Here are some process photos for the commissioned Suiguutou from the series Twelve Kingdoms. This will be our first glowing sword and so far has proven to be a learning experience.
The blade was modeled in Solidworks and then milled out of MDF on the Shopbot. The wood was then given a thin coat of polyester resin and sanded super smooth. I added a piece of thin plastic to make the panel at the bottom more prominent and milled out a blood groove on the vertical mill since the Shopbot missed it. Next, the blade was molded in silicone and cast in Crystal Clear tinted silver. An acrylic bar was placed over the casting and removed after it was cured to leave a pocket for the core. The core is an aluminum bar fastened to a PVC pipe. The EL tape will be glued to the aluminum and the battery pack is located in the handle.
After a lighting test, I found out the blade wasn’t translucent enough for the light to shine through, so I will recast them. I also want to redo the handle by moving the battery pack up a couple inches in order to add the taper at the bottom. Once those issues are fixed, the hilt details will be added and the sheath built with foam. This has been a really fun sword to make and I can’t wait to finish it, but we both have to finish a suit of armor commission first.