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Latex Tubing Blaster

New version 07/17/13
homemade concept bungee 3D printing

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#1 Ryan201821

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:32 PM

This blaster was created after Ice9 suggested I use latex (commonly known as surgical) tubing.

I also stole Kane's snapoid trigger design and use of 1/4" aluminum as a plunger rod.

The results were very good.

IMG_2730.jpg

The handle is composed of a few 3d printed parts (Thanks to Kane's 3d printer), and 3/8" polyethylene. I would have used 1/4" material for the inside and the outside bits, but didn't have any of hand. The catch spring is housed inside a blob that extends from the front of the handle.

IMG_2729.jpg

View of the catch mechanism poking up from the slot

IMG_2728.jpg

Since the blaster uses 1/4" aluminum for the plunger rod, it's extremely light and has a lot less friction than the 1/2" material I used in the Rainbowpups. The plunger rod is sealed by a special bronze bushing (6338K412). The turnaround piece is another thing Kane found while searching around at Menards, and for those who don't live in the midwest (Sprinklerwarehouse.com)

IMG_2725.jpg

The pump grip is linked to a piece of 1" thinwall inside the 1 1/4". The 1" pushes on the catch piece until it catches, obviously. Slots were cut on Kane's mill.

IMG_2732.jpg

Overall this thing is amazing. Shoots typical homemade blaster ranges, with 6" of draw, and roughly 14-15" barrel. In future versions I'll probably use a vertical priming grip to make the blaster less than 24". The fact the barrel doesn't flop around like in traditional homemades, makes this blaster very accurate. Priming is also much easier than a [k26], and I don't have to add the length of the compressed spring since I can tension the surgical tubing as much as I want. This basically has all the benefits of a bow powered blaster without the disadvantage of having your blaster the size of the tree.

IMG_2730.jpg

 

 

Non-3D Printed Version Templates
PDF Format
Inventor (.dwg)

STL Format (3D Printed Parts)
Bushing holder
Catch piece
Catch plate
Plunger rod adapter
Front assembly
Front barrel spacer
Main handle
Plunger head A
Plunger head BC
Back of stock
Stock tee
Trigger, half inch
Tube spacer
Rear wye spacer

IPT Format (Inventor)
1" PVC
Barrel
Bushing holder
Catch piece
Catch plate
Catch stick
Blaster assembly (.iam)
Eye Bolt
Front assembly
Front barrel spacer
Front tube
Main Handle
1/4" nut
Plunger head A
Plunger head BC
Plunger rod
Plunger tube
1/2" Post
Plunger rod adapter
1.5" PVC clamp
PVC wye
Rubber cushion
Stock back
Stock pad
Stock tee
Swing x wye
Trigger, half inch
Tube spacer
Rear wye spacer
Note:

If you're printing templates, make sure you set it to print true. Do no scale it to any extent, or you'll end up wasting a bunch of plastic.

Edited by Aeromech, 23 November 2015 - 02:41 AM.

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#2 Mully

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:06 PM

This thing is amazing.
It was crazy at YANO, I got a red mark on my chest that lasted for a few days.
It's also very accurate, and it seemed relatively easy to prime.

Edited by Mully, 13 May 2013 - 12:24 PM.

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#3 Carbon

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:42 PM

Awesome. Latex tubing needs more lovin' in hommades...cheap, custom spring length, and easily adjustable tension. Plus, no metal, and a really easy prime due to reduced friction.
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#4 andrewp413

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:40 PM

Nice! I love the use of the surgical tubing. Also could you use a powerful extension spring? I have seen then at my local hardware store and they seem more common.
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#5 andtheherois

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:08 PM

What's the part number for the tubing? Did the brass and aluminum have to be lubed? What's the ring at the top of the PR? Great job on this blaster!
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#6 spencerak

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:51 PM

Nice work, but I think the handle is a bit ugly due to it's size, especially that front block.
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#7 snakerbot

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:03 PM

I'm sure there are questions so just fire away.

Alright, I've several.

