3D printed guns, laws and regulations, and philosophical discussions on the nature of printed objects

For as long as they’ve been banded about, 3D printers were regarded as the path to a new economy, a method of distributed manufacturing, and a revolution for the current consumer culture. With every revolution, a few people need to get angry and the guys at Defense Distributed are doing their part to make that happen. They’re designing a handgun able to be printed on a hobbyist-level 3D printer

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a 3D printable weapon; this 3D printed AR-15 lower receiver is the only part of an AR-15 that contains the ID markings and serial number. Legally, the AR lower is the gun, and requires a background check to purchase (with the footnote that this varies from state to state and country to country – long story short, the BATFE probably isn’t happy about a 3D printed AR lower). The one drawback of a 3D printed AR-15 lower is that every other part of the gun must be purchased elsewhere. This is where Defense Distributed comes in: they propose designing a gun that is 100% printable on a hobbist-level 3D printer such as a RepRap or Makerbot.

Right now, Defense Distributed is looking for funding to produce two gun designs. The first design, WikiWep A will serve as a research build, allowing Defense Distributed to answer a few questions on what can be built with a RepRap. WikiWep B will have moving parts for the firing action and very nearly all the parts will be printable on a RepRap or Makerbot.

In the video Defense Distributed put up for their now cancelled IndieGoGo campaign (available after the break), the guys talk about the distribution of a CAD file of completely 3D printable weapon being a threshold of a new economy where laws and regulations cease to apply. We’re not sure we agree with that statement; after all, anyone with some metal forming tools can build an excellent weapon to acquire another weapon, but we’re interested in seeing what governments and regulators will make of Defense Distributed’s project.

Continue reading “3D printed guns, laws and regulations, and philosophical discussions on the nature of printed objects”

Controlling a spud gun with an Arduino

We’re a long way from the Aquanet-powered plastic pipe spud guns of our youth. [smirpab] over on the SpudFiles forum posted a work in progress of an amazing replica AS50 sniper rifle he’s building. This pneumatic cannon goes above and beyond any air-powered rifle we’ve seen with an Arduino that is able to switch between automatic, semi-automatic, and burst modes with an LCD display and a rate of fire control.

The mechanics of [smirpab]’s build are fairly normal for this level of pneumatic gun; it shoots 6mm plastic pellets from a smooth bore barrel with using air compressed to about 10 bar (145 psi). The electronics is where this project really shines, with an Arduino controlling the mode of fire (auto, semi-auto, and a 3-round burst), and the number of rounds per second adjustable with a pot.

A very cool project, and looking at the CAD renders of what [smirpab] completed project will look like, we can’t wait to see this build finished. As always, this build comes with the standard Hackaday “you’ll put your eye out, kid” warning. You can check out a video of [smirpab]’s piston after the break, along with a demo of the Arduino-powered control circuit going through all three firing modes.

Continue reading “Controlling a spud gun with an Arduino”

Soldering from the hip

You can be the Sheriff around these parts, but only if you have a solder gun and holster to boot. [Mikasaurus’] latest build is certainly fun, even if it’s not so practical. We’re not giving up our Weller knock-off any time soon, but this quick-heat repackage will certainly be a conversation starter at your next Hackerspace event.

The business end of the build is taken from a cheap four-battery soldering iron. [Mike] separated each of the components, then grabbed a toy gun to see where each of them might fit. The batteries are just the right size to fit into the gun’s magazine. All he had to do to make that happen is add contacts to the gun and springs to the magazine. A momentary push switch was positioned behind the trigger and used to connect the battery pack to the solder tip.

After the break you’ll find a little over-the-top modeling, and some solder melting. This will go great with that 9mm Bluetooth headset you built. Just don’t stick the wrong one in your ear.

Continue reading “Soldering from the hip”

A More Awesome Way to Play Jenga

How many of you have started playing Jenga, and thought, “If only I had a pistol that would punch the blocks out violently for me, that would be much more fun?” Your presumed request has been answered with the [Jenga Pistol 2]! There is also the [Jenga Pistol 1], which would be impressive if the second one wasn’t already made and functioning! There’s a great video of the second one working after the break, so be sure to check that out!

