Instructables Community Manager Mike (user name: mikeasaurus) has designed and released an edgier way to get your beer to your mouth all while keeping your hands from getting cold (or even worse…making the beer warm). His concept? Take the fracas that has arisen around the issue of 3D printed weaponry and pull the rug out from under it. And, of course, we all know that nothing mixes like guns and alcohol, right?
Mike is quick to caution readers that before they begin to pen angry letters about the dangers of such production that they realize the ‘gun’ doesn’t actually shoot anything. It is simply an entertaining way to tip the beer to your lips. Unlike the iStab, a 3D printed iPhone case complete with sharpened shiv for those nasty confrontations among hipster gangs, there is nothing assault worthy about this shooter. In other words, this gun couldn’t hurt somebody unless you snuck up behind them and hit them with it. As Mike says though:
“Obviously this is a novelty creation. Using the beer shooter anywhere is really a bad idea.”
The first step to creating the beer shooter is to get Meshmixer, a free software from Autodesk for entry level designers that allows them to mix together multiple models. Having that software then leads to a need for the files to mix together. Mike got his files from GrabCAD which charges nothing more than your information in order to have access to its library of free CAD files. For this project, he downloaded two files to mix a Colt 1911 CAD model and a beer bottle CAD model.
Particularly helpful in this instructable is the step-by-step walkthrough that Mike provides of the Meshmixer mash up. While it probably won’t be the project chosen to orient middle school students to using the software, it is a sufficiently complex and yet relatively simple project that is a great way for an adult to become familiar with the software. Alternatively, if you have beer that needs to get shot more quickly, you can skip down to step 12.
Once the files have been created, they are ready to be exported to the STL format and can either be printed from home or by sending them to Shapeways for production. Mike shows his beer shooter being printed in two parts in order to reduce the need for support material on a stereolithographic printer. It took nine hours for the print to be complete, after which the parts were removed from the print bed, cleaned, and prepared for final assembly. After the epoxy used in the assembly is fully dried, a finish coat of mineral oil gives the piece a shine and darkens the exterior.
I’m sure it would be possible to imagine that the creation was a commentary on Americana or the relationship between alcohol and death, but frankly, I really think it’s just meant not to be taken too seriously. Sometimes a beer shooter is just a beer shooter.
Whether you think this beer shooter model is a fun idea or a problem from the start, it probably caught your attention! Let us know your reaction to this Instructables design over at the 3D Printed Beer Shooter forum thread at 3DPB.com.