YouTubers Build Impressive And “Potentially Dangerous” Retractable Lightsaber

YouTubers Build Impressive And “Potentially Dangerous” Retractable Lightsaber

A team of YouTubers have put together an impressive retractable lightsaber they describe as “potentially dangerous”.

In a new video, HeroTech explained that they wanted to construct a lightsaber that retracted like a real lightsaber from the Star Wars movies, rather than the extended blades on sale to the public.

“When we decided to build a real retractable lightsaber, we knew we had our work cut out for us,” the team said on YouTube. “Our main challenges were clear: Fully contained blade extension and retraction, compact, to-scale hilt design, [and] realistic blade and sound.”

The tricky part was making the lightsaber retractable, but they were able to achieve this using a magician’s cane; a device that contracts down to a small size, but extends to over 0.9 meters (3 feet) in length. The result, after a lot of fiddling, is an impressive lightsaber that extends when you activate it.

“This lightsaber features a blinding blade of light that actually emerges in and out of the hilt,” the team explains on their website. “With a 12V COB LED strip, 4S LiPo battery, the Proffieboard V3.9, and a powerful speaker, this lightsaber has realistic lights and sounds.”

The team also wanted others to be able to build the lightsaber at home, providing details on how to do that to their subscribers. However, they have heavily caveated that you probably shouldn’t try it.

“This lightsaber is a prototype and is potentially dangerous to DIY,” they add on their YouTube channel. “While I’m working to change that, I can’t currently recommend this for anyone without engineering expertise and the will to troubleshoot for hours.”

Disney has created its own retractable lightsabers to be used at shows at Disney World, though likely not as cheaply.

Neither blade can be used to slice any stormtroopers open, however, and are purely decorative. However, one amateur YouTuber did create a retractable working lightsaber, entering the Guinness Book of World Records in 2022.

Alex Burkan, who runs the YouTube channel Alex Lab, created a device that can produce a 1-meter (3.28-foot) long plasma blade when initiated. The 2,800°C (5,072°F) blade can even cut through steel.

“The key component of my lightsaber is an electrolyser,” Burkan explained to Guinness World Records. “An electrolyser is a device that can generate a huge amount of hydrogen and oxygen and compress the gas to any pressure without a mechanical compressor.”

However, unlike a real lightsaber or the ones shown off by Disney, the blade only works for about 30 seconds on full power, making lightsaber battles short-lived unless they take place near charging points.

Also, Burkan added, “sometimes the lightsaber just blows up in your hand because of hydrogen flashback.”

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