Hi everyone! I’m Stephen and I’ve never done any craft-work or such before. This past year or so I’ve been itching to take up the hobby, so, inspired by a recent visit to Disney World and the deluge of new Star Wars films which are upon us, I decided to try and make some novelty chocolates in an homage to a weapon made famous by a group of space-wizards.

My complete lack of experience made the whole process seem daunting to begin with, but thankfully Simon and Matthew at BHiveLabs kindly offered me their expertise in printing and casting (as well as their 3D printer!) which helped me so much throughout the project.

The print

My plan was to 3D-print one of these sword-hilts and use this to create a silicone mould from which to make the chocolates. For inspiration I looked at some designs made by Jacky Wan at Ultimaker, https://www.youmagine.com/designs/star-wars-lightsaber-complex-version . These are a bit too complicated to make chocolates from, so I made a much simpler design in openSCAD.

The hilt was printed in 5 parts: the main body, 2 small buttons, a bigger button and the top bit. Each part of the print was sanded, and glued together; any gaps were sealed with a mix of super-glue and talcum powder.

To smooth the print, I filled the little gaps in with some filler primer in a lovely dull yellow colour. Then I sanded down the print and repeated the process, coating with primer and sanding with a high grit paper.

Plastic cast

The print is now silky-smooth and ready to make a mould. It would be a shame to only have 1 full sized model so, to begin with, I thought I would mould and cast a few plastic copies. I used OOMOO series silicone rubber to make a non-foodsafe mould following a similar process to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEVi0mEaJJQ&t=1s .

I made the mould in 2 parts, with some plasticine to fill up the lower half in a foam-core box. The top of the lightsabre is a flat surface and ideal to use as a hole to pour the casting resin into, so this was glued to the box wall. The silicone was poured in and left to cure.

When this was done, the plasticine was removed and then some mould release sprayed over the silicone so the 2 halves could be separated. The rest of the silicone was then poured over the other side of the print and left to cure.

The resulting mould picks up all of the detail on the print. There are a couple of air bubbles in the “fins”, but nothing that is obvious. A bit of clean-up was needed on the moulds, some of the primer came off the print, but apart from that they are ready to start casting.

I used SmoothCast 300 resin for the cast, pouring in from the top of the mould, which was held upright. To stop air bubbles forming, the resin was poured slowly, pausing to rotate the mould every so often. 300 ml of resin was needed for each cast. The halves were held together by 2 blocks of wood, to prevent “pinching”, and thick elastic bands.

I used aluminium spray paint to give it a metallic look, before filling in the details with black, brass and copper acrylic paint. My artistic skills leave much to be desired, but I’m reasonably happy with the results. Hopefully later ones will be better as I get more practice.

Chocolate cast

I then moved on to make the food-safe moulds for my chocolates, using SORTA-CLEAR mould rubber and the same techniques as before.

After cleaning the mould, I coated the sides in melted chocolate, joined the mould halves together and rotated them to create a hollow chocolate shell. I poured in some salted-caramel-flavoured chocolate ganache and stuck it in the fridge to cool.

There are still a few air bubbles in the chocolate, particularly in the “fins”, some ganache has leaked out near the top, and the chocolate has become miscoloured around the buttons, but overall, for a first try, I’m pretty happy with the results. In the future I’ll probably temper the chocolate properly and try to make the outer layer more uniform. Each chocolate weighs about 400 g, so there’s probably too much for 1 person, but I think they would make ideal presents.

Thanks so much to Simon and Matthew for helping me with this project!