1: What advantage does using the funky Y serve over the elbow-in-a-hole method of the rainbowpups?
2: Does that piece extend a ways into the plunger tube, or did you cut it down to allow the plunger head to move farther forward and eliminate some dead space?
3 & 3.5: What stops the plunger? Does it hit the above mentioned piece?
4: How smooth does that catch operate? I've never been too fond of snap-style catches, and prefer the catch-in-notch style used in rainbows and most actual Nerf-brand guns.
5: Are you expecting any friction/binding problems with the vertical pump grip? I remember Kane said he had trouble with this with the earlier bullpups he worked on.
6: Observation, not question: That catch looks like an unergonomic mess. Lots of corners and such everywhere. (This is more about hitting the wrist of your priming arm on it)
7: How well does that bushing seal?
8 & 9: How long does it take to make one of these, and how many do you plan to make?

And another comment:

The fact the barrel doesn't flop around like in traditional homemades, makes this blaster very accurate.

I can vouch for this, from using my rainbowpup. Having the barrel basically right in front of your face certainly helps too.

andrew: I can't answer for Ryan since I don't know the specifics of the internals here, but I'd say probably. I made a normalish rainbowpup using an extension spring, and it works well enough.

Sweet gun, by the way, Ryan.
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#8 therealnerfjunkies

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 01:02 AM

This was really cool at YANO. The handle was very large and comfortable. You seemed to have a lot of fun using it at YANO. How easy is one of these to make, minus the 3D printer part? I got hit in the head from this one. It was awesome.

Edited by therealnerfjunkies, 04 January 2013 - 02:12 AM.

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#9 Zorns Lemma

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 02:43 AM

1: What advantage does using the funky Y serve over the elbow-in-a-hole method of the rainbowpups?

I can answer this one having asked it myself.

Better airflow and less deadspace are considerations for performance. But the real reason is that it makes manufacture a lot easier than drilling orthogonal holes and sealing flat pieces to a circular surface.
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#10 Phoenix66

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 12:29 PM

Doing a quick Google search found that Lowes (And I assume Home Depot) sell the laytex tubing. I think the stuff they sell would work, but I don't know what size you used. (So could you let us know?
This blaster looks awesome though. I love the smooth action of a bow powered blaster, but I hate the size. I think this is a win situation here.
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#11 Ryan201821

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 01:24 PM

Nice! I love the use of the surgical tubing. Also could you use a powerful extension spring? I have seen then at my local hardware store and they seem more common.

Yes, extension springs are possible to use in this design. The only draw back is your are limited to whatever tension the spring gives you, plus you have to add the length of the spring to your blaster. With surgical tubing, you can theoretically make the blaster shorter. Right now with the horizontal pumpgrip, I'm not taking advantage of that aspect.

What's the part number for the tubing? Did the brass and aluminum have to be lubed? What's the ring at the top of the PR? Great job on this blaster!

See below for parts list. The bronze bushing is self-lubricated, so in theory you don't need to lube either. The front end of the plunger rod has a nylon "eyebolt", which is used to attach the latex tubing to the plunger rod.

Alright, I've several.

1: What advantage does using the funky Y serve over the elbow-in-a-hole method of the rainbowpups?
2: Does that piece extend a ways into the plunger tube, or did you cut it down to allow the plunger head to move farther forward and eliminate some dead space?
3 & 3.5: What stops the plunger? Does it hit the above mentioned piece?
4: How smooth does that catch operate? I've never been too fond of snap-style catches, and prefer the catch-in-notch style used in rainbows and most actual Nerf-brand guns.
5: Are you expecting any friction/binding problems with the vertical pump grip? I remember Kane said he had trouble with this with the earlier bullpups he worked on.
6: Observation, not question: That catch looks like an unergonomic mess. Lots of corners and such everywhere. (This is more about hitting the wrist of your priming arm on it)
7: How well does that bushing seal?
8 & 9: How long does it take to make one of these, and how many do you plan to make?

