Taking the tape measure trick to a whole new level

So I ran across this video showing Disneys new “Real Lightsaber”

Lightsaber Video

Apparently they will be using it at the new Disney Star Wars hotel which looks really cool if you have 6k for a 2 night stay.

Of course being an old school nerd I had to figure out how they achieved that which has alluded us for years. Behold the double tape measure trk!

View the vid below for a simpler version.

Double Tape Measure Lightsaber



I like that he has a face mask and it is in some kind of cage. :warning:


I saw a similar example at the United States Institute of Theatre Technology (USITT) annual conference years ago. Someone used 2 sections of tape measurers set face-to-face in a handle and painted silver to build a sword that could be “pulled out” of a person. The tapes were fed into a special costume belt but when pulled out supported each other and were surprisingly rigid.

Still wouldn’t cut through blast doors or take off anyone’s hand, though.

1 Like

That’s kinda how the ISS’s new solar panels beams work. The two “beams” on the sides are spring steel tubes with a slit down one side. When the panel is rolled flat the tubes flatten out too. When they’re unrolled in space the tubes spring back to being a tube and stay ridged.


Pretty cool. I think one of the engineers came up with that idea while at a kid’s birthday party. :grin:


That’s got to be some fun math calculating the the load capacities of that beam. I can imagine the engineer looking at the concept drawing and reaching for the bottle in his top desk drawer.