
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2020, 10:44:29 AM »
Looking good!

One word of warning from a 3D print enthusaist to another, though: Your LED will generate enough heat to melt/warp that 3D printed LED cover (unless you've gone with sintered nylon). The reason it's aluminium is so that it can dissipate the heat generated by the LEDs into the saber hilt. High power LEDs generate a lot of heat in operation, and that can be enough heat to damage themselves.

With a plastic casing, you won't be able to dissipate the heat as well, so even if you have a printed casing that's heat resistant, you run the risk of damaging your LEDs.

This is exactly what I was wondering! Thank you! Maybe there's a way I can design the print so that it has metal inserts to dissipate heat.

Offline SirRawThunderMan

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Re: Custom SF Gladius (v2012) Hammered Texture Grip Build Log
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2020, 04:02:26 AM »
This is exactly what I was wondering! Thank you! Maybe there's a way I can design the print so that it has metal inserts to dissipate heat.

I think you'd probably be better off either replacing it with a 1" or 7/8" MHS LED holder, although I'm not sure how that would work with those SF LED modules. it should be doable, though.
Better late than never.