Aug 17, 2017 | By Benedict

Miros, a maker from Slovakia, has built a 3D printed coilgun “without massive capacitors.” The weapon uses battery-powered coils, and is powerful enough to (slightly) dent a piece of wood using metal ammunition.

While some countries have taken an aggressively defensive stance over 3D printed guns, most people agree that maker experiments like this 3D printed coilgun are just harmless fun. Harmless, unless you’re Miros’ wooden target, that is.

Coilguns, sometimes known as Gauss rifles, are projectile accelerators that use electromagnetic coils to accelerate a ferromagnetic or conducting projectile. While coilguns can be fairly complex pieces of equipment, projects like this one demonstrate that—with the right tools—anyone can fabricate a simple version of a coilgun at home.

Likened to “a slingshot from the future,” Slovakian Miros’ coilgun does away with the “huge and expensive capacitors” often used to power home-made coilguns, instead using batteries to power its explosive coils.

The result is an improvised-looking device capable of firing 7 mm or 8 mm steel rods with enough force to just about penetrate a wooden target.

“Whilst it's kind of useless, it's a lot of fun to play with,” Miros says.

The 3D printed coilgun is powered by quadcopter LiPo batteries, two 1400 MaH drone batteries wired up in series, and 21SWG copper coils that made with a 3D printed winding rig. This rig allowed the maker to set the coils down evenly.

The coilgun is controlled by an Arduino Nano microcontroller which, when triggered, activates two IRF3205 MOSFETS with logic signals set at 20V.

In terms of 3D printing, Miros printed a set of 3D plastic tubes to help him wind the coils. He does say, however, that the gun would still function without these parts. In future, new interations of the coilgun will feature a “3D printed enclosure,” likely improving the aesthetic of the coilgun while ensuring that all the components stay where they’re supposed to be.

Worryingly, Miros suggests that further coils could be introduced to make the gun more powerful! We’ll leave that task to those who know what they’re doing.

“This is, as I mentioned, just a prototype and I will be building a five or six-stage coilgun with a nice 3D printed exterior and everything,” Miros says in the demonstration video embedded below.

A detailed Instructables guide for the coilgun can be found here, while 3D files for the 3D printed components can be found here on Thingiverse.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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V2006 wrote at 11/8/2017 11:14:24 PM:

A working model of a electromagnetic mass accelerator (mobile test bench) in HD quality

Steve Spence wrote at 8/18/2017 6:54:49 PM:

IRL series MOSFET's are a better match for the Arduino. 5v logic.

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