Jan 7, 2016 | By Alec
While it’s pretty hard to find a consensus on 3D printed guns within the 3D printing community, there’s an almost universal agreement that the rubber band-version is extremely cool. While they seem good for little more than shooting at some empty cans and torturing your nephews, just seeing a photo of a new 3D printed rubber band gun is enough to get your fingers itching. The same can be said about a new gun made by Kirby Downey, which is unique in at least one respect. While almost all 3D printed rubber band guns on the web feature a motorized firing mechanism, Kirby has just shared designs for a gun with a hand-powered firing mechanism.
If you’re a fan of 3D printed toy guns, you’ll have doubtlessly seen some of the work of Kirby before. He is London-based prop designer from South Africa who just loves 3D printed creations that do something, especially firing. He has previously shared designs for a number of very cool 3D printed guns, such as this 3D printed airsoft tribute to the Destiny video game.
As he’s been quiet for a few months, another surprising project was surely forthcoming and he has definitely delivered with his mechanical rubber band gun. As he explains to 3ders.org, it was inspired by another, more complex 3D printed rubber band gun. “I saw one on YouTube but this used a motor to drive the wheel. I wanted to create a fully mechanical one which required no electronics. One that anyone can build,” he tells us.
And he delivered. Working in SolidWorks, he designed this very flashy rubber band gun over the course of about a week. “[Much time went into] testing within solidworks assemblies, which helped to see if it would work before printing to avoid material waste. Each part takes around 4 to 8 hours to print depending on the actual part,” he says. It consists almost entirely of 3D printed parts, with three M5 Threaded rods and the two M5 Nuts being the only exceptions. In total, it consists of 25 parts, all of which were quite easy to 3D print and require very little clean up. It’s also fairly easy to assemble. All the pieces pretty much interlock with each other, and you just use a threaded rod to put it all together towards the end,” he says. Glue isn’t necessary, but a few drops will help you to keep all the parts together.
While it looks fantastic, there is more to this particular 3D printed rubber band gun than its coolness factor. The most interesting thing about it are the firing mechanics. You need to slowly thread every section with a piece of rope and put down one rubber band at a time to load the machine, which takes time but is well worth the effort. Every rubber band is touching a very long piece of string, and by cranking the mechanics, the thread is slowly rolled up to release the bands in quick succession. The bad guy will never know what hit him. Once you reach the last rubber band, all the string is tightly wound into place, and by unwinding it and placing rubber bands in place, you can start the slow process of recharging the gun. It’s a very clever system that enables you to load several dozen rubber bands on a single charge.
In our opinion, this is the coolest 3D printed rubber band gun we’ve seen so far, especially due to its clever firing mechanism and its almost 100% 3D printed nature. So if you’ve been considering building one, be sure to check out Kirby’s designs – which can be downloaded from MyMiniFactory here. Be sure to keep an eye on his page, as Kirby is already thinking about incorporating this gun into a turret and to create a few different versions. “This is only the beginning,” he promises.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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Charles Kemp wrote at 4/8/2016 10:45:07 PM:
This is a really cool rubber band gun. I have seen some that look just like guns. One thing that I would like to see is something like this as long as it is accurate. One thing I really want to do is have a rubber band war with my friends. It is a cheap little thing that you can do with your friends.