“You wanna play guns?”
That’s the phrase that I would hear about 75% of the time when I would pick up the phone from one of my friends in the late 1980’s. I was only 8 or 9 years old at the time, and my friends and I had formed quite the ritual of getting together after school in the woods behind one of our houses to play with our many NERF guns. We would spend hours on end seeing who could shoot each other the most with our soft foam ammunition, while trying to avoid getting shot by our buddies.
1969 was the year in which Parker Brothers came out with the famous foam-based NERF weapons, and they have remained popular ever since. Currently owned by Hasbro, the fun, completely safe guns have evolved slightly over the years but they remain quite similar to the orginal products. Now 3D printing may begin to make the idea behind NERF weaponry even more interesting.
We have seen numerous 3D printed modifications for NERF guns come about over the past couple of years, such as the Nerf Barrel Extension Adapter, the Nerf Gun Scope, and more. Now we are beginning to see homemade NERF-like guns come off of 3D printers, ready to duplicate or even exceed the quality of shooting provided by the age-old brand.
The latest of these is one from a ROBO3D 3D Printer owner, who goes by the username 1nxtmonster. He decided to take the idea of a NERF gun and make something a bit different.
“It is very powerful, much more than a normal NERF gun,” explains 1nxtmonster. “I drew up the parts in CAD and printed it out in green PLA. The only parts that aren’t printed are the PVC, the O-rings, and 2 hose clamps.”
While the design leaves a lot to be desired for as far as aesthetics go, the fact that it can shoot faster than the typical NERF gun would certainly be pretty exciting to any NERF lover out there. The design will improve though, as its designer has plans to modify it to remove the need for the hose clamps. Design files for the gun can be found on Thingiverse.
“The trigger mechanism is my favorite part,” he explains. “The trigger moves a linkage in a slot in the gun so that the force on the linkage from the piston doesn’t move the trigger. A rubber band keeps the trigger pulled forwards so that when you pull back the piston it will catch the piston by itself.”
While this is the latest of the 3D printed NERF-like weapons, it certainly isn’t the first. Back in 2011, a Nerfhaven member who goes by the name SorrowX released STL files for a gun he called his Nerf Blaster. The files still remain up on Thingiverse, where anyone can download and print this gun free of charge.
Back in 2012, probably the most popular NERF-like gun was released on Thingiverse by a man named Andrew Diehl, and over 75 people have since downloaded and 3D printed it. The gun, called the LF1 – Foam Dart Blaster, is completely NERF compatible, and can shoot with a range of close to 50 feet.
NERF has pretty much held a monopoly on their foam arsenal of toys, although 3D printing may end up presenting a bit of a challenge in the future. While one of their famous slogans says, “Accept No Substitutes,” eventually it may no longer hold true.
What do you think? Does 3D printing present a threat to NERF, a brand that has been around for over 45 years now? What do you think about these 3D printed NERF-like guns? Discuss in the 3D Printed NERF forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video of 1nxtmonster’s 3D printed gun below: