3D Printed Gun Fires Nerf Darts

[Vik Olliver] adds a bit more power to what has traditionally been a store-bought toy by designing this printable dart gun. His design prints the follower in the track where it belongs, which means it’s not going to come loose unless the material itself fails. After printing you’ll need to clean up that track just a bit, and ream out the pivot holes for the trigger parts. Two pieces of filament are used as the axles for pivot points and can be melted in place after assembly. A third length of filament acts as a spring, making this a completely plastic gun. Well, not completely; a couple of strong rubber bands deliver the stored energy which sends the Nerf dart on its way. The design is parametric so you can adjust it for the dart dimensions of your choosing before  printing begins.

If you still haven’t managed to boot-strap your own 3D printer don’t fret. You can always give this Nerf dart sniper rifle a try.

24 thoughts on “3D Printed Gun Fires Nerf Darts

  1. While printing the follower in the track is neat it’s a pain on extruderbots since it’s nearly impossible to print embedded parts that are actually separate with any quality. The same goes for a smooth track. Call me old fashioned but I would have printed the top and bottom separately and screwed them together. Yes, it wouldn’t be 100% printed any more, but it would be much higher quality. (Of course I probably would have use metal pins and springs too rather than filament which is pretty brittle. And since it’s posted on Thingiverse I may do just that!)

  2. @Brett W.
    Cuuuuuute! :)

    Things will get really interesting once it will be possible to 3d-print actual firearms on homemade rigs. Maybe some sort of laser sintering could be achievable? Or using plasma or electric arc/spark for fusing the material together?

  3. This gun is actually designed to print out on crude 3D printers. There is plenty of wriggle-room around the parts. I’ve spent a while designing RepRap components so that they print out usably on crap printers, and I’ve designed the gun on the same principles.

    Due to the short length of filament used in the pivots, they are adequately strong.

    It is possible to make a subsonic, printable zip-gun that will last one shot and has no metallic components though boring the barrel smooth and/or lining it would lessen the extreme danger. I leave the proof to the diligent student :)

  4. It might be possible to build a zip gun with a reprap, but it’s also possible to build one out of the contents of your average dumpster. They’re really not complicated.

  5. Vic, at the end of the video, do you say to ‘put your nerf gun in there’? Instead of dart? Or are my ears fooling me?

    Very cool btw :) Although melting in the filament at the end gives me doubts about how long it will last.

  6. I gave a couple to the boys next door to test for the afternoon. They raided my parts bin and resurrected a 3rd that I had discarded earlier, so I let them keep it. The guns seem to be working so far and were returned intact give or take a few old rubber bands. Though I did replace the clear PLA spring with a Dark Green PLA spring because my coloured PLA filament is springier than the clear stuff.

  7. @Hackius I know what I’d pick, but I’d tell them to give the leftover to you :)

    Now to find out who ‘they’ are and why they never call.

    Metal is just much sturdier and cheaper I feel and so in the end when all is said and done better in practice.

  8. @Whatnot: a 3D printer seems to me easier and cheaper to cobble together than a CNC machine. Also, metal is harder to work with than plastic. Harder to work with very much != cheaper.


  9. @Hackius

    CNC is not just for production, this is a misconception. 99% of the stuff I do on a CNC mills is one-off parts.

    3D printers are nice for non-structural complex shapes.


    3D is cheaper but not necessarily any more difficult than a CNC mill or router.

    Metal is very easy to work with. And I work with everything from aluminum to titanium.

    Here is milling out a titanium back for a pendant. Try that with a 3d printer!


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