The crossguard lightsaber introduced in the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens raised eyebrows among skeptics as much as it elicited drools from those excited by the weapon’s redesign. Attacks on its impracticality were so widespread that Stephen Colbert took time out of one of the final episodes of the Colbert Report to defend the genius of the design. But now you can test it yourself, as a group of designers has shared instructions for 3D-printing the controversial laser sword.
According to designers at le FabShop, which distributes Makerbot 3D printers in France, “As Makers, we couldn’t help but try to find out by ourselves if this ‘crossguard’ design was a good configuration or not.” They’ve made files available for download — the lightsaber requires assembling a handful of configurable plastic parts — on Makerbot’s design community, Thingiverse. Though the finished product is certainly a quality replica, the designers did not, after creating it, weigh in on its practicality.
The 3D-printed version does not involve actual lasers, so there’s no risk of burning off your hand.