The funky wye is much easier to replicate and easier to get a perfect seal. It does however have slightly more deadspace, but it could be filled with hot glue or something else if you really desired. Also as Zorn mentioned, the wye parts gives it better airflow that the standard method.

The wye piece does extend roughly an inch into the plunger tube, which is wrapped in e-tape to seal in the plunger tube. I did cut down the front of that piece that extends towards the front tube in order to reduce deadspace.

Right now, the wye piece does stop the plunger rod. I haven't noticed any fatigue and I think this should be fine. In the next iterations I'll be adding a rubber chunk to the front of the plunger head to reduce the noise it makes slamming against the swing wye.

As for the catch, it works really well. The trigger pull is a little harder than your average blaster, but if you've ever used a sceptor, it's a lot less harder than that pull. This catch style is way easier to replicate than a Rainbow catch granted you have already made the templates for all your components. This was one of the reasons I switched over for this blaster, plus having the catch as far forward as possible makes the blaster shorter towards the back end where the plunger tube would be. If I were using a rainbow catch, the blaster would have to be about another 2" longer where the stock is.

No problems at all. I'm not sure what Kane's problems were related to, but if your bushing is straight and your plunger rod isn't bent, you shouldn't have any problems.

The front part of the handle is less of a disaster than your think. Since the pump grip is 7" long, your hand has plenty of space to grip. There is also roughly an extra inch before it hits the handle when at full draw. Your hand never hits the handle at any point. In the next versions they'll have vertical grips which will negate this problem anyway.

The bushing seals close to perfect. If you put your mouth on the air output and blow back when the plunger rod is in there, it'll make it move backward. With these bushings, your seal is pretty much as good as it's ever going to get without sacrificing for some friction.

This particular blaster took a while to complete but now that I've figured it out probably only a couple hours of labor when made in a large batch. Majority of the time spent is making the plunger rod, the handle, and milling out the slots. I plan on making a large number of these.

This was really cool at YANO. The handle was very large and comfortable. You seemed to have a lot of fun using it at YANO. How easy is one of these to make, minus the 3D printer part? This was one of those blasters that I got hit in the head from. It was pretty cool.

All of the parts are repeatable without the use of a 3d printer. Bare minimum tools would be some sort of drill and a scrollsaw, aside from basic hand tools. I wouldn't say these are easy or difficult to build, but if you've built any pump action blaster in the past, this is probably about the same difficulty.

Doing a quick Google search found that Lowes (And I assume Home Depot) sell the latex tubing. I think the stuff they sell would work, but I don't know what size you used. (So could you let us know?
This blaster looks awesome though. I love the smooth action of a bow powered blaster, but I hate the size. I think this is a win situation here.

The latex tubing I used was also purchased at Home Depot.

For those interested here is the parts list. I think everything is included. A lot of the materials including the PVC were purchased at Menard's which I know a lot of people don't have access too. The one thing that you would need to order off the internet would be the swing x wye, which can be found here. This parts list includes the materials I'll be using the the next blasters which the only difference will be a vertical instead of horizontal pump grip.

