The (Uber) Death Star Laser Tower Project - NOW OPEN SOURCE!!!

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DaveG

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Here is my latest project, a studio scale model of a Death Star Laser Tower from ANH. I have too many unfinished projects underway right now and had promised myself not to start another until one was finished but... I just got jonesing to build a SS Laser Tower and, well, I caved!

But Since I want to get this one done ASAP, I'm not going to worry too much about making and exact replica of the shooting model. I won't be chasing down all the exact correct donor kit parts, just a few. Most of the details will be based on the original, but using stuff I have on hand, scratch building and 3D printing. I figure, it's a BIG Death Star, there's bound to be some variations between the many Laser Towers.

I'm also extending my tower to make it about 3 feet tall. I have a specific display location, on top of a 6 foot cabinet next to my cubicle at work. So topping out at 9 plus feet off the ground it should be pretty imposing! And visible across the entire facility. Also being so high up in the air nobody can scrutinize if the exact right detail parts are being used. The extended base will also allow me the opportunity to add more details of my own design.

The body of the tower will be CNC milled from a special type of MDF. It's called "Super Premium" MDF from Plum Creek and has a consistent density all the way through. So the milled panels lines won't suck up paint like a sponge, as normal MDF would do. I've used this material a lot and it paints beautifully, is structurally very strong and flat, and pretty inexpensive, under $16 for a 4x8 sheet.

There is a lot of great reference pix of this model from the traveling Star Wars Exhibition. Using these I've started by building a 3D model of the Tower. This model can be used to create cutting files for the CNC router. laser cutting files for some of the flatter details and 3D printing files for some of the more elaborate parts. Here are some renderings from the work in progress CG model. I still have a lot of detail parts to model, but the body of the tower is complete with all the score lines so I'll be able to start with the CNC work while I continue to model the details in the computer.





 
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DaveG

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: The (Uber) Death Star Laser Tower Project

Cutting out the 1/4" MDF panels for the body of the Laster Tower. The panels lines are milled into the surface with a 1/16 diameter bit.







All the MDF panels ready for assembly.

 

DaveG

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: The (Uber) Death Star Laser Tower Project

The MDF parts for the turret assembled.



I'm making the base of the turret removable to access the interior rather than the back panel as was done of the shooting miniature. To attach the MDF base plate custom corner brackets which had the correct 6 degree angle to fit the sides were 3D printed and bonded to the inside of the shell.. The brackets have a #10 hex nut glued into them for securing the panel with countersunk flat head machine screws.





 

Lee S

Sr Member
Re: The (Uber) Death Star Laser Tower Project

Impressive!
Radio controlled with NERF darts I hope :)
 

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joberg

Master Member
Re: The (Uber) Death Star Laser Tower Project

Dave you're killing me:eek The look on your co-worker's face will be the win! Nerf darts would be great, but at that size it could also serve as your personal locker (you know, coat, shoes, lunch box...:D) Love that MDF...alas in Canada, the sheet is $35.00:behave
 

DaveG

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: The (Uber) Death Star Laser Tower Project

I was seriously thinking about adding motion sensor tracking but for now I am determined to get the tower finished and not wind up yet another work in progress gathering dust. I can always add the nerf system later! (or paint balls).
 

Mr Echs

New Member
Re: The (Uber) Death Star Laser Tower Project

I'm quite envious of your setup. This is coming together fantastically! I've subscribed to see how this finishes out...

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Mr Echs

New Member
Re: The (Uber) Death Star Laser Tower Project

I'm quite envious of your setup. This is coming together fantastically! I've subscribed to see how this finishes out...

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Btw, which program do you use for your 3D modeling?

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DaveG

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: The (Uber) Death Star Laser Tower Project

I use Rhino for 3D modeling.
 

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Mr Echs

New Member
Re: The (Uber) Death Star Laser Tower Project

Nice, thanks for the quick reply. Cheers!

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DARKVIEW

Sr Member
Re: The (Uber) Death Star Laser Tower Project

Great work... never understood how the towers shot the x wings in the trench what with being so high & their guns couldn't shoot downwards!!? May need to rewatch....
 

DaveG

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: The (Uber) Death Star Laser Tower Project

Great work... never understood how the towers shot the x wings in the trench what with being so high & their guns couldn't shoot downwards!!? May need to rewatch....
Okay, so the guys on the Death Star analyze the Rebel's attack pattern and conclude there is a risk. They had plenty of time. Why didn't they just drag a manhole cover out and drop it over the hole?:rolleyes
 

Mr Echs

New Member
Re: The (Uber) Death Star Laser Tower Project

Or even better. Stick a Womp Rat in the Hole.

TazMan2000
Naw, 'cause Luke used to shoot Womp Rats back home with his T-16, and they're not much bigger than 2 meters (what just happened, I blacked out for a second...)

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DaveG

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: The (Uber) Death Star Laser Tower Project

So the death star comes out of light speed on the wrong side of the planet. Why didn't they just blow up the planet to get it out of the way?
 

DaveG

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: The (Uber) Death Star Laser Tower Project

Here's the jig fixture created to mill the slots in the barrel sleeves using the CNC router. I 3D printed a set of cradles and octagonal end buttons that would hold the EMA tubing. Rectangular pockets were milled in a MDF baseplate to register the cradles on the table of the CNC router.



The octagonal end buttons fit in either end of the tube and were held in place with a length of threaded rod running through the center.



The tube assembly was then held in the cradles with fixture clamps.



The CNC was used to mill one slot at a time, the tube assembly being rotated 45 degrees between each pass. The octagonal buttons made exact rotation easy.





A little bit of clean up with a square needle file to sharpen up the corners and the parts were done!



 

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