Finally took the hour to put everything together:
Works ok, considering I kludged most of the parts. I used an oring instead of a skirt seal with my plunger head, a rubber grommet I found instead of a seal in the pusher-redirect, oak dowels instead of nylon (though that is probably less of a kludge, they seem to be doing their part just fine), an RSCB instead of a Y, and the list probably goes on. Unfortuneatly, the RSCB doesn't attach the way the Y does so the front support I griped about doesn't fit. Womp-womp.
My really sketchy range test puts an elite sucker dart out of that RSCB at around 21 paces. A triad fired the same way with the same dart went 16 paces.
- The built is *super* easy to put together, once you have the parts in front of you. The parts are not all easy to acquire though, ideally you'd need a McMaster order, a 3d printer/order, and a trip to the hardware store for 1-1/4" PVC, 1-1/2" PVC, 1-1/2" 200 PSI PVC, and 1/2" CPVC (even if you're using something else for the barrels, you need a stub to plug into the blaster). Most of the machining is easy, but requires some attention.
- The trigger is tricky and finicky. Partly this is due to my changes, but partly due to the blaster's design:
- You need a slot cut in the 1-1/4" PVC to accommodate the sear, but because it's in a solid printed part, the position it needs to be in is really hard to judge. A cutting template would help, but you'd also have to take care to drill the stock/trigger holder part into place after cutting so you know for sure the sear fits correctly. I'm pretty sure I used a 1/2" drill bit to make the slot that the sear rides in and cleaned up the holes by tipping the drill, and then followed up with a knife.
- The part *I* may have caused is the pull - it is stiff. But again, I'm using my own plunger head that uses an oring instead of Aeromech's that uses some kind of fancy seal.
- Another finicky bit - the connection between the trigger and the plunger is difficult to work out, again because the trigger sear is completely encased in a printed part that needs to stay firmly attached to the PT. I suppose using a clear PT would help with this, but deciding how much length to put on the trigger rod took experimentation, and then figuring out where to attach the trigger took more experimentation. My version does not have the trigger stopped in any way from just falling out of the blaster, which is fine for my experimental use, but not ideal for a production/war ready blaster.
- The stock terrifies me slightly. It shouldn't just explode, but there is a lot of force being put onto that printed piece. Putting a PVC spring-retention ring in wouldn't be hard and would probably make the stock qualms less relevant.
- The grip feels awesome and solid (I didn't print it solid, it just feels solid - I think I used 1.6mm walls w/20% infil and printed with support. The end touching the grip-clamp was down), but the attachment was a bear. I'm not actually sure how Aeromech did it, but I drilled out the holes that are on the inside and screwed it on from outside. Remodeling that for better/easier attachment would be preferable.
- Aligning the grip and the stock is very important and shouldn't be rushed, I may have a sticky trigger because mine doesn't align perfectly.
- Many of the printed parts suffer from a similar, difficult to avoid, problem: You've got holes pre-drilled in them, and you really need to use those holes (and only those!) because the printer put extra material there. But you can't *see* those holes when you're driving your screws, so you need to figure out a way to transpose the marks from a printed piece to a non-printed piece. I didn't do it for the front grip (not shown, pressure is enough to move the PH-pusher forward, a screw sticking out does the rest), did it for the support (but then had to take it off anyway to put the front grip on and it wasn't doing anything), and drilled out the grip so I could attach it from the outside. Short of more printed pieces, I'm not sure how you'd get around the issue elegantly. Templates are a possible inelegant solution.
All-in-all, it's a cool blaster and you should build one if you've got a printer and can get the right parts. It isn't as plug-and-play as it looks, but the machining time is pretty trivial once you figure out a way to get it done. If you don't have a printer, wait for Slug's version, which looks like it'll trade printer time for your time, but then be easier to assemble when you're done cutting it out.