Menards - Schedule 40 Solid Core Pipe-1 1/2"x10'
Menards - Schedule 40 Solid Core Pipe-1 1/4"x10'
Menards - Schedule 40 Solid Core Pipe-1"x10'
Menards - SDR 26 PVC Pipe-1 1/2"x10'(thinwall)
Menards - CPVC Pipe- 1/2"x10'
4880K44 - Standard-Wall White PVC Pipe Fitting 1-1/4 Pipe Size, Tee
Menards - 1"PVC WYE X SWING
Menards - 1" PVC Plug
6338K412 - SAE 841 Bronze Flanged-Sleeve Bearing for 1/4" Shaft Diameter, 3/8" OD, 3/8" Length
8619K461 - Rigid HDPE Polyethylene 1/4" Thick, 12" X 12"
8619K431 - Rigid HDPE Polyethylene 3/8" Thick, 12" X 12"
94639A333 - Nylon Unthreaded Spacer 5/16" OD, 5/16" Length, #6 Screw Size x 100
5233K63 - Masterkleer PVC Tubing 3/8" ID, 1/2" OD, 1/16" Wall Thickness x 1'
8974K31 - Multipurpose Aluminum (Alloy 6061) 1/4" Diameter X 6' Length
9686T74 - Nylon Eyebolt with Nut-Not for Lifting, 1/4"-20 Thread, 1/2" Eye ID, 1" Shank, 7/8" L Thread, Packs of 25
94812A116 - Nylon 6/6 Hex Nut, Off-White, 1/4"-20 Thread Size, 7/16" W, 15/64" H, Packs of 100
2614T52 - Extreme-Temperature Silicone Rubber Plain Back, 3/16" Thick, 2" Width x 1'
5234K33 - Super Soft Latex Rubber Tubing 1/4" ID, 3/8" OD, 1/16" Wall, Semi-Clear Amber x 1'
9691K56 - U-Cup Seal 1/4" Height, 7/8" ID, 1-3/8" OD x 5
8572K55 - White Delrin ® Acetal Resin Rod 1/2" Diameter x 5'
93135A459 - Nylon Pan Head Machine Screw Phillips, 1/4"-20 Thread, 2" Length x 100
92311A144 - 18-8 SS Cup Point Set Screw 6-32 Thread, 1/4" Long x 100
92311A148 - 18-8 SS Cup Point Set Screw 6-32 Thread, 1/2" Long x 100
90272A146 - Zinc-Pltd STL Pan Head Phillips Machine Screw 6-32 Thread, 3/8" Length x 100
90272A155 - Zinc-Pltd STL Pan Head Phillips Machine Screw 6-32 Thread, 1-1/4" Length x 100
91772A158 - 18-8 SS Pan Head Phillips Machine Screw 6-32 Thread, 1-3/4" Length x 100
90480A007 - Zinc-Plated Steel Machine Screw Hex Nut 6-32 Thread Size, 5/16" Width, 7/64" Height x 100
4880K977 - Standard-Wall White PVC Pipe Fitting 1-1/2 X 1 X 1-1/2 Pipe Size, Reducing Tee


All the parts come out to about $20 per blaster, minus the few 3d printed parts. I also put u-cups in the parts list as this is what I'll be using in the future.

Thanks for the questions, comments, and compliments. Keep them coming.

Edited by Ryan201821, 13 December 2012 - 01:25 PM.

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#12 atomatron

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:16 PM

That looks like a good blaster, I just want more detail on the catch-trigger system. I can't tell if it's better than my HEC's.
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#13 snakerbot

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:58 PM

No problems at all. I'm not sure what Kane's problems were related to, but if your bushing is straight and your plunger rod isn't bent, you shouldn't have any problems.

From what I can tell from reading the thread again, the problem was the offset forces causing a net moment on the priming grip. The force of the latex (in this case) is acting forward on the part of the handle in line with the body, while the user's hand is exerting a backward force at the handle below the body. The counteracting moment comes from the body of the blaster pushing hard on opposite corners of the part of the handle that slides over the body, and this generates a large friction force.

Although, looking again, I guess the 1" pvc inside the body is pretty long? If the grip can't pivot relative to that, then you may be alright since the counteracting forces there have a longer moment arm and can be weaker.
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#14 Ryan201821

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 01:48 PM

That looks like a good blaster, I just want more detail on the catch-trigger system. I can't tell if it's better than my HEC's.

I'll get some more pictures for you.

From what I can tell from reading the thread again, the problem was the offset forces causing a net moment on the priming grip. The force of the latex (in this case) is acting forward on the part of the handle in line with the body, while the user's hand is exerting a backward force at the handle below the body. The counteracting moment comes from the body of the blaster pushing hard on opposite corners of the part of the handle that slides over the body, and this generates a large friction force.

Although, looking again, I guess the 1" pvc inside the body is pretty long? If the grip can't pivot relative to that, then you may be alright since the counteracting forces there have a longer moment arm and can be weaker.

