Destroying metal sheets can also be fun, and is possibly a safer alternative to destroying entire planets. At least that is the idea behind German laser-gadget master Patrick Priebe’s homemade Death Star. Serving as a geeky prelude to 17th December’s Star Wars – The Force Awakens, the nifty DIY contraption supposedly incorporates 25 m (82 ft) of electrical wiring, 80 m (262 ft) of fiber glass, one gallon (3.8 liters) of paint, 3 sq m (32 sq ft) of aluminum sheeting – all held together by a whopping 110 screws!
Interestingly, the core globular shape of the Death Star was concocted by using an inflatable beach ball made of rubber, which was then treated with layers of fiber glass. And once the composition was rectified and dried, Priebe proceeded on to insert LEDs into this exterior layer by boring a hole. Finally, he attached an array of aluminum panels on the spherical facade, which was then painted with grayish hue. So when the LEDs are activated, they glow from within, thus enhancing the effect of the indentations on the Death Star surface.
As for the famous ‘groove’ of the Death Star, it was created by screwing a circular reflector that was salvaged from a halogen floor lamp. This edge of this circle houses 14 6-watt lasers, all of which can shoot converging beams. They collectively account for an 84-watt laser that penetrates a carbon steel sheet in a matter of seconds. However, the beams don’t join together to result in a mega-beam like its movie counterpart. But one can derive this incredible effect by simply positioning a transparent plexiglass rod at the point where the beams converge.
Now if you are interested in crafting your own Death Star with laser capability, you can take a gander these two videos uploaded by Priebe. But be warned – the expert spent over $4,500 for his DIY project; which though is still peanuts compared to the scale of the ‘Darth Vader variety’. Furthermore, you can also check other nifty laser-based contraptions over at Priebe’s website.