MakerBot Print is our newest print-prepration software, which supports native CAD files and STL assemblies,
allows you to interact with all your printers via the Cloud, and many other exciting new features.

Download Now


Collapsing Katana (Print in Place)

by 3DPRINTINGWORLD May 19, 2019
Download All Files

Thing Apps Enabled

Please Login to Comment

This design is great.. Thank you so much.. was a great way to see if my new Prusa mk3s was up for the task, and it did great!!
.2mm, PETG.. much sturdier than the failed PLA attempts lol

I would like to design a Sword with this Blade myself, I would really appreciate it if you would upload the .step file of this Katana.

I just added a template of the blade in the files as a ."stp" that you can design your hilt around.

Thank you very much.

I'm using Cura 4.1. Ender 3, 0.4 nozzle, 0.5 line width. When the nozzle makes turns, the part gets thick, it goes around slow too. Can you suggest some setting changes to fix this?

Line width should be .4-.42 for the blade.

I would check extruder calibration.

what resolution should I print at?

Everything is vertical so little layers are not required. I printed mine at .2

what infill % would recommend?

Not much places where there is infill. 15-20%.

I cant get it up...
Printed in Esun PLA+
.15 layer height with raft

I printed the test print and it worked fine. I can only get maybe 20% of each segment out, and when I pull on it, there’s no budging. Any advice? It’s a beautiful piece by the way!

For starters your first layer is too low, not sure that would effect it. Did you see my trouble shooting vid? Measure your blade thickness to verify if your flow rate is calibrated.If that dont work, try the little blue pill. ;-)

Oh I’ll check out your vid, thanks! How can you tell that my first layer is too low though?

Sorry, I meant to say your first layer is too high. If you zoom in on the guard you can see space between the extrusions. They should be all smashed together.

Thanks, I fixed the first layer issue. Now I am able to print the test file without a raft and they separate just fine. The thickness of the blades measure about 1.10 to 1.20mm. What should they be measuring?

.85mm I would try to fix that before I printed the real thing otherwise it might not extend very far.

Using Cura, I lowered my flow rate multiplier by 2% until I hit 86% which yields .85mm walls in the test print. Would I print the entire katana in 86% including the handle? Or should I print that separately at 100% flowrate?

I would print it all at 86%.

What line width are you using, you said it was for a .4 nozzle. I am finding that it seems to be set up for a .48mm line width; am I correct on this? Am I the only one who default a .4 nozzle at .4mm?

The blades are .85mm thick, I used a .43 line width.

I spent too much time on the slicer and they cam fused or semi-fused no matter what I do

after almost a week I "changed the filament" and I got a better result

great design but not so forgiven for an FDM printer

i like your work but could you please tell me the settings for the swords and lightsabers

I printed the test file and it worked well on the first go, but when I printed the real one the top got fused together, I did scale it down to 75% do you think that was the problem? The test file was not scaled down it was the original file which worked great.

That could be the issue as its also reducing the clearance.

Running the test print, how easily should it slide apart? the outer and middle shells are very loose, but inner / middle needs just a tiny smidge of force. Does it sound like going for the full Katana would be feasible?

They should slide out really freely, as it will be worse when you print the entire sword. You should be able to change settings to make it better, try adjusting your Coast/Wipe and your extruder multiplier.

Yeah, I've done the testprint 6-7 times now trying to get it right. Think I just need to reduce my flow rate a smidge further and I should be good.

i printed it on my anycubic i3 mega twice once with 10% infill 60mm print speed in cura and again with 100% infill and 50mm print speed
and both of the times were failures. the blade only extended out to the second link and everything else was stuck in place. i printed it with no supports both times and used rafts. im nearly out of filament now so i cant do any more prints at the moment. these things used up 75% of my filament.

How are they stuck together? At layer seams or fused together all around? Measure the thickness and make sure it is around .85mm, turn on coast and wipe. Use the test print so you are not wasting all that time and filament printing the actual sword until you get it working. I will be finishing up a video covering on this over the weekend on my youtube channel.

i honestly dont know its hard to see it

You can try printing the test print, that will tell you and doesn't use much filament.

It's weird cause it moves up and down too lol

There are only 5 so you have all the segments. Maybe its the inside wall? Its hard to tell from the photo.

will this work in my m3d micro?

