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Author Topic: Illuminated Switches - Making Light Pipes  (Read 480 times)

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Offline BipeFlyer

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Illuminated Switches - Making Light Pipes
« on: June 25, 2018, 11:18:29 PM »
I've already posted some of this information in my Stormtrooper Lightsaber thread, but I've been asked about the switches a couple of times, so i thought some might find this information useful.

You can get illuminated tactile buttons from sparkfun.com. LED Tactile Button - Blue - COM-10443 - SparkFun Electronics They are inexpensive, small and come in 5 colours.
You can get acrylic rods on Amazon and make light pipes on a lathe, or with a drill and sandpaper. Acrylic Round Rod Transparent Clear Extruded 1/4" Diameter 12" Length Pack of 6

The illuminated buttons.


They look like 4 LEDs, but the white and blue ones are also switches.








Cutting and polishing the light pipes.  If you don't have a lathe use a drill and a file, then use progressively smoother sandpaper; starting with about 200 grit and go to 1000 grit.  Once sanded and smooth, use polishing compound to make them crystal clear.




Completed light pipes.




Offline erv

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Re: Illuminated Switches - Making Light Pipes
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2018, 11:39:20 PM »
very cool and thanks for sharing your tutorial. I've been a big fan of illuminated tactiles, I used to make them with regular ones with a SMD led attached to it, and use a chopped / machined 5mm LED as the plunger + light pipe. Very nice result on that ST saber !

Offline Obi_1

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Re: Illuminated Switches - Making Light Pipes
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2018, 07:35:18 AM »
Thanks for sharing, I've been looking for this kind of switches for a long time now!!!

Offline BipeFlyer

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Re: Illuminated Switches - Making Light Pipes
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2018, 10:06:14 AM »
very cool and thanks for sharing your tutorial. I've been a big fan of illuminated tactiles, I used to make them with regular ones with a SMD led attached to it, and use a chopped / machined 5mm LED as the plunger + light pipe. Very nice result on that ST saber !

Thanks Erv.  It took a lot of pondering; I was originally going to make the aluminum knobs the switches until I saw what Jango Fett did on his Killsythe Customs ST Saber.  I don't know how he made his, but when I stumbled across the tactile buttons the light went on, so to speak.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 10:13:57 AM by BipeFlyer »

Offline Seth Skywalker

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Re: Illuminated Switches - Making Light Pipes
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2018, 10:12:52 AM »
Great Tutorial. Thanks BipeFlyer!

Offline Obi_1

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Re: Illuminated Switches - Making Light Pipes
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2018, 03:47:25 AM »
Looking at this ST saber I really feel sad I cannot go trooping with the 501st wielding one of these due to all those screenaccuratenessfanatics crying "non-canooooooooon"!

Illuminated tactiles already ordered, I will put them to good use. One will go into my new E11, the other in my TCSS saber I'm going to rework.