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Member Since 24 Jul 2008
Offline Last Active Aug 27 2013 04:23 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Another Simple 3D Printed Blaster

08 May 2012 - 05:22 PM

Hey everyone, sorry this took forever, but the parts and BOM are finally posted.


In Topic: Another Simple 3D Printed Blaster

21 February 2012 - 08:57 PM

Langley, I replied to your pm a bunch of times but kept getting errors. Hopefully one made it through.

I used PLA for the catch since it is a lower friction material and a a bit stiffer than abs for better wear.

I got a few hundred hits to my website from the hack a day feature just from Google searches so I'm assuming NH got a fairly high load of traffic.

I swear I'll post the files asap. They are all done, just have been forgetful :)

In Topic: Another Simple 3D Printed Blaster

16 February 2012 - 11:41 AM

This is really a very cool design, and just looking at the PT I imagine it could be a pretty badass blaster with a proper barrel.

However, if you have the time, I'd like to ask a few more questions about the actual printout. I understand if you can't answer some of these questions because of your business model, but I'm gonna ask them anyway:

-What size filament did you use for this print?
-What do you estimate your printer's resolution to be, for this print?
-Did this print require alot of support material?
-What software are you using for slicing and g-code generation?
-If you are using Skeinforge, what settings did you use?

And then a couple purely nerd-driven questions about the Fablicator:
-How are you driving the axes on your printer? Steppers and lead screws? Linear actuators?
-How much power does it consume?
-How often do you have to change that cool borosilicate build bed?
-Is the build platform heated?

-The printer uses 1.75mm filament.
-The 'resolution'for this print is .25mm layer height, .4mm extrusion width.
-This print required a moderate amount of support, but only for the curves on the exterior of the case. Anything less than a 45deg angle does not require support. I could have designed it so no support was necessary, but it would make the blaster far less comfortable to hold.
-I used skeinforge, Pronterface, Marlin for the tool-chain that made the blaster in the photo, but are moving to kisslicer/pronterface/marlin as it is way faster.
-Oh god, there are too many skeinforge settings to list. If you really want to know I'll pm you my config file. There is nothing particularly unique about it.

-Axes are driven by Nema 17 stepper motors with 1/4in mxl belts.
-The printer uses about 400W. Most of that is to heat the bed.
-The bed never needs to be changed unless you drop something on it....
-The build platform is heated to 110C for ABS and 70C for PLA. It can get hotter, but we limit it because at higher temps the ABS can actually stick so well the bed will chip when you try to get it off.

In Topic: Another Simple 3D Printed Blaster

11 February 2012 - 02:22 PM

The Makerbot Thing-o-Matic (http://www.makerbot.com/) goes for about $1000, if I recall. I don't know how much a RepRap (http://reprap.org/wiki/Main_Page) goes for, since it is a diy sort of thing, but I would guess possibly as low as half that if you are resourceful.

I personally want a CNC mill. It's like a 3d printer, but it carves material away instead of slowly adding it (think glorified robot dremel instead of glorified robot hot glue gun). Mainly, I want to be able to machine parts out of aluminum. I've priced having a few custom blaster parts built locally, and, uh, they didn't get past the quote stage. I'm thinking about getting crafty and making my own though: http://www.instructa...com/id/DIY-CNC/

The neat thing is, the only difference between the two is that a 3D printer has an extruding tool head, and a CNC mill has a cutting tool head. The rest of them work the same.

The Makerbot Thing-o-Matics are fun kits, but they do have their drawbacks (print size, part quality). They usually run for about 1300 and I believe they are begin discontinued for a new printer costing 1750 (but I don't know for sure)

You can certainly make your own printer from scratch, but it takes a looooong time and a lot of knowledge to get it working well. That's how I started, actually (www.reprap.org)

A cnc mill and 3d printer share a common principle, but things purpose built for either are not ideal for conversion. CNC mills generally are pretty slow for 3d printing, as rigidity is far more important than speed when cutting aluminum. Also, 3d printers require a heated printing surface and temperature control for the extruder which makes CNC conversions a little tricky.

As for support material, my printer can auto generate sparse support with the same material it prints the object with, which just gets broken off after the print is done. It takes some effort and leaves less than ideal surface finish, but it works for most things.

I make all my models in Solidworks.

In Topic: Another Simple 3D Printed Blaster

07 February 2012 - 10:49 PM

I think there is something to the idea of having printed lower and upper receivers. You don't even need to print them as functional blasters. you can just print shells that join in the middle via pins (like an AR15). The lower could just be a trigger and or a stock, and the upper can just be a plunger tube and a catch. How they are customized could be left up to the end user. You can make uppers with plunger tubes just large enough for pistol rounds, or ones large enough to be considered primaries. I guess the advantage to the system would be you have a dedicated lower with features you are already used to, with interchangeable uppers you can use to adjust to different scenarios. That way you are used to the ergonomics of the blaster regardless of the round. This should help with your aim. But I guess this doesn't matter too much since we are dealing with nerf darts here.

Definitely something to consider.

I just ordered a pile of springs and other parts so I can start playing and get some better ideas about what size/power I need.

Maybe I'll take commissions in the fairly distant future, but they would be pretty expensive. I'm going to try and do a bunch of open source blaster designs right now for advertising purposes (to show off the printer) and I'll be investing a lot of time into those. Hopefully something there will meet your needs.

Since it was asked, the Fablicator will be selling in the $2500-$3000 range.