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Another Simple 3D Printed Blaster

homemade 3D printing pistol

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#1 Landru

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 01:17 AM

Just in case anybody hasn't been following hobby/low end industrial 3d printing recently; it's come a long way.

I've been lucky enough to start a company making (and soon to be selling) 3d printers, and as such, get to make/print a pile of stuff for testing and for fun.

I used to do a lot of Nerf stuff with HvZ, so I decided to design a printable blaster from scratch for funzies. It just happens to be a good example of what a 3D printer that costs under 3K can do. The material is around $1 per in^3 so making custom parts is a lot more feasible than it once was.

The whole gun took about 13hrs of print time, but only $10 in plastic. The springs I had laying around the house. I think the primary spring is from an old night-finder but I'm really not sure. It gets about 1.5x the distance of a lightly modded maverick. It was designed for a fun proof of concept to be built upon upon, not for performance.

Everything plastic was printed on a Fablicator except for the PVC cylinder. It is all ABS except for the catch, which is PLA. The designs will be uploaded to thingiverse once some last minute changes are finalized.

The whole thing is every bit as rigid as an off the shelf Nerf blaster, if not more so.

Shameless plug; The website for the 3d printer I designed is www.fablicator.com (still under light construction)

~Andrew Diehl

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Edited by Aeromech, 04 December 2015 - 10:35 PM.

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#2 chavez guy

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 01:22 AM

Props and shizz!
I really like this. Is the red thing at the front like a bushing or coupler?
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#3 Nerfomania

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 01:34 AM

I freaking love this. Great work!
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#4 Landru

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 01:38 AM

The red piece is the barrel. It's made for stock DTs so it only has to be 2.5in long. it threads into the front of the gun so it can be replaced with something more interesting in the future.

Props and shizz!
I really like this. Is the red thing at the front like a bushing or coupler?


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#5 soloz1

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 01:50 AM

Crossbow shells?!
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#6 zx532

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 01:57 AM

That is awesome!
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#7 Nerfomania

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 01:58 AM

Crossbow shells?!


I looked at his website. Sadly it looks like its Printing bed is only 7x7. I await the day when we all can have access to wonderful machines like this, It would change our hobby forever. I mean c'mon being able to print %90+ of your blasters components in your house!

Somebody could make a killing selling 'Vintage' Nerf shells if they had the tooling.
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#8 HasreadCoC

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 02:04 AM

I looked at his website. Sadly it looks like its Printing bed is only 7x7. I await the day when we all can have access to wonderful machines like this, It would change our hobby forever. I mean c'mon being able to print %90+ of your blasters components in your house!

Somebody could make a killing selling 'Vintage' Nerf shells if they had the tooling.

Crossbow shells. I want. SO MUCH WANT.

We need to find someone with a big enough printer.
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#9 Landru

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 02:16 AM

As patents keep running out 3d printing will keep become cheaper and more capable. It's always possible to make multiple pieces and glue/screw/clip them together to make larger parts.

I'm not sure 'vintage' shells would be a good idea though; companies take their copyrights very seriously (even if they currently are not making money off them)


I looked at his website. Sadly it looks like its Printing bed is only 7x7. I await the day when we all can have access to wonderful machines like this, It would change our hobby forever. I mean c'mon being able to print %90+ of your blasters components in your house!

Somebody could make a killing selling 'Vintage' Nerf shells if they had the tooling.


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#10 Keo

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 03:07 AM

This is amazing! A video game pistol or some other replica such as a Halo Reach magnum replica with NiteFinder internals would be amazing, both this community and us cosplayers would buy them.
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#11 KatanasPWN

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 09:55 AM

As patents keep running out 3d printing will keep become cheaper and more capable. It's always possible to make multiple pieces and glue/screw/clip them together to make larger parts.

I'm not sure 'vintage' shells would be a good idea though; companies take their copyrights very seriously (even if they currently are not making money off them)

You could just make some changes in the shell, maybe slightly different handle, no hole at the top where the stock arrow barrel went, etc. Also, I think the crossbow copyright ran out
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#12 Curly

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:22 AM

That's quite the awesome you've got there. Do you think you might ever sell printed pistols?
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#13 7to9pounds

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:28 AM

disregard

Edited by 7to9pounds, 07 February 2012 - 08:17 PM.

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#14 meatballica

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:57 AM

Are the files for this gun on your site? I have access to a 3D printer and would like to print one out.
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#15 andtheherois

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 11:08 AM

I love how everyone's first thought is "crossbowshell omgbbq creammypants".

However this is awesome. Regardless of how large or small the printing area is, 7x7 is a good enough size to print many useful items that are otherwise harder or impossible to make. Things like triggers and catches, and custom bushings come to mind. We don't have to immediately take this to crossbow shells.

Edited by andtheherois, 01 February 2012 - 11:09 AM.

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#16 Ranger Dave

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 11:18 AM

3D printers come in a variety of sizes, the company that my father works at has 7 large 3D printers that could easily fit a Crossbow shell inside. 3D printing is great for rapid prototyping and custom parts as long as you know what your doing. Before you can print something you need to actually build the part in CAD/Solid Works/PRO-E.
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#17 Exo

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 11:40 AM

This is awesome. Who remebers the RPMBNB? This is similar to it.

Also, I callenge you to make a clip-fed version. It wouldn't be too much more to do, since you can change out the red barrel piece.

