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Latex Tubing Blaster

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

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#26 Ryan201821

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:46 PM

...Stuff about it being cold...

Can't say I'm entirely surprised. I have yet to leave mine in a cold environment over time and then used it. I usually try not to nerf in the cold either because I just die and have a general intolerance for cold. You actually could probably swap out the latex tubing for an extension spring if you found one to be the correct size, although I kind of doubt it and you may have to change some dimensions.

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.

Nothing really takes a substantial amount of force, although I supposed if you dropped it on pavement from a considerable distance on the barrel spacers it may break, I don't know. I haven't tried it and most time spent is on grass when nerfing so I wouldn't worry about it too much.

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).

Yes. Any of the printed pieces could be swapped out for any type of plastic or wood you want. Or metal if you're into that.

=================================

Mostly finished up the final design for this blaster. I ran into the problem everyone was worried about, which was a bunch of torque on the priming handle. The difference from this and the last blaster, is the piece of 1" that is connected to the priming grip was significantly shorter since the whole blaster was shorter overall. To fix this, I extended the slots and 1" piece to add room for another screw through the 1" and priming grip. The torque is now completely gone and it primes very nicely. You can even hold it near the bottom and it still isn't difficult to prime.

I also tried some slightly different barrel spacers. I probably will just use the original ones next time since I have a bunch of them already printed. The only difference it the length of the front tube.

Any of you who frequent #nerfchat have probably already seen the stock, but it's just a printed piece, with another 1/4" sheet mounted on the back. Behind that is a piece of adhesive-backed 1" foam I got from McMaster. It's a little firm, but the curved surface I made for it using the belt sander made it very comfortable. I'll probably sell these as an upgrade and also a standalone item for people to purchase.

Also looking into securing the surgical tubing in a different manner than just tying wtf knots at the end of it. Suggestions are welcome.

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#27 snakerbot

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:00 PM

You actually could probably swap out the latex tubing for an extension spring if you found one to be the correct size, although I kind of doubt it and you may have to change some dimensions.

9432K125 works well.
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#28 Phoenix66

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:46 PM

Ryan, that thing looks awesome. I love the look of the printed plastic parts.
When can we expect to get a write up for this thing? And possibly a firing video showing how well it works possibly?

Edited by Phoenix66, 24 January 2013 - 11:51 PM.

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#29 Ryan201821

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 06:27 PM

9432K125 works well.

Just barely too short to add to this particular blaster, but I think I'll definitely play around with these. I just have to change one easy-to-make part, and drill another hole and I should be able to have the same blaster use either an extension spring or latex tubing.

Thanks for the link.

EDIT: Oh woah, I had a brain fart. I totally can't do that on my blaster without re-designing some stuff. I was trying to look at your blaster, but how do you push your plunger rod? I have a piece of 1" PVC pushing on the catch plate, which is held together with the two bolts that go through the front housing tube and the slots. The reason I can get away with using latex tubing is because there is a loop that allows the two bolts to clear through the latex tubing. In my case, an extension spring wouldn't fit with those bolts as they'd be right in the way. I would either have to do some offset slots, or something else entirely.

I hope that makes any sense.

Ryan, that thing looks awesome. I love the look of the printed plastic parts.
When can we expect to get a write up for this thing? And possibly a firing video showing how well it works possibly?

When I finish it.

I'll have a video eventually.

Edited by Ryan201821, 25 January 2013 - 06:37 PM.

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#30 snickers

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:27 PM

Just a thought, have you thought about using different types of latex? I was just at Sports Authority and saw they sell exercise bands made of latex (not sure what they are called but it's 5ft of latex with 2 handles on each end to use for stretching). They could be useful for making and easier or harder prime. Just a thought.
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#31 Ryan201821

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 03:10 PM

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I've been busy lately. I've changed quite a bit since the first one I've built. The latter two have been emphasized around 3D printed pieces.

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The second one I built uses a wider 3d printed trigger that feels really nice. Still can be made from sheet, although 1" material sucks to cut.

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I think I've officially gone away from doing horizontal priming grips. They take up more room, and are just a little bit more awkward to prime, especially for people who are weaker. The vertical grips have their own problems since you have to secure it in multiple places to avoid the awkward torquing that makes it impossible to prime.

I had to use two 1/4" bolts going through the 1" instead of just the one on the first iteration. This means my slots ended up being a monstrous 10" which was very difficult to cut on the scrollsaw. Doing it on the mill is also pretty impossible.

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So I decided to go with one slot, with a 3D printed piece. The slot is still gigantic, but it's a million times easier to mill than trying to do two. The tube spacer sits in between the 1" and the pump grip securing at four different points.

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The plunger head now has a piece of 1/4" rubber to quiet it down while dry-firing.

