I'm currently in the process of building my first saber and I've been testing some alternative blade construction ideas.
The blade core uses the skinny sk6812 neopixel strips, 2 strips of 128 stuck back to back, staggered by 1 pixel. I'm using a 1" clear tcss outer tube with their neopixel diffuser insert.
My first test was with the foam blade diffuser inside the tubes above, but I was a little disappointed with how much that cuts down the brightness, and the mottled look the foam creates. Additionally, the skinny strips flop around in the foam tube leading to corncobbing in some areas depending on how the strips are positioned inside... But overall decent.
My next idea was using a bunch of Corbin wrap inside the foam to add bulk and try to center the strips better. This was an improvement, but cut the light output even more.
While assembling the configuration above, I pulled the foam out a bit and the section left behind looked fantastic. Very even, very bright. I pulled the Corbin wrap out, rolled it as tight as possible and taped it up, creating a semi rigid tube. This creates a central core holding the neopixel strips straighter, almost perfect diffusion, excellent brightness. The only drawback is the film isn't rigid enough to hold the strips centered while moving the blade around.
I just ordered some 1/8" wall 3/8" ID clear tubing to further test this tube within a tube idea. Hoping that will be rigid enough to keep everything centered.
My final goal is to make the tip appear as seamless as possible in both on and off states. I polished up a tcss bullet tip and drilled the center to allow a few pixels. What I'm having trouble with is a good way to continue the diffusion through the tip. Especially where the shouldered part pushes the diffuser back when inserted in the tube. I'm wondering if a little white paint might do the trick?
Any tricks or ideas are welcome!
Here's a few pics to help visualize everything.