I don't have one but as long as it has a big enough volume and a .4mm nozzle I dont see why not.

Is there anyway you could upload a file of just the blade? I printed the whole hilt. The print failed although I thought it would be nice to just print the blade, superglue it to the hilt, and then hang it up on my wall. Amazing files by the way. The lightsabers are really cool.

Here you go, blades separated

Collapsing Katana (Print in a many pieces and glue the hilt together)

the blade of mine flew out after a day of using it. Is there something i should adjust to fox and print this again?

Measure the thickness of the blades, is it less then .85mm?

No it's the right thickness. But what's weird is all the 5 blades come out then there is still another blade looking thing inside the hilt

Not sure I understand, can you send a picture?

I posted it as a new comment

I printed it but the blade got stuck, on which percent should i scale it up so it works easily. i hope someone can help me

If they are not getting stuck from a layer change seam then I would check your extrusion width. Measure the thickness of one of the blade sections, it should measure .85mm. If they are thicker then this your flow rate needs to be calibrated.

I can print this with Linear Advance? I disable Wipe/coast.
But test file Stuck a little at the rear Z seam.

So I printed the test one and the fell out of each other. Is this supposed to happen for the test one or is the test suppose to work like the actual one?

The test print does not function,it is just meant to verify that the segments wont stick together. Also verify the wall thickness is around .85mm.

Does anyone have a working Cura 4.0 profile? I'm three prints in and it's still fuzing at point. I've red through these comments and it seems suggestions have helped but non of my prints are operational. Thank you all for the help and much thanks to 3D Printing World for the designs. Amazing work!

Someone posed a Cura profile in one of the lightsabers, I think it was the removable blade version. If was a while ago so it might take a second to find with all the comments.

All of these swords are designed around a .4 nozzle. What would be the best way to adjust for a .5 nozzle?

It might work if you scale the model up to 1.25. Set the extrusion width to 0.5625mm and then the walls should be 1.125mm thick which would be two perimeters exactly.

Take it out and install a .4mm nozzle. ;-) Sorry, that is no help... I could only get a .5 nozzle to work with a single wall extrusion which would be pretty weak.

The only problem I had (and a suggestion), is the slight surface irregularities made it unable to fully extend. If the pommel was removable I would be able to remove the segments for sanding, smoothing. I really love it though, it's quite a great design and very impressive.

If you print it again, try turning down your extrusion multiplier/flow rate a few percent. This will probably fix the issue. But, I get your point.

Is this normal? Test print.. binding together in the one spot

No that is not normal. There are more problems then it just binding together at one spot. Its also doing something weird like there was a missed step.

I've had this same seaming issue with each of my tests; on mine the walls are clean and separated, but the travel between layer seams (at what I'll call top dead center) always connects and jams it up. I've lowered the temperature and speed, adjusted the retraction, jerk and acceleration, as well as coast and wipe (the latter of which made it worse), reduced the flow rate, double checked the layer width... everything. Not all at once, obviously. But they all print conjoined at that point.

I'm running a stock Ender3, and I'm fairly new to the advanced settings... can you be a little more specific on the settings of these for someone who's getting a clean print plagued only by (what I assume to be) stringing between seams?

dude these are awesome! would you be interested in making an energy sword from halo that could collapse from the handle

the only thing i could really think of is that the blade would have to start like 4 inches off the handle and just stay like that. but that would be easy to put on a hip then the full sword haha

welp i thought with halo outpost around the corner some halo cosplayers could make some awesome energy swords. i love the energy swords i see a lot but they can never just put the sword away or anything. being able to just stick it on their thigh or hip would be epic!

Man, you are really trying to talk me into making this! lol I was thinking the same thing, it would probably not be possible to collapse it all the way into the handle.

Not sure how I would get it to collapse all the way into the handle but it would be cool if I could figure out how!

i printed the whole thing in at .2mm and the first blade came out and the rest didnt. should i print it at .16mm or something? or lower?

I don't think lower layer heights would help. You need to check coast, wipe, and extrusion rate settings depending n how it fused.

Comments deleted.

Well I did print on a raft so maybe that was the problem my line width is .5 and the blades are only 2 lines, so maybe that's it too I took the blade apart and took the blades out and I think I see the problem. I'll try printing slower and maybe that will fix it.

