Feb 15, 2016 | By Alec

What’s more fun than a cool and functional 3D printing project? A 3D printed toy that can be used to (harmlessly) shoot people in the face, of course. That, in a nutshell, is the biggest selling point of the FDL-1, the most impressive 3D printed foam dart gun/turret we’ve seen. More importantly, a crowdfunding campaign for this automatically firing, high-powered and remote controllable foam dart launcher has just gone live, meaning you can now get your hands on it yourself.

This flashy dart launcher has been developed by Jesse Kovarovics, a software programmer from Atlanta, Georgia. An avid tinkerer with a background in software development, CAD, and audio engineering, he designed this cool gun to cope with an unusual office situation: his coworkers have the lovely habit of firing foam darts at each other, and the FDL-1 was designed to show them exactly who’s boss. “The FDL-1 is the culmination of years of taking things apart and putting them back together. A perfect storm of hobby technology and geek creativity, the FDL-1 is a project for makers and tinkerers,” Jesse proudly says of his gun. Through his Kickstarter campaign, Jesse is now trying to put this gun in the hands of like-minded office warriors, either as a 3D printed kit, or as a DIY 3D printing project.

In a nutshell, it fires darts faster and farther than any similar gun on the market. “The speed of the flywheel motors can be adjusted on the fly, meaning you can launch darts at a gentle, office safe speed, at near paintball level velocities or anywhere in between,” Jesse explains. “It is fully automatic and capable of launching an entire clip's worth of darts in a matter of seconds with a single pull of the trigger. It is created for the hobbyist market where bigger is better and it promises to deliver.”

Further setting this cool gun apart from other similar creations, is the fact that the FDL-1 is robotic. “It is controlled by a programmable Particle Photon microchip rather than pure mechanics. This allows it to be tuned and tweaked to perform to its users ideals. It can carry out preprogrammed commands and repetitive maneuvers as well as given the precise locations of targets,” Jesse explains. Connecting to Wi-Fi, it can be operated from anywhere with an internet connection, whether it’s through your smartphone, tablet, or PC. This remote control option is especially useful for the turret form (the other being a blaster). “It can be converted between the two forms with ease. In turret form, you can place the FDL-1 on a desk or even mount it on the corner of a cubicle. You operate it from your device with a web app on the FDL-1 website,” Jesse says.

But aside from looking very cool and shooting very well, the FDL-1 is also a very impressive making creation. Completely 3D printed aside from some hardware and electronics, it has been designed to be 3D printed on a typical desktop 3D printer (provided you have a build space of 6"x6"x6"). The one visible here was 3D printed on a Printrbot Simple Metal. Through this crowdfunding campaign, Jesse hopes to put those 3D printable files into the hands of others. Through his detailed instructions, it should be easy to recreate this very cool gun. “All of this will be provided under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license. That means anyone may copy, distribute, modify, create, and even sell derivatives of the FDL-1 as long as the original author is given credit for the original design and that those derivatives also carry the same license,” he says.

You might think, why back a campaign if the schematics will be made available for free? But Jesse is not only helping people get their hands on full kits (either with 3D printed components or with 3D printable stl files), but he will also use the funds gathered through Kickstarter to expand upon the FDL-1 concept. “Think tank treads, wheels, cameras, motion sensors, etc. The possibilities are endless. I will build a website to sell this lineup as well as host the files and schematics needed to print and create your own parts” he says. He will also try to set up a 3D printing farm to make production easier.

It is, in short, a very ambitious project and Jesse believes he will need $15,000 to get realize his plans. When backing this campaign, you will not only get early access to the 3D printable files, but you can also order full kits of the necessary electronics. For more information on pledging and rewards, check out the Kickstarter page for the 3D printed FDL-1 here.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Pam Andersen-Luddy wrote at 2/15/2016 10:00:56 PM:

This looks awesome! Good Luck to Jesse. I am brainstorming possible uses (office pranks) for this device!

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