2ndedit: WOW. Modular Nitefinder. You'll only need one shell, but you could have a stock NF, a modded NF, and an NF Rifle. All in one. And only $10 in materials? That's the same price as a real NF.

Edited by Exo, 01 February 2012 - 11:45 AM.

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#18 Swiftone1990

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 12:23 PM

This would have an insane amount of uses. Have you tried any other nerf related prints?
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#19 Meaker VI

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 12:56 PM

I'm pretty impressed with the finish quality of your parts - the layers you're laying are pretty tight. What would it take to finish the parts smooth? Just some light sanding?

How durable are the parts? Have you tried reproducing a higher-stress part on a stock blaster and testing it?
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#20 HasreadCoC

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 02:35 PM

I have to agree with previous posters and say that you probably wouldn't have any problems with the crossbow unless you were mass producing them commercially. Additionally, you could easily change, and improve, certain aspects. Namely; make the handle bigger since people complain it's a bit to small, remove the top part that the arrow goes on completely and replace it with a sight of some sort or something, make the stock longer, thus giving room for longer draw comfortably on homemade internals, replace the part that the bow arms clip on in the front with something cleaner, and have it extend out an extra inch or so, allowing for a longer plunger tube comfortably, better trigger, and of course, have the inside of the shell be designed for monster springer internals from the start. Something like that altogether would easily fetch $150 considering what crossbows go for. Print like 50 of them all in one run. Plenty for the community, but no where NEAR enough for nerf to spare a glance, I mean, would they really bother about 50 blasters when they produce thousands and thousands?

I also agree that this would be great for making triggers, as well as super comfy handles for rainbows. Also, mass produced somewhat-cheeper SorrowX turrets anyone?

I've always though rapid printing would be a great resource for the community, the two things that have stopped it the past are cost and quality. Namely, that people are worried about the strength of parts, and that the machines and plastic have been relatively expensive. Now though there are more and more people with the machines, and the tech is getting better and stronger.

I'll be very interested to see advances in this field.
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#21 Pichu47

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 02:35 PM

This is pretty sweet! Any idea what ranges it gets?
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#22 Curly

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 03:18 PM

This is pretty sweet! Any idea what ranges it gets?

He said it was 50% stronger than a lightly modded maverick.

I think COC has a good point, but why re-create one blaster when you could make something new entirely? A trigger and catch with a coupler for a plunger tube would allow you to make the blaster however you like, but it takes all the heavy lifting out of it. A reason OMW is so successful is that their parts can simply be dropped into a blaster, and there is no effort or tooling needed.

If the trigger assembly was compatible with PVC parts anybody could slap on a plunger and a seal. It would be like a SNAPbow you can make in a matter of minutes with nothing more than hardware store parts. Well-equipped modders could do things like pump action, but somebody with a hacksaw could still make a wonderful primary.

Only making the difficult parts of the blaster on the printer would also make the costs incredibly low and reach a larger audience. Many people don't own Crossbows because they can make several SNAPs that match it for the same price.
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#23 Meaker VI

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 03:30 PM

If the trigger assembly was compatible with PVC parts anybody could slap on a plunger and a seal. It would be like a SNAPbow you can make in a matter of minutes with nothing more than hardware store parts. Well-equipped modders could do things like pump action, but somebody with a hacksaw could still make a wonderful primary.


Assuming that the printer's output is tough enough, I'd say that printing up a PVC-compatible self contained rainbow-style trigger with an attached grip would be an awesome use for this. If you could figure out a good way to make a PVC and NERF-clip compatible breech mechanism, that'd be anther great part to sell. All the client would need to do would be to attach a plunger tube to the grip, build a plunger, throw in a spring, and attach the breech and barrel and they've got a clipped printer-bow. Nothing other than a screw driver and cut-to-length PVC required for assembly.
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#24 makeitgo

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 03:38 PM

I love how everyone's first thought is "crossbowshell omgbbq creammypants".

However this is awesome. Regardless of how large or small the printing area is, 7x7 is a good enough size to print many useful items that are otherwise harder or impossible to make. Things like triggers and catches, and custom bushings come to mind. We don't have to immediately take this to crossbow shells.


I agree. We have a lot more imagination than just reproduction. Besides, creating an entire blaster from smaller parts is entirely possible.

ie:

Posted Image

None of these single pieces are over 6"x6".

*Great job Landru. Openning a new door, as it were.

Edited by makeitgo, 01 February 2012 - 03:41 PM.

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#25 Landru

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 03:50 PM

Wow, lots of comments. Lets see if I can cover everything...


1) I don't think i'll be selling any 'complete' pistols like this as it just won't be cost effective for me. I've been printing a lot of prototypes @ $10/hr and that keeps me pretty busy. I'd have to charge those rates to make up for lost business so a 14hr gun may only cost $12 in material, but $140 in machine time. That will come down in the future somewhat if business slows and/or I get more printers up and running.

2) I'll be uploading the files within a week or two once I'm done perfecting them. After that anyone with a 3d printer can make as many as they like (it will be an open source design)

3) Clips are on my to-do list, but it's a long list.

4) So far this is my only nerf print, but I've made a ton of other stuff for various hobbies (rocketry in particular)

5) I guess I'm starting to seriously consider designing simple fast to make parts that would interface with standard PVC and hardware store things. It's not a practical process for producing full guns, but key components might be a good starting place. What is the standard spring and piston diameter most people are using these days?

6) The range is 35ft flat with taggers.
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