The 1" that pushes on the plunger rod is pretty long and I'm hoping that will help me with the torque issue with vertical grips. I'm going to attempt putting on one today and we'll see how to goes.
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#15 Ryan201821

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:29 PM

Got around to adding a vertical pump grip.

Posted Image

Now I can shorten the front of the blaster by about 3". The priming action is still super smooth.

Also we're printing stuff in blue now..

Posted Image
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#16 KaneTheMediocre

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:16 PM

5: Are you expecting any friction/binding problems with the vertical pump grip? I remember Kane said he had trouble with this with the earlier bullpups he worked on.

In Ryan's case, there is an internal piece of 1" that is long enough to eliminate the binding. Any binding with this sort of thing will be inversely proportional to the length of the grip slide piece, so it was particularly bad for me because I had minimized that length (It was about 1.5") to minimize the overall length of my blaster. By comparison, a 1 1/4" T is 3-4 inches long.

It also helps that Ryan's using latex tubing instead of a spring, so he has less priming force to deal with in the first place in order to achieve standard homemade performance.


7: How well does that bushing seal?


Fabulous, and I want to let everyone know that these same bushings are also sold at Ace hardware store for about $5 (Mcmaster are ~$1). It's exactly the same part, and it's where I got the bushing for the bullPAC v2. They are "oilite" bronze, which means they are an oily metallic sponge that slides nicely despite a very close fit. The seal is also fundamentally different from the 0-ring and grommet techniques, in that the bushing is not squeezing on the rod at all --- The good seal is simply from the fact that the cross sectional area of the gap between rod and bushing is constant and very small.
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#17 Phoenix66

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 11:18 PM

So the eye bolt shaped thing attached to the Aluminum rod is what the latex tubing is attached to correct? The red circle piece is the catch face, and the wye shaped thing transfers the air from the plunger tube to the barrel which is attached to the wye correct?
I'm still trying to understand this blaster since there are no "Assembly pictures" I guess the writeup will explain it in more detail.
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#18 Ryan201821

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:01 PM

So the eye bolt shaped thing attached to the Aluminum rod is what the latex tubing is attached to correct? The red circle piece is the catch face, and the wye shaped thing transfers the air from the plunger tube to the barrel which is attached to the wye correct?
I'm still trying to understand this blaster since there are no "Assembly pictures" I guess the writeup will explain it in more detail.

Pretty much exactly how it works. If you haven't seen Kane's BullPAC, it's the same functionally.
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#19 KaneTheMediocre

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 05:10 PM

Pretty much exactly how it works. If you haven't seen Kane's BullPAC, it's the same functionally.


Just wanted to note that it's the same as the 2nd bullPAC and also the rubber band blaster, but not so much the 1st bullPAC, whose catch was somewhat similar to Atomatrons lever catch (ERTL?), and whose rod seal was merely "drill a hole of about the right size". Scroll down in that thread to see a picture of the 2nd bullPAC, as well as the rubber band blaster in assembled and disassembled state. Or just look down here to see a picture and diagram of the handle/catch as applied to the rubber band blaster:
Posted Image

The catch spring was rubber-band kludged here, and the housing block didn't come about until the 3rd bullPAC, of which only the handle was ever posted in the picture thread. As per usual, I didn't actually plan it out in advance so the catchspring housing just ended up taped on and looks much worse than Ryan's slick sandwich housing.

Edited by KaneTheMediocre, 18 December 2012 - 05:10 PM.

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#20 hamoidar

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:11 PM

Just wanted to note that it's the same as the 2nd bullPAC and also the rubber band blaster, but not so much the 1st bullPAC, whose catch was somewhat similar to Atomatrons lever catch (ERTL?), and whose rod seal was merely "drill a hole of about the right size". Scroll down in that thread to see a picture of the 2nd bullPAC, as well as the rubber band blaster in assembled and disassembled state. Or just look down here to see a picture and diagram of the handle/catch as applied to the rubber band blaster:
Snip: image

The catch spring was rubber-band kludged here, and the housing block didn't come about until the 3rd bullPAC, of which only the handle was ever posted in the picture thread. As per usual, I didn't actually plan it out in advance so the catchspring housing just ended up taped on and looks much worse than Ryan's slick sandwich housing.


