Star Wars

Star Wars: Fan memorabilia from a 3D printer

star wars 3d printer

Who should read this: Fans who want to know more about Star Wars and are looking for new 3D printed fan memorabilia that aren’t otherwise available yet.

Finally, on December 18, 2015, “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” will be released. Ever since the first trailer surfaced, there has been a lot of excitement about the Jedi Knights. Fans rushed to 3D printers to print out the new laser sword ‒ the lightsaber ‒ that was shown in the trailer.

George Lucas was smart enough to acquire the merchandising rights in 1977 for the first film. Lucas made a small fortune with action figures, video games, comics and all sorts of other things. Anyway, fan memorabilia from a new age of technology is now available to true sci-fi fans: Star Wars figurines from a 3D printer.

You can print out most of them yourself, or you can conveniently order them through a 3D printing service (such as Sculpteo, iMaterialise or Shapeways). All of the designs shown here were user-made fan projects and have nothing to do with official merchandising.

TIE Fighter

The Tie Fighter
An example of a TIE fighter from a 3D printer
(Image: Sculpteo)

It’s impossible to imagine the Star Wars universe without the TIE fighters – they are the compact cars of the Empire, so to speak. Here’s a little trivia for you: During the filming of the first Star Wars episodes, the computer technology was not yet as advanced as it is today. So, for some of the visual effects, models had to be moved with the help of “puppet strings.” The unique sound effect of the TIE fighters was created by sound designer Ben Burtt. He combined elephant trumpeting with the sound of a car driving and braking on wet pavement.

Star Wars fans can get the 3D printed TIE fighter from Sculpteo.


Even though he can only whistle, R2-D2 is a true friend
(Image: Sculpteo)

Droid R2-D2 is one of the main characters in the Star Wars series. Even George Lucas thinks that R2-D2 and his friend C-3PO are the real heroes of the saga. But there are some things that may surprise fans: In the original Star Wars movies, one of the R2-D2 droids was operated by remote control while another was Baker had to sit in the R2-D2 construction and manipulate the movements. Very often it was so noisy in his encapsulation that he couldn’t hear the film crew shout “cut” and therefore just continued on with his performance until one of the crew members had to knock hard on the top, the dome, of the R2-D2 housing. Incidentally, the dome was made out of half of an old washing machine drum from the ’30s. Kenny Baker is one of the few actors who played in all of the six original Star Wars movies. As a special honor, R2-D2 made a cameo appearance in the movie “Star Trek II.”

The 3D printed R2-D2 is available through Sculpteo.

Storm Trooper: D-Tech

Storm Trooper Figurines
Trivia: All Stormtroopers are
left-handed. (Image:

Who doesn’t know the Stromtroopers ‒ the clone army, the backbone of the Galactic Empire. Originally, the plan was to equip them with lightsabers… Good thing that never happened; otherwise, the expression “stormtrooper effect” would have never been coined: The supposedly strong, elite Stormtroopers seldom actually ever fatally injured any of the heroes in the film, but the heroes, on the other hand, were able to kill them with the first shot. The “stormtrooper effect” is based on the poor marksmanship of these Imperial Stormtroopers. This is how prominent film critic Roger Ebert described the stormtrooper effect: “The bad guys are always lousy shots in the movies. Three villains with Uzis will go after the hero, spraying thousands of rounds that miss him, after which he picks them off with a handgun.”

By the way, you get a 3D print of your face on a 16-inch Stormtrooper in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.


3D printed Yoda
“Judge me by my size, do you?” (Image: Sculpteo)

Everyone knows and loves Yoda – but not many actually know that his first name is Minch. Although this is not mentioned in any of the films, it is mentioned in George Lucas’ drafts. After training Luke Skywalker, Grand Jedi Master Yoda died at the age of 900 ‒ of old age. The wisdom that Yoda teaches Luke in Episode IV is said to be based on a Tibetan Lama, a spiritual master, and has many similarities with the Buddhist “Secret Mantra.” Aside from Yoda’s unique and quirky use of grammar, this is probably one of the main reasons he has such a huge fan base. One of his fans is Steven Spielberg. He gave him a cameo appearance in his movie “E.T.” in the form of a Halloween costume. As a thank you in return, E.T. made an appearance in the background of one of the scenes in Episode I.

Yoda is expected to appear as a spiritual power in the new Star Wars movie. In the meantime, you might like to order a 3D printed replica of Yoda at Sculpteo.


3D printed lightsaber
Your own lightsaber from a 3D printer (Image: Youimagine)

What would Star Wars be without lightsabers? You’ve always wanted your own lightsaber? Well, now you can get one from a 3D printer. The only thing missing is the distinct sound effect. The buzzing, sparking sound was achieved by combining the hum of an old movie projector in standby mode and the sound of the noise of the interference you hear when you walk past an old television set with a microphone. Sound designer Ben Burtt discovered this by accident and herewith created the instantly recognizable Star Wars sound effect. Even Ewan McGregor (Obi Wan) couldn’t resist imitating the distinct sound during filming, which had to be cut later. Samuel L. Jackson (Mace Windu) was also thrilled with his lightsaber and still claims that the words “bad motherfucker” were engraved on the handle.

Here is where you can get your own 3D printed lightsaber. Note: It’s not all that easy to assemble!