The pistol works by hurling a bolt forward using a rubber band for power.  This bolt can then be pulled back, and the clever trigger mechanism automatically locks it in place for another shot.  This mechanism by itself could serve as inspiration for any number of other pistol-powered hacks. As for the entire project, [Matthias] gives lots of excellent pictures of his work in the post that will let you understand the concept.  For well-written plans though, you’ll have to cough up a very reasonable $6. You’ll also need a reasonably well equipped wood shop if you want to make one which is rather more expensive. Continue reading “A More Awesome Way to Play Jenga”

DO NOT build a fully automatic battery-launching air gun

There’s nothing quite like [Elliot]’s cherubic sense of wonder and maniacal laughter after he tests his fully automatic AA battery-launching air gun. That fires 600 rounds a minute. At 200 feet per second.

We need to take a minute and say [Elliot]’s gun is stupidly unsafe. He used PVC pipe to hold air pressure, so that may… explode one of these days. Also, the AA batteries coming out of the end of the barrel have the same kinetic energy as a .22 rifle bullet.

The mechanics of the gun is a simple blow forward bolt. When he pulls the trigger, the bolt – and battery – are forced forward due to air pressure. After the bolt has cleared a plug, air is allowed to flow through the bolt pushing the battery along with it. Once the pressure in the barrel is back down to normal, a spring forces the bolt back into place and the 23 round magazine loads another battery. Simple, really. [Elliot] posted some pics of his gun on the spudfiles.com forum.

The gun is accurate to about 100 yards. It’s a very impressive piece of engineering for a bit of PVC pipe, but we don’t feel the need to copy this one. Check out the videos after the break to see this thing in action.

Continue reading “DO NOT build a fully automatic battery-launching air gun”

How to build your own pulsed laser pistol

build_your_own_pulsed_laser_gun

Self-declared Mad Scientist and Instructables user [Trevor Nestor] recently built a pulse laser pistol and decided to share his build process, so that you too can build a ray gun at home. The gun is made up of mostly scavenged components, save for the Neodymium:YAG laser head, which he purchased on eBay for about $100. He does say however, that you can score an SSY-1 laser from an old rangefinder, providing you hang out near a stockpile of decommissioned Abrams tanks.

[Trevor] walks you through the process of recycling old disposable cameras to get enough components for a capacitor bank, as well as how the charging circuit should be constructed. He also discusses how the laser head needs to be wired, before showing off the finished laser pistol in a cheeky video, embedded below.

While the gun lacks the finish of this laser pistol we showed you, it’s no less potent when shooting through plastics, wood, and thin metals. It’s a great starting point if you are looking to build a laser of your own, leaving room for improvements, such as a faster charging circuit.

Continue reading “How to build your own pulsed laser pistol”

Making Airsoft guns far more potent

airsoft_laser_rifle

[Drake] wrote in to share his recent project, which involves repurposing an Airsoft rifle that was sitting around, collecting dust. Airsoft guns as a whole are not all that impressive, but convert your Airsoft gun into a laser rifle, and we’re all ears.

His laser blaster is honestly pretty straightforward as far as laser projects go, but we just couldn’t resist. He pulled apart the Airsoft gun, removing all of the “airy” bits, leaving just the trigger behind. He added a 9v battery and a linear power supply to the gun, wiring them up to a 700mW laser diode from what we hope was a broken Blu-ray burner.

In the obligatory “look at what I can destroy with my laser gun” video embedded below, [Drake] shows off his gun’s potency at various ranges, popping balloons from 35 feet away. He even shows off the laser’s usefulness as a light pen for glow in the dark surfaces.

While his modifications are nothing we haven’t seen before, his gun is far more accessible than others we have featured.

Have any cool high-powered laser projects of your own? Share them with us in the comments.

Continue reading “Making Airsoft guns far more potent”