Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Kirby Downey’s 3D Printed Machine Gun Brilliantly Replaces Bullets with Rubber Bands

ST Medical Devices

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Screenshot (322)MyMiniFactory lead designer Kirby Downey is steeped in the world of 3D printing, cosplay, and video games. Less than a month ago, 3DPrint.com reported that a simple look at his MyMiniFactory profile reveals “tons of replica video game weapons and cosplay props that would put most Hollywood prop designers to shame.” With over one hundred “highly complicated 3D models” to boast of, Downey has achieved a fan base, and he has his own YouTube channel and a MyMiniFactory TV channel that live-stream his projects. One of his latest projects, which comes with a YouTube video, is a Rubber Band Gun. Like his other designs, he shares his 3D design process and the final result: an awesome non-lethal gun that promises hours of entertaining fun for its users.

This gun is 400 x 235 x 275 mm, and it is all mechanical and 3D printed, “except for the metal rods running through it,” according to Downey. Made up of easily assembled parts that interlock with each other and thread together with metal rods, you can download the files here if you’d like to make one of your own. Not sure yet? You may want to have one after you see Downey’s video of how this gun works.

The ingenious design has a handy handle at the end that resembles a hand-held mixer handle. It couldn’t be easier to quickly shoot rubber bands in any direction you deem necessary. But the really impressive aspect of the design, which makes Downey’s unique talents shine, is how he engineers the plastic rod-like pieces with grooves to systematically shoot the rubber bands.

band1The key here? String. Yes, that’s right. String is wrapped around the rods that constitute the gun’s “barrel” — if you will — and grooves hold the string into place. Then rubber bands are placed over the string one at a time; Downey is looking into making an automatic rubber band re-loader for his gun at a later date. As the handle quickly turns the gun’s body around, the string unravels and propels the rubber bands forward. It’s so cool that I just want to go back to junior high with this contraption.

Since Kirby Downey is a native South African now residing in London, maybe he should quickly get to Washington D.C. Our trigger happy nation could use his input. For not too much longer, we have a President interested in both 3D printing and gun control legislation. The mechanical, almost fully 3D printed Rubber Band Gun could be the solution here. Help wean people off bullets and get them onto rubber bands. Don’t get me wrong, rubber bands can hurt too, but they are by no means lethal as a general rule.

My only issue with this design is that he has not 3D printed a device for picking those rubber bands off the floor after you’ve shot them all. But for all we know, Downey has a design in the works for that problem, too.  Will you be 3D Printing this design out?  Let us know in the 3D Printed Machine Gun forum on 3DPB.com.band2

 

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