The weapons of the titular Star Wars Jedi, lightsabers are nothing short of freaking cool. Fictionally powered by kyber crystals, these glowing portable beams have unique colors, handles, and best of all, can cut through pretty much anything. Countless replicas have been made since the original movie’s 1977 release, but seeing as kyber crystals aren’t a thing in the real world, none feature the lightsabers’ cutting potential.
That is… until now.
Product developer-turned-YouTuber The Hacksmith recently turned his engineering expertise towards creating “the world’s first” protosaber – a fictional predecessor to the lightsaber with an external power supply box powering the saber to actually cut through objects.
To start things off, he creates some Star Wars-inspired CAD models for the protosaber and battery pack. He then uses a plasma cutter to manufacture the parts before welding the battery pack into its intended housing.
Within the battery pack housing lies a number of energist lithium ion cells that provide a total of 1,600 amperes to power the protosaber. It also isn’t the lightest thing to carry, weighing in at around 34.5 lbs.
Now armed with enough power to operate the protosaber—as well as an average household—one of the big problems he runs into is controlling it; that can’t be easy turning 1,600 amps on and off. Ultimately, he tests several switches before settling on a giant contactor. Combining the contactor, batteries, wires, and other materials inside the battery pack makes the entire unit weigh in at 41.5 lbs.
All that’s left for the battery pack is a little bit of surface finishing to give it that worn-in Star Wars appearance.
Using a mixture of copper acetate and some copper pot scrubbers, he attaches the scrubbers to the positive side of the power supply and the battery pack parts to the negative side of the power supply. He then soaks the battery pack in the mixture for about a day—effectively allowing the electricity to transfer from the copper scrubbers to the components he wants to paint.
He then reinstalls the parts of the battery pack and does a quick test to make sure everything works before adding in the amp meter, volt meter, and power setting lights.
It wouldn’t be a protosaber build without the actual blade, so he takes an old lightsaber build and updates it with a thicker tungsten piece and larger titanium blade.
After the initial flame at the tip of the blade, the whole thing soon heats up and ignites to a bright orange hue. Due to the energy passing through the saber, the air around it gets really hot and makes this thing a glorified deadly weapon.
Just to prove it actually works, the Hackmaster uses the protosaber to chop through an innocent mannequin’s head. Needless to say, the severed head never stood a chance.
Check out more of the Hacksmith over on his YouTube channel.