One piece, 3D printed crossbow


Centuries ago, craftsmen and smiths of all sort spent hundreds of hours crafting a crossbow. From the fine craftsmanship that went into making the bow to the impeccable smithing a windlass requires, a lot of effort went into building a machine of war. Since [Chris] has a 3D printer, he figured he could do just as well as these long-dead craftsmen and fabricate a crossbow in under a day.

What’s really interesting about [Chris]‘ crossbow is that it is only a single piece of plastic. The bow is integrated into the stock, and the trigger works by some creative CAD design that takes advantage of the bendability of plastic. The only thing required to shoot a bolt from this crossbow is a piece of string. That, and a few chopsticks.

He won’t be taking part in any sieges, but [Chris]‘ weapon is more than capable of shooting a bolt across a room or launching a balsa wood airplane. You can see an example of this after the break.


  1. okowsc says:

    Wont be long before 3d printed nukes

  2. Ryoku says:

    novel, but I’m sure its been done before. not to mention I expected a mention to the fire cracker cross bow from around the beginning of the year. certainly is homely so I wonder what his orientation was when he printed it I can understand the flex in the trigger but all the “top” facing surfaces look unfinished or at least considerably gouged out. not bad though at least it douse what its designed to do: put someones eye out at a short distance =P

  3. Dustin says:

    It looks like this guy has hit HaD three blog posts in a row now. Why not just make him a featured contributor or something…

  4. sean says:

    To save some people’s monitors from the inevitable spittle that results from posting in a seething rage, yes, “CAD design” is redundant. There. I’ve said it so you don’t have to. Don’t you feel better now?

    • Ryoku says:

      lol, I have the same reaction when the words 3D and CG are mentioned in the same sentence. same with textures and maps (in context to meaning the same thing) its like the writers of grandmas boy sometimes. there is journalistic writing in building hype for the subject then there is the abuse of buzz words. before the mods get butt hurt I couldn’t write any better because I use integrated spell check in FF quite a bit so my teasing of you is nothing of the teasing I’d expect from regular readers of my opinions and I’m sure there are detractors there of; haters gonna hate, as they say. don’t get to mad because we love you all the same =3

      • tim says:

        Not all Computer Graphics (CG) are rendered in 3D.
        Not all maps in 3D CG are for textures.

        • Ryoku says:

          true but I’ve seen a number of reviews on games and movies with statements like “this 3d CGI this” and “amazing CG 3d fx on that” [referring to 3d children animated movies], then there are people who use “diffuse/spec/height material texture”; makes me face palm. just saying, pet peeve, we all have them ^^;

          • Pilotgeek says:

            … but even in those instances, it’s not redundant? 2D CGI exists and 3D objects obviously exist without computers. One is not necessarily a subset of the other. What are you complaining about the diffuse / specular highlight maps for??

          • nebulous says:

            3D CGI is not redundant. 3D merely means three-dimensional, and CGI means Computer Generated Images. A three-dimensional computer generated image is a very real and distinct concept. However, computer aided design design (CAD Design) is from the Department of Redundancy Department.

            Anyway, crossbows taking hundreds of hours? I can’t imagine it being more than dozens of hours, if they were craftsmen and setting up production runs.

          • Eirinn says:

            There’s widely different crossbows. The tiny ones and the huge ones ;)

    • Sven says:

      Not quite, lots of words can be used to describe what comes out of a CAD program, drawings, images, projects, designs etc. depending on what you do and what type of CAD you use.

      Now were someone to mention a ‘CD disc’ i would bite their head off :P

  5. a21 says:

    ‘CAD design’ is indeed redundant but is not as unneeded as ‘What’s really interesting’.

    • Hitek146 says:

      Maybe a little, but not as bad as saying “LCD display”…

      At the time I took my college CAD courses(we used AutoCAD), CAD stood for “Computer Aided Drafting”. Drafting, referring to the art of manually drawing blueprints(on paper – Gasp!) before CAD was widely available…

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