AMR

Designer Creates Incredible 3D Printed Crossbow

Share this Article

20160124_091530When people ask me about 3D printing, invariably the subject of 3D printed guns comes up. Obviously, they have heard of the Liberator and I think it’s only the second most popular question I get asked, the first being “when are we going to have real replicators like in Star Trek?” But for all the drama surrounding 3D printed firearms, it is very easy to purchase a gun in America and even to make one at home with a milling machine. At least in my opinion, 3D printed firearms aren’t very practical or interesting, but I guess they have shock value. However, sometimes weapons can be things of real beauty and when properly designed a 3D printed weapon can be beautiful, too.

I recently saw a 3D printed crossbow hanging in the Greenpoint Gallery in Brooklyn, amidst a wall of abstract paintings. Grant Goldner, the designer of the crossbow, believes that weapons have a power that goes beyond their ability to kill. He believes the practice of target shooting with the crossbow can be a Zen experience. As Goldner explains:

“Why print a weapon? Aligning my bolt (arrow) to the distant target, I realized this indelible power is a tool for meditation, not an act of violence… now, what you choose to aim at may dissolve that logic. However, in target practice, like all other parts of life, if I can get past the immediate urge to pull the trigger and take a breath to properly align to the target, I reduce chances of injuring myself and hit closer on point.”

Goldner sees the crossbow as a union of both ancient and contemporary technologies, each with equally importance capabilities. His process of creating the crossbow was a marriage of modern and time honored techniques. The bow is hand tillered (carved) hickory while the stock is printed out of PLA. According to Goldner, the tillering process to carve the bow requires a tillering stick on which you mount the bow and pull down in increasing increments to determine if one side bends more than the other. If one side remains more stiff you remove material until an equal bend is achieved.20160124_091545

The rifle stock is printed in 5 sections, including the PLA trigger mechanism, which has shown no sign of wear regardless of being subjected to high stress. Golden predicts that the wooden bow would wear out before the trigger does. Printing the sections with their longest side vertically allowed him to increase strength of the crossbow. The print layers add compressive strength when the bow string is stretched over the individual sections.

“3D printing the crossbow allowed me to provide a human-centered design approach,” says Goldner. “The infill of the print maintains the structure yet creates an incredibly light weighted experience. The rifle stock was designed to fit my body. Countless cardboard forms were mocked up to find the perfect fit. Once dimensions were established they were transfered to Autodesk’s Fusion 360. The trigger grip is contoured to my palm while cradling my thumb. The butt of the stock is curved inwards to sit on my shoulder and elevates the cheek rest to reduce straining my neck.”

The designer’s enthusiasm for his creation certainly has me seeing this traditional weapon in a new light. His attention to detail and human-centered design is impressive. You can see more of his work on his website, including biomimicry designs including his humpback whale inspired surfboard fins. I expect we’ll be seeing many more inspired creations from this young designer.

Here’s a video of the crossbow in action and some images of the crossbow:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlgJT8eVQ6w&feature=youtu.be

Share this Article


Recent News

Kings 3D Breaks Ground on $70M 3D Printing Hub in China

An Intertwined Future: 3D Printing Nanocellulose



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Regular, Medium, and Large Format 3D Printing Explained

At Additive Manufacturing (AM) Research and on 3DPrint.com, we use the terms regular, medium, and large format to segment the 3D printing market. We developed these terms to help bring...

Global Materials Group Acquires Canadian Hardfacing Metal Firm, Boosting 3D Printing Portfolio

Consolidation in the additive manufacturing (AM) service bureau segment continues to take place. The latest news sees international provider Wall Colmonoy acquire Indurate Alloys Ltd., a Canadian supplier of hardfacing...

Featured

Beyond Chuck Hull’s Legacy: the Unsung Heroes Who Paved the Way for 3D Printing

Next month, we will celebrate a huge anniversary. 40 years ago, on August 8, 1984, Charles Hull filed a patent application for stereolithography: the first additive manufacturing technique in history,...

3DPOD Episode 207: 3D Printed Electronics with Richard Neill, CEO of Advanced Printed Electronic Solutions

Rich Neill is refreshingly clear and direct about 3D printed electronics. His previous venture allowed him to start Advanced Printed Electronic Solutions with his own money, making him beholden to...