Might I suggest you take a peek at this: http://nerfhaven.com...howtopic=23365' class='bbc_url' title='External link' rel='nofollow external'>Crossbow The catch I used in the crossbow is only one piece, and is capable of holding a 30lb draw longbow.

EDIT: all credit for the catch goes to Meaker IV.

Edited by hamoidar, 29 December 2012 - 09:12 PM.

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#21 atomatron

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:50 AM

Might I suggest you take a peek at this: http://nerfhaven.com...howtopic=23365' class='bbc_url' title='External link' rel='nofollow external'>Crossbow The catch I used in the crossbow is only one piece, and is capable of holding a 30lb draw longbow.

EDIT: all credit for the catch goes to Meaker IV.

HEC, that catch (whatever Meaker wants it called) and all these one piece trigger/catch are pretty much the same and it doesn't really matter (Except it does and homemade ERTL catch; HEC is the best name for anything ever in the history of space.)

Kane's iteration with the separation of the catch and trigger provides more leverage but with that it's only really necessitated by the extremely acute angle that the surfaces of the catch and plunger rod meet which in the act of un-catching would cause the plunger rod assembly to be moved against the force of the main spring. This only really means an easier trigger pull if my brain is doing things accurately.
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#22 Meaker VI

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:03 PM

HEC, that catch (whatever Meaker wants it called) and all these one piece trigger/catch are pretty much the same and it doesn't really matter (Except it does and homemade ERTL catch; HEC is the best name for anything ever in the history of space.)


Shoot Hamoidar, Atomatron is right, the HEC catch is basically exactly what I'd sketched out for you in whatever other thread that was that we were discussing catches. As an aside, I did find a part that would work basically that way prefabbed from McMaster #11265A71, though I haven't ordered one to test yet.

The blaster is pretty slick looking; I've mentioned on NRev (which I cannot log into currently) how the parts could be made fairly easily with traditional tooling.
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#23 koree

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:44 PM

Yesterday I got to take my latex powered blasters out for their first war, however, within the first round, we were having a problem. At temperatures between 35-40° F, the latex tubing substantially lost its elasticity. So much so that the blaster that had been shooting my 90 foot wall with significant impact was pooping out its darts only 50-70 feet. Additionally the latex was not able to return my plunger head to its rest position. This occurred on both blasters.

As a control I swapped out the latex and inserted a spring in (my double rainbow can swap them with very little effort.) and it worked fine.

This effect may have not been observed before perhaps due to users not leaving their blaster in the cold long enough. My blasters sat in my unheated trunk for at least 2 hours before we arrived at the war site.

Edited by koree, 20 January 2013 - 12:54 PM.

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#24 mr trouble

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:50 PM

Wow well done. It's a really glorious blaster. How well do the 3d printed components holdup to bending forces. The 8 shaped pieces, they seem like they normally wouldn't encounter strong forces but would you think they would break if you dropped it? How long does it take you to actually make one? It seems like easy blaster to assemble once you have all the parts.
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#25 Meaker VI

Meaker VI

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:22 PM

Yesterday I got to take my latex powered blasters out for their first war, however, within the first round, we were having a problem. At temperatures between 35-40 F, the latex tubing substantially lost its elasticity


Latex is notoriously finicky, It'll also decay over time. Just the nature of the stuff really.

Wow well done. It's a really glorious blaster. How well do the 3d printed components holdup to bending forces.


I think Ryan and I were discussing this elsewhere, but the blaster is designed to not need 3d printed parts (or, the 3d printed parts are designed to be replicated with normal woodworking machines, like routers and saws; which means you could use just about any material instead of 3d printed stuff if you want). Most of the 3d printed parts don't need to be 3d printed, but in these blasters most of the parts look like they're both thick enough and not in high stress areas to make bending an issue (or dropping).
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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: homemade, concept, bungee, 3D printing

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