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The entire handle is completely 3D printed. It only takes a total of four separate prints for all the pieces on this blaster, coming out to only about $9 of ABS. The handle came out quite ugly on one side thanks to support material. The texture is also pretty rough, but a little bit of tape makes them very comfy.

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Close-up of the blaster primed.

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New-style barrel spacer, to save space and plastic.

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I went a step further and made the last iteration blasters to also be usable with the extension spring that snakerbot suggested. Another reason to move from the two-bolt method for attaching the priming grip, is so I had the ability to use an extension spring.

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I don't really notice in a difference between the latex and extension spring in terms of power or ease of prime. The advantages of the latex are that it's quieter and has adjustable tension, but that's about it. The extension spring is much easier to install and doesn't degrade over time. It is quiet a bit nosier when dry-firing and makes a funny twang when the extension spring compresses back to it's original state.

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I don't think I've yet to post this either. This is a mostly printable stock I made which feels rather awesome. Also saves a bit of length than when using a traditional tee.

I'm sure I've left stuff out, feel free to ask questions.
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#32 Bchamp22795

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 03:50 PM

I had a chance to toy around with the newest blasters yesterday at Mayhem, and I have to say that they are amazing. The prime is INCREDIBLY smooth and easy. Much easier to prime than a [k26]. The 3D printed brackets that hold the barrel in place make the blaster very accurate and stable. The 3D printed handle isn't comfortable by itself in my opinion, but the tape helps a lot. It is very compact and easy to wield, too.

Overall I'd say the blaster is very competitive, and I encourage people to look into buying one or making their own.

On a side note, he was using silicone domes. This cancelled out any dead-space from the bullpup design and it shot just as far as any other blaster out there.
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#33 Ryan201821

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 03:56 PM

On a side note, he was using silicone domes. This cancelled out any dead-space from the bullpup design and it shot just as far as any other blaster out there.

Thanks for the good words. I also used AMIORs quite a bit which had mixed results, but these definitely fired the coke (corn-starch) domes really well.
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#34 atomatron

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 06:13 PM

planning on selling any of these printed parts?
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#35 Ryan201821

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 07:01 PM

Eventually, but not initially. I'll have to wait at least until I get a printer of my own.

But yes, eventually.
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#36 DartSlinger

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 11:47 PM

This is basically how I understand the Latex Tubing Blaster to work. Correct me if I am wrong.


The entire blaster is held together by this piece here, which is sort of a giant snap-on handle that contains the catch and holds the blaster together.


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I don't exactly understand how your new priming system is working, but this is how I think it operates. Correct me if I am wrong.


This piece is inside the front tube


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and it pushes against this red piece, hence priming the blaster.


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Once again, I'm not sure if this is even correct, so correct me if I'm wrong.
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#37 KaneTheMediocre

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 12:22 AM

This is basically how I understand the Latex Tubing Blaster to work. Correct me if I am wrong.


The entire blaster is held together by this piece here, which is sort of a giant snap-on handle that contains the catch and holds the blaster together.



This is correct. It's a cut-down piece of 1.5" PVC.


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I don't exactly understand how your new priming system is working, but this is how I think it operates. Correct me if I am wrong.


This piece is inside the front tube


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and it pushes against this red piece, hence priming the blaster.


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Once again, I'm not sure if this is even correct, so correct me if I'm wrong.


The long piece you showed DOES go inside the foregrip, but it doesn't directly push on anything. The foregrip, which is a 1.5" PVC T with thinwall 1.5" PVC in the sockets, is bolted to a piece of 1" PVC that fits inside the 1 1/4" frame of the blaster. The long printed piece with the curved top is just a spacer that allows the 1" PVC and the 1.5" T to be connected rigidly. The 1" PVC is the part that directly pushes on the catch to prime the blaster.

The long printed piece in question goes a long way to help keep the priming handle straight and reduce torque-related priming friction, but it's not entirely required for the blaster to work.

Edited by KaneTheMediocre, 13 May 2013 - 12:23 AM.

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#38 DartSlinger

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 11:31 AM

The long piece you showed DOES go inside the foregrip, but it doesn't directly push on anything. The foregrip, which is a 1.5" PVC T with thinwall 1.5" PVC in the sockets, is bolted to a piece of 1" PVC that fits inside the 1 1/4" frame of the blaster. The long printed piece with the curved top is just a spacer that allows the 1" PVC and the 1.5" T to be connected rigidly. The 1" PVC is the part that directly pushes on the catch to prime the blaster.

The long printed piece in question goes a long way to help keep the priming handle straight and reduce torque-related priming friction, but it's not entirely required for the blaster to work.

So the orange printed piece is just a spacer that prevents the 1" PVC from hugging one side of the 1 1/4" PVC frame, and hence, causing friction. The orange piece basically keeps the 1" PVC centered, right?