I don't think a raft would cause this issue. looks like you might have a partial clog? I would change your line width to .43 so two lines fit, but you might want to run the test print to verify.

so the blade won't come out at all i was watching it when it was printing and it was not fused together and the test printed fine so i don't know what happened

I had to banged mine a little and the first part blade came out and the rest of it is stuck

On some of the other swords people said the test print was ok but not the actual sword. I wonder why.... I wonder if its a temperature thing because there is more segments or because the actual sword is so much longer? If it did not fuse together maybe you have blogs at the layer seams keeping them from coming out?

SO I'm noticing that there is a gap between the wall layers when i try and print the test model (in the slicer as well), do I need "fill gapsbetween walls" checked or is it supposed to be .8 mm exactly?

No, there should be a gaps between parts. The test is successful if the three parts dont fuse together.

Sorry I mean between the 2 wall layers on each segment. There is a noticeable gap between them. I have my line width set to .4 so I figured the walls would be filled, but there is a gap between them unless I check " Fill gaps between walls" but I'm wondering if that's causing some issues with accuracy for me.

Oh, now I understand. Try a line with of .43mm, its my understanding that it is better to run a slightly wider width then your nozzle.

@3DPRINTINGWORLD Will there be a separate blade version of this available?

If I can think of a good idea on how to make the end removable since it cant be threaded because the handle is not round. I dont have a big desire to on this model either because I dont think its really necessary and I like the idea that it can all be printed at once.

Maker's Muse on YouTube just published a video on designing buckles, clips, and clasps. Might spark an idea.

I want to start off by saying I love the builds and think that they all look amazing. That being said, I can’t seem to get these to print out correctly. I printed the pirate handle one and it all fused together, I did the heat bed trick that others said would help and I’ll say that this one turned out a lot better! But still, was quite fused together like the first one. Do you/anybody else have any tips to print this better? Perhaps it’s a setting I may be missing, as I am a new user. I am using and Ender 3 if that helps any

I would look at tuning coast, wipe, and your extrusion multiplier.

What should Wipe and Coast be set too with a 0.8mm Nozzle?

Depends on your printer...

Could this be used to make a collapsible Bow Staff?

That could be done pretty easily! I'll give it some thought.

can you please make more?

There is no pleasing you! :-) I just finished up Vaders saber and at least one more sword to come.

How would one print this in 2 pieces?
Blade ( Silver )
Handle ( Black )

Print it on a dual extrusion printer? :-)

If I can think of a good idea on how to make the end removable since it cant be threaded because the handle is not round. I dont have a big desire to on this model either because I dont think its really necessary and I like the idea that it can all be printed at on

Hi love this sword. You can probably add a sliding mechanism like the one on the photo to make the end removable.

Yes, this is a very good idea. If I get a second I will give it a go!

I was able to print the pirate sword with no issues but when I printed this one the blade bound and would not slide out. (the largest part slid out, the rest was fused pretty well)
Is it possible to include a test STL like you have been doing but with the same shape as the Katana blade? I have a feeling that the flat sides vs the round shape was giving me the issue.

Love these btw!

I added a test print the same shape as the blade. I hope this helps!

Sure, I'll work on it tonight!

do cllapsible pussy penetrating edevice next pls

Your swords are all awesome and come out great on my Prusa MK2.5s! I am hoping you make a thundercats sword! Your broadsword is close already! :)

Thanks! I am making another one, it will be a shaped blade like this but but with a hilt like the broadsword but I have not figured out the design I'm going with yet. A lot of people have suggested that sword but the issue is I would need supports to make it but I dont normally make things with supports if I can help it. First, I almost have my Vader saber done!

Comments deleted.

I printed this katana and after finishing I have problems with it sliding out. The first outer layer of the sword comes out fine but the rest just comes out together. I know they aren fused together because I can push each one down by itself. What are your infill settings? I printed at 100%. Could that be why?

I think that weird diamon shape at the end of each level is causing the problem. Is it supposed to look like this on the ends?

