(written from a Production point of view)
Ken Palkow is a prop fabricator who created several items including the Federation phasers and alien weapons for the 2013 sequel Star Trek Into Darkness.  According to the IMDb, Palkow is also creating props for the 2016 sequel Star Trek Beyond.
Founded in 1992, Palkow is the owner and only employee of the company Kenney's Custom Props, LLC specialized in creating special effects, weapons and hand-held props for film and television productions and located in Catasauqua, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.
Among his early work in the film and television industry are creations for Ronald D. Moore's science fiction spin-off series Caprica (2009-2010, starring Paula Malcomson and Brian Markinson), the Fringe episode "Brown Betty" (2010, written and produced by Akiva Goldsman, created and produced by J.J. Abrams, produced by Bryan Burk, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci, music by Michael Giacchino, and casting by April Webster), and the action comedy The A-Team (2010).
After he worked on the television horror drama Locke & Key (2011, produced and teleplay by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman and produced by April Nocifora), Palkow created the serum canisters for the science fiction film Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), the weapons used by Kate Beckinsale in the fantasy sequel Underworld: Awakening (2012, characters co-created by Kevin Grevioux), and colonial sidearms for the television movie Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome (2012, story and produced by Bradley Thompson and David Weddle and starring John Pyper-Ferguson and Brian Markinson).
Further projects include the third season of the science fiction series Warehouse 13 (2011, created by Jane Espenson), the action sequel Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011, starring Simon Pegg), the science fiction drama Oblivion (2013), the television series Motive (2013) and Continuum (2012-2014, starring Rachel Nichols), the reboot Man of Steel (2013), the science fiction films Elysium (2013) and Ender's Game (2013), and Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014, with Patrick Stewart, Famke Janssen, and Kelsey Grammer).
He created the riptide sword for the fantasy sequel Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013), the weapons for the science fiction remake RoboCop (2014), Karl Urban's weapons and props for the television series Almost Human (2013-2014), several hand-held props and weapons for the remake of Godzilla (2014), and the gold tablets of Ahkmenrah for the fantasy comedy Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014).
More recent projects as prop fabricator include the television pilot for The Man in the High Castle (2015), the superhero television series The Flash (2014-2015), the television movie Firestorm (2015), the comic adaptation Deadpool (2016, executive produced by Stan Lee), and the science fiction adventure Allegiant: Part 1 (2016, with concept artists Christopher S. Ross and Raj Rihal).