Two implementations are shown. The Version II seems more doable for the average hacker. Making the formed crystal in version I would be a challenge. In version two it would simply take a large number of very powerful Laser diodes and some special line lenses. The lenses would widen slightly widen and focus the beam in a line. It might be possible to create a non-cutting demo just by using commonly available line lasers. Note that unlike normal line lasers the lenses necessary would focus the energy into a line parallel with the edge of the blade. I leave to the hacker the problems of heatsinking and providing enough power from the power supply.
Unlike a "traditional" light saber which can cut in any direction this would be more like a real saber in that it would have a cutting edge. Fighting techniques would have to be more like historical saber fighting with the cut having to be on a plane of the sword,
Effectiveness of the blade would be dependent on the power of the lasers involved. With enough power flesh could easily be cut deeply because the flesh would tend to peel back from the cutting surface. Harm materials such as armor and steel would require much more power since the materials would have to melt and be pushed away by surfaces of the saber. Note also that there is no provision for a "point". It would be difficult to use the Version II sword for thrusts unless a angled tanto like laser surface is created for the tip.
One point I'd like to make is that since the beam diverges after the line focus it should be safe to look at this from a distance.
Have fun with this folks and if anybody actually makes one I would like
- a little credit for the idea
- a chance to play with it when it's done 8)Dbear (Craig Cates)