I'm getting the same thing - the "pinch" at the base of each blade segment; it's a good 0.5mm or more which is plenty to stop the next segment sliding out properly. Doesn't happen on the test model, but as a cylinder the test model might be less susceptible.
(correction - it does happen on the cylindrical test model, it's just not as pronounced)

I'm thinking it might be shrinkage near the bed, as I had heated bed on for the duration of the print (15 hours). I'm going to try switching the bed heater off after the first few layers; on my printer the prints don't separate from the bed when it cools down so should be ok.

I’m currently printing a second katana right now. I turned off my bed after 10 layers. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Oh, I had not heard of this but maybe its the case. Let me know so I can inform others if they have a similar issue.

My update - switching the heated bed off after the first layer did solve the "pinch" problem - but it turned out my confidence in printing tall objects with an unheated bed and no other adhesion was misplaced and it toppled at about 75% :(

Time to break out the glue stick!

——-UPDATE—— so turning off the bed temp after a few layers solved that problem.

Infill only needs to be 10-20%. The blade will print solid because the segments are only 2 shells thick. It looks like you might have elephants foot from the first layer being a little to low. Maybe this is why its causing the inner ones to get stuck as the hilt has a large bevel so it might not been effected as badly.

Do you think I should turn off my bed temp after so many layers? I printed this at 65c and I believe the higher I went on the print the more top heavy the hilt was causing it to smoosh some.

It depends what you are printing on, if I did that with my PEI it would fall off. I would not think that would help much plus you need really good adhesion for the center segment as there is not a lot of contact with the bed. Maybe try the hotend as cold as you can and make sure your first layer is really slow. You could try lowering the bed and see if the test print works.

Is there an existing or in the works file of the pieces of the blade separately (Like your earlier lightsaber model)? I'm using a Monoprice Mini, and none of the files really fit well. The parts would need to be separate because if i try to print-in-place they'll just stick together. If anyone could direct me to an existing method of doing this that would be great!

If you have a multi-material type printer (Prusa's MMU or a Palette), most slicers can split this model into several parts really easy and then you can use a different material for the blade part vs the handle.

That would not make it any shorter as the blades are almost as long as the hilt.

Well I was intending to scale it down, so i don't think the length was as important as the fact that my printer can't really handle the print-in-place. However if I could print the blade as separate parts and assemble it post-print, I think it would go much more smoothly. Sorry if my previous question was poorly worded, I was just wondering if there was a file with the blade pieces/handle in separate STLs for slicing.

Oh, so you are just going to scale down the Z? You would have to scale it down a lot to fit on a MPSM! The issue with printing it separately is that it would not be possible to assemble it unless the design was changed. Its printed as one part so the blades stay in the hilt.

oh, alright. Well, thanks for clearing that up! I'm in the process of trying to save for a better printer, I'm starting to outgrow my mini :I

I like my MPSM but as a only printer the print volume is too small. Plus, I dislike the z-banding. I have had success with print in place parts with it, I had to adjust my extrusion multiplier. Maybe its time to get more volume though!

I did the test print and it made 3 circles that were not touching at all.
I went to print the sword and it mostly ended up as one solid piece.
Currently I am using Cura for slicing, I saw you mentioned extrusion multiplier and retraction setting(coast/wipe).
Do you know what these settings are called in Cura? Is the "retraction" just the filament being reversed over blank sections?
Is coast to reduce stringing? There is outer wall (shell) wipe and infil wipe, they are mm not percents.

Sorry if these are a lot of questions, just your designs are cool and I want to make a few of them
Thank you in advance!

P.S. for testing purposes, Do you know how small can I shrink these and not lose the telescoping effect.

"Coasting" in Cura is under "Experimental" (at least in Cura 4.0). Probably need to make the option visible in Settings->Configure Setting Visibility.

You might also want to set an equivalent amount in "Retraction extra prime amount" under "Material"

Thank you. I will try these in a few days when I'm back home and get back to you.

Sorry I have not used Cura in a while and dont have it on my computer to look. Coast turns off the extrusion before it gets to the retraction point and wipe continues to move without extruding, both are design to eliminate bobs at your retraction point. I'm not sure if cura has these settings. But if you getting a solid result then its probably not just retraction settings that is causing issues. I always suggest calibrating your extruder multiplier or in cura I think its called flow rate.

BTW, weird that the test worked fine but not the actual print. That makes me think its a temperature thing.