Also, your bolts here are just long enough to go through the 1.5" tee, through the thinwall, through the orange spacer, and into the 1" PVC, but not long enough to interfere with the extension spring, right? If that is correct, what size and length are those bolts?

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#39 Meaker VI

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 12:03 PM

The entire handle is completely 3D printed. It only takes a total of four separate prints for all the pieces on this blaster, coming out to only about $9 of ABS. The handle came out quite ugly on one side thanks to support material. The texture is also pretty rough, but a little bit of tape makes them very comfy.


That sounds expensive; have you considered cleaning up a printed handle and then casting it out of something resilient & cheaper?

All in all, these types of blasters look really slick.
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#40 Ryan201821

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 06:20 PM

So the orange printed piece is just a spacer that prevents the 1" PVC from hugging one side of the 1 1/4" PVC frame, and hence, causing friction. The orange piece basically keeps the 1" PVC centered, right?

Also, your bolts here are just long enough to go through the 1.5" tee, through the thinwall, through the orange spacer, and into the 1" PVC, but not long enough to interfere with the extension spring, right? If that is correct, what size and length are those bolts?

The orange piece is more so the screws have something to go through in between the pump grip and the 1" piece. It also sorta centers the 1" or at least puts it in a position where it's not going to cause super friction.

Yes, that is correct and they're 1/2" long #6-32 screws.

That sounds expensive; have you considered cleaning up a printed handle and then casting it out of something resilient & cheaper?

All in all, these types of blasters look really slick.

Resin casting in my experience is more expensive. Resin is also a lot more brittle, weighs more (especialy since it's solid), and harder to work with compared to hitting a button and watching a handle come out. Before Kane got his 3d printer, we experimented with this quite a bit.

I can get a gallon of resin from work for only $80. Usually a kit like this would cost at least $120 anywhere retail. A gallon of resin would make roughly 20 handles (not including the front piece) assuming no waste, which would make them $4 a piece. The same handle only uses about 10 meters of filament which comes out to about $3 per handle.

So it's only a little cheaper, and there aren't really any advantages I can see to using resin.

If all of these pieces were cut out of sheet it would still come out to at least $5 worth of plastic, so for the labor being drastically reduced, it's totally worth the time printing them. Outside of the printed parts, the only other machining that is required to build one is machining a few tubes.
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#41 andtheherois

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 05:58 PM

Would you happen to have the part# for that extension spring?

As for the latex, how big was the loop you used? I've tried using it before with a 2" loop and was getting poor ranges.

Edited by andtheherois, 14 May 2013 - 06:02 PM.

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#42 Ryan201821

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 06:14 PM

Would you happen to have the part# for that extension spring?

9432K125 works well.

As for the latex, how big was the loop you used? I've tried using it before with a 2" loop and was getting poor ranges.

The loop is actually pretty small, only about 3 inches of latex tubing. The trick is to pre-tension the shit out it, and it should work well. This is one big drawback to using the latex.
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#43 TheSilentRebel

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 10:34 PM

Do you have templates available anywhere for the brackets that hold the wye and barrel to the body?
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#44 Super0dp

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 05:58 AM

Damn,that thing is sweet
I know I am a little late to the game but I have some questions.

1. Write-up? You have made several improvements and I think all of us would like to see one.
2. Templates for the 3D printed parts? Files maybe?
3. What is the printer you are using to print the parts?
4. Could you tension the tubing more to produve better results?

Edited by Super0dp, 15 May 2013 - 12:46 PM.

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#45 Ryan201821

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 04:30 PM

Do you have templates available anywhere for the brackets that hold the wye and barrel to the body?

Damn,that thing is sweet
I know I am a little late to the game but I have some questions.

1. Write-up? You have made several improvements and I think all of us would like to see one.
2. Templates for the 3D printed parts? Files maybe?
3. What is the printer you are using to print the parts?
4. Could you tension the tubing more to produve better results?


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

To answer your questions:
1. I'll get to that soon. I'll essentially have to do two write-ups, one for the 3d printed version, and one for the other.
2. Above. If anyone is looking to get Inventor and is a student, you can download it free from Autodesk's website. All the files were made in 2014, so it may not open in older versions. If you're printing the pieces, you'll want to use the stl files in some program that will convert it into gcode. I recommend Slic3r.
3. Kane has a Makergear Prusa Mendel. Most of these pieces don't require much precision but you'll need a largish bed for the larger pieces, at least a 7x7" area.
4. Not really. Sure, it'll shoot further at a certain point but it's not really going to add much range and it'll just be more difficult to prime. Since the blaster already has to be considerably pre-tensioned, its even more dicks to super tension it.

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 Ryan201821, 15 May 2013 - 04:33 PM.

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#46 kb18951452

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 05:30 AM

2 things.

