Stories & Projects

From sketch to model - the making of a 'Star Wars' lightsaber


For his first ever sketch-to-model project, BFA1 student Isaac Stenegärd produced something quite special during the 'workshop training course'. Yes, it's a 'Star Wars' lightsaber.

Where is one supposed to spend lonely nights in northern Sweden in the middle of a global pandemic? If you ask Isaac Stenegärd the answer is easy. The UID worskhop. During ten intense dark winter evenings, Isaac took full advantage of the UID facilities as he booked solitary late-night sessions in the workshop. For hours on end, he welded, bended, cut, coloured and molded his masterpiece, the MKII Lightsaber

Because of Covid-19, students weren't able to get the same amount of time they would usually get in the workshop. The restrictions also meant that they had to create something rather small, preferably a handheld product. Luckily, a lightsaber is a handheld weapon, at least if you're a Jedi. 

Lightsabers Final Press Pagehgjhk Kopia Early sketches of the MKII Lightsaber

Isaac, what's your relationship to 'Star Wars' and how has it influenced your desire to become a designer?

"My relationship to Star Wars began very early and is still going strong to this day. I think movies like Star Wars, Blade Runner and Tron should be considered a mandatory part of a design education. There is so much amazing design in those movies and I will never get tired of studying and being inspired by those movies. To someday land a job as a concept designer on that kind of production would be a dream come true".  

What was the biggest challenge during this project?

It was actually the black piece of steel at the top, the "emitter" as it's referred to in nerd terms. That part was manually machined, as all pieces were, out of a solid steel bar. I had to redo the entire piece two or three times, which took up almost half of my assigned time in the workshop. Eventually, I had to do somewhat of a redesign and welded and shaped a piece of steel to fit on the tube, which is now actually a really cool feature of the finished model in my opinion.

IMG 7806 Kopia The model blueprint and the (almost) finished article

Which was the most exciting part of the entire design process?

I love to sketch and the sketching portion of the project was of course enjoyable, but being able to work freely with all of the resources the workshop offers us is just insane and it was so much fun. The resources we have at UID in terms of model building are so good, and nearly everything can be printed, machined, cnc:ed, etc., if you only have a little bit of creativity, which I think is amazing. 

Can we expect more 'Star Wars' inspired projects during your time here?

I would love to do more 'Star Wars' or sci-fi inspired projects in the future since it's a huge passion of mine, and we'll see what the coming years have in store, hopefully at least one or two spaceships will be hanging in the BFA studio when I graduate.