I will look for that setting. Thank you so much.
Also I am using PLA and my printed is I believe at 70C and the nozzle at like 190C or 200C.
I'll lower the print bed to 60C and try again. Normally I dont have issues with adhesion. Some times I feel like my parents get too stuck to the glass.

I love this, can you put this blade in the pirate sword handle?

I don't think its a good fit but I am working on a new version of a sword with this blade.

Yeah the handle looks like it might need to be warped. Have you considered making a Boolean tool that would allow anyone to modify any sword handle they want to use this? Like a shape to create the cutout, then another to insert the blade.

I put a stp file of the blank blade template in the file section for the other sword I just have not had time and no one has asked for the Katana yet.

No worries, you're creating awesome stuff. Not sure what the stp file is, novice modeler here, but if it's what's needed for adding the blade to things, consider me asking for it. lol Take your time though, were all grateful for what you've made!

A "stp" file is a non native solid model format for transferring files. Its not a surface model like a "stl". Its the best format for software like Fusion. I'll post it when I get a chance.

This needs to be a thing for the dragon slayer sword from berserk. https://berserk.fandom.com/wiki/Dragon_Slayer

That is cool! the hilt looks like Thors hammer. But how do I do it if the blade is wider then the handle?

Perhaps have the outermost blade section not collapse into the hilt? When collapsed down, it'd look like one of those hand fans, but with an oversized handle.

I would say just make part of the blade part of the handle. It's a monster of a sword, don't know how many people would have the printer to make such a beast.

Would it be possible to make a smaller version of this I want to make a switch blade like this? Does it work at a small size?

Like is it possible to have the extended parts work in a smaller size like a knife rather than a sword? If I just shrink that file will it work?

Oh, now I see. Yeah that would work. It would be better if you just scaled down the z-axis rather then all of them so the clearances remain the same.

im using the ender 3 with cura to slice what layer height and infill should i use and do i need supports or rafts?

No on the raft and support but you need good bed adhesion. I printed it at .2mm and infill is not to important, 15% is fine.

Cool swords, nice job! Not sure how to make them collapse though.

When I printed the lightsaber (without a brim or raft) two of the inner blades lost adhesion right near the end, which screwed up the extension. Should I print the blades (very slowly) directly on the bed? or with a raft?


I think it depends on your printer and the printing surface. I printed mine on a MK3 with a PEI bed at 65mm/s with no raft. The center blade does not have a lot of contact with the bed so you need really good adhesion.

Mind sharing your layer height, bed temp and infill %? I printed without a raft (at 80mm/s) and the blades stuck together but I'll try again. Thanks!

.2mm, 60c bed on PEI, 15% infill, 60mm/s. I think what it most important is your extrusion multiplier and retraction setting(coast/wipe).

Where are the coast and wipe settings in Slic3r? I can't seem to find anything about them.

Under retraction. There is a percentage you can change there.

Oof. /slightly/ too tall for my printer and I'm too scared to scale it down. D:

How much? If you scale only the Z all the clearances will stay the same (really close) so you should not have a issue.

Thanks for the tip!

for the collapsing broadsword, is there a way to print only a specific tube for the sword part?

Slic3r will let you separate the segments.

what do i click after loading in the file?

Split, its in ribbon right on top.

ok. will it do it automatically? thank you for answering. Also, is wipe and coast in slic3r?

EDIT: Thanks I got it.

For the test print, are you looking for the 3 walls to not fuse together or the first few layers on the build plate?

Yes, two. Technically, it doesn't matter what you enter into you slicer if you are using a .4 nozzle because if you nozzle width is set to .4><.45 as it can only fit two walls.

For the kantana I actually did two walls for all the segments except the last, which is three. I thought since it was so small it would make it stronger plus the extra weight would help it extend better.

Word to the wise. If you try and use a brim it will make the bottom solid due to the inside blade pieces being separate.

i found that out the hard way..

Sorry, but ha ha that is kinda funny. I hope you got it working though...

not yet! But am working on it.I cut the handle open and will glue it back together. I printed two out so it will be multi-color. With the separate tubes trick you told me about, hopefully it will work.

do i print it bottom faced up or on it's side?

How it should be loaded in the slicer, with the guard on the bed and the hilt vertical.