Have you considered having the parts machined from sheet plastic, or plywood? Most plywood is crap, but there is some stuff you can get a specialty wood stores know as baltic or russian birch plywood (Cabinetshops use it for drawers because its really really dense and sturdy. Also, might the parts be made from HDPE in sheet form>?

The grip, someone mentioned its not incredible comfy. You might try making it a bit smaller, then once its all assembled, slap oogoo around it, and grip the oogoo with a soapy hand (oogoo wont stick to your soapy hand), to make a kind of custom fitted grip.

I ask about the machined options because thats what i have. I have a Very large CNC mill/router.
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#47 Meaker VI

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 10:48 AM

Have you considered having the parts machined from sheet plastic, or plywood?


I think I talked with Ryan about this in one of the prototype threads. The blaster is designed to be machinable with standard tooling, and would be pretty easy to crank out for someone with a proper wood/machine shop. Any sheet good would work; I suspect that even cheap plywood could be fine (but it'd look like junk). With good setup and planning, you could probably do it faster out of bar stock, but parts volume would need to be huge (Since you have a CNC mill, that would mean more work for you).

The grip, someone mentioned its not incredible comfy. You might try making it a bit smaller, then once its all assembled, slap oogoo around it, and grip the oogoo with a soapy hand (oogoo wont stick to your soapy hand), to make a kind of custom fitted grip.


Grip was designed to be built without a printer as well, so it's not as good as a printed grip could be.
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#48 kb18951452

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 12:22 PM

With good setup and planning, you could probably do it faster out of bar stock, but parts volume would need to be huge (Since you have a CNC mill, that would mean more work for you).


what do you mean Bar Stock? Bar-Stock plastic?
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#49 Exo

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 01:08 PM

It's a solid block (bar) of the material that you're machining (stock).
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#50 Ryan201821

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 01:44 PM

Yay, more updates.

After changing a lot of things again, I have a new iteration of these blasters.

I changed the priming linkage because of problems I had with the one slot version blasters at SPANO, a few weeks ago. Now I have two slots again, but not quite as long as the enormous slot I had to do for the previous version.

I printed two of these pieces which fit directly between the pump grip and 1" PVC. There is also a ring in the front you can't see which is basically a 3D printed version of 1.5" thinwall that has a slightly smaller ID, which gives a little bit of a closer fit over the 1 1/4" than thinwall does.

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Another thing you can't see is the piece where the screws will anchor into. There is a printed piece which fits inside the 1" thinwall, with about an ID of .85". Since the spacing is weird sizes, I had to use 5/8" long screws, which I had to get from McMaster.

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Yes, I know the barrel is crooked.
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Firing the blaster
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These next two pictures are the most important part of the update. Instead of the bronze bushings we've been using for blasters using 1/4" plunger rods, I made an o-ring seal which is held together by two 1/4" long x 1/2" diameter nylon spacers. They have a .252" hole that is just big enough for the plunger rod to pass. Originally, I tried printing these parts, but it seems Kane's printer can't do something that small while being precise enough for it to remotely seal.

I put all of these inside a 5/8" x 1/2" polycarbonate tube and glued them in with a bit of super glue to ensure a good seal. This little piece then goes inside my re-direct piece, which will actually be changed in the next blasters.

The reason I switched from the bronze bushings is because these o-rings have a much larger margin of error. With the bushings, if your plunger rod is slightly off center, it causes mad styles friction, which is no good. The o-ring seals probably about the same, but I really don't have any way of checking this since this blaster has so many areas that need to seal, and it's almost impossible to check each individual one.

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The next major revision was adding a check valve. Most nerfers live under the presumption they don't need one of these in a hoppered blasters. Well, you kinda do. After a only a handful of test shots, it seems to add a lot of reliability when firing.

The check valve consists of the same polycarbonate tubing, o-rings, and nylon spacers that the plunger rod seal uses. I super glued the o-ring to the nylon spacer where you want the ball to seal. The ball I used is a 7/16" HDPE ball, which is super light, and perfect for this application. The spring was the weakest one I could find on McMaster and has only about two or three coils of pretension on the HDPE ball.

How it works is, when you prime the blaster, air is sucked in the through the back causing the spring to compress and the ball moving back, letting air in through the check valve. Before you fire, the ball gets pushed back against the o-ring and seals. The cool thing is when you're priming and firing, you can feel the air get sucked back into the blaster, which makes me believe this actually works.

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The next, and hopefully final (for the time being) iteration of this blaster will feature a slightly different re-direct piece, but will mostly be the same form and function. The only reason for this is to save printing time and filament.

I'll also be putting in a half inch less draw. They already seem plenty powerful enough, which is why I have the optimal barrel on it. Domes will swirl out if you're using a full CPVC barrel. The staged barrel eliminates that effect and makes the blaster fire quite consistently. I printed the coupler from CPVC to PETG, since those don't exist.

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Oh yeah, it glows in the dark.
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