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Engineer’s face beams with nerd pride after making a working lightsaber

Published Dec 17th, 2015 5:05PM EST

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Is there anything purer than the look of pride on a nerdy engineer’s face when he realizes he’s created a working lightsaber model? The answer to that question is “no,” as a new video posted by electrical engineer Allen Pan will demonstrate.

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I highlighted Pan’s work earlier this year when I wrote about his brilliant replica of Thor’s hammer that he designed to make it seem like only he could lift it. (In reality, he equipped it with a high-powered electromagnet that was connected to a fingerprint scanner that would only shut off when his thumb touched it.)

This time, he’s back with a lightsaber replica that uses a nichrome ignition system to shoot a beam of fire straight up into the air from the device’s hilt, which is filled with a methanol/acetone fuel mixture. To make the device super nerdy, Pan even equipped it with a tiny microphone that lets out a lightsaber sound effect whenever he turns it on. After all, if you’re going through the trouble of making a real lightsaber, you don’t want to leave out any important details.

In the video, Pan admits that wielding the device is a little bit scary, which is understandable since he’s basically holding a three-foot-tall column of fire in his hands. But his face… ah, his face is just priceless.

Check out the while video below.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.