Adrian van Wijk says his LoomLauncher is the world’s first 3D printed, mechanical, multi-shot, self-priming, rubber-band launcher – and it’s all designed to be 3D printed in a single run.
A sustainability advocate and a dad of two boys, van Wijk has 20+ years of product development behind him and his designs have been granted multiple patents and won international and eco design awards. Working out of Vancouver, Canada, the designer has taken a bit of a flight of fancy for this design, and he says it all started when he saw a vintage rubber band gun made using 19th century tools.
“I wondered, how the same idea would look in today’s world of 21st century technology?” van Wijk says. “And so, it started with a stick… and after many handcrafted keyboard strokes and 27 prototypes later, the Loom Launcher was born: a rubber band launcher designed for the 21st century. You can even 3D print it yourself and have it materialize before your very eyes.”
And this is no low-tech device. It uses Rainbow Loom® rubber bands, features a Pallet Anchor trigger mechanism and the type of ratchet used in mechanical clocks.
“What makes this design unique is all the parts are printed in one go with a laser powered 3D printer, and the energy needed to make the mechanism work comes from the elastic bands you load into the launcher,” van Wijk says. “I’ve worked with many mechanisms (even patented a few) and have never seen anything like this before, so I want to share it with everyone.”
The Loom Launcher allows the user to shoot up to a dozen mini rubber bands, it’s semi-automatic and has a “self-priming trigger,” is made from 3D printed nylon, and depending on which level of commitment you make to his Kickstarter campaign--seeking to raise $3,600 CAD (around $2,700 USD) by September 25–can include a range extender, a laser sight, internal “ammunition” storage or a display stand.
A pledge of $5 (CAD) yields the STL and STEP files which will allow the printing of the device, and a pledge of $48 will receive the files, free shipping and a top of the line “Dirty Harry” style Loom Launcher with the adjustable laser mount and a mini laser pointer.
In addition, van Wijk says 1% of all the total Kickstarter commitments will go to a global network of non-profit organizations dedicated to environmental protection.
He says the design has been “tried and tested, so lock and load.”
The LoomLauncher does, according to the designer, require that users operate it with “a little responsibility and common sense,” but there is a list of warnings.
The list, in much the same spirit as the warnings which come emblazoned on step ladders and hair dryers, includes these caveats:
- Load the Loom Launcher and use as instructed in the “How to use” leaflet.
- Obey the laws regarding toy guns in your jurisdiction!
- For your own safety, never hold and point a toy gun in public.
- Rubber bands are a choking hazard.
- Don’t shoot at people or animals (including pets).
- Don’t put elastic bands in the eyes, ears, nose or mouth of people, or animals (including pets).
- Don’t stretch the elastic bands over body parts of people or animals (including pets).
- Keep out of the reach of people (including small children) or animals (especially pets) who may not understand the above warnings.
Anubis 3D will be acting as van Wijk’s partner and printing the initial production run on demand.
The designer says that, as the Loom Launcher is printed as a single part, there will never be a need for replacement parts, but adds that the device has been extensively tested and should print on any filament printer with a 100 mm² build plate in SLS Nylon.
What do you think about the LoomLauncher? Do you need one of these and would you hand it over to your kids? Let us know in the 3D Printed Loom Launcher Rubber Band Gun forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the Loom Launcher Kickstarter campaign video below.
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