There was a time when virtual reality seemed like it would remain in the realm of science fiction at least for the foreseeable future. Then we were blessed with products like the Power Glove and Virtual Boy which seemed to make it more of a reality, if not a clunky and limited one. Now, though, virtual reality is taking more of a center stage as the technology for it improves and more and more games are released. We can see no greater proof of this than the fact that some gamers are building their own custom controllers to interact with the virtual world in more meaningful ways, like this game controller specifically built for first-person shooter games.
The controller is based on an airsoft gun but completely lacks the ability to fire a projectile, instead using the gun as a base for building the controller. In fact, the gun’s operation is effectively reversed in order to immerse the player into the game by using haptic feedback provided by pressurized air. The air is pumped in to what would be the front of the barrel and is discharged through the receiver when a trigger pull is detected in order to generate a recoil effect. The controller includes plenty of other features as well, including the ability to reload ammunition, change the firing mode, and track motion thanks to its pair of integrated Oculus controllers.
All of the parts for this controller are either 3D printed or readily available off-the-shelf, making this an ideal platform for customization and improvement. There’s also a demo game available from Unity which allows for a pretty easy setup for testing. While the controller looks like an excellent way to enjoy an FPS virtual reality experience, if you’re looking for a more general-purpose controller we are also starting to see a lot of development on that end as well.
Continue reading “Haptic Feedback “Rifle” Lets You Take Aim In VR” →
Octoprint is one of those must-have apps for 3D printers. All you need is a Raspberry Pi, an SD card, and a USB cable, and you can control your 3D printer from anywhere in the house. Of course, some people take it too far and open up their Octoprint to the greater Internet. Gizmodo reports thousands of people are doing so, with possible dire consequences. Choice quotes: “Imagine waking up in the morning to find that your 3D printer was used to produce a gun” and “Once again, 3D guns come to mind”. Yes, they referenced 3D printed guns twice in a story. Call me when you can 3D print bullets. Or when bioprinters can print airborne HIV, which was also suggested in the story.
ARS Electronica is going on in Linz this weekend, and it’s the largest new media art festival where cyber artists are recognized for their innovations. One of the more interesting exhibits is [Sarah Petkus]’ Noodlefeet. Its [Sarah]’s kid, that’s a robot, that’s made out of pool noodles. She’s talked about it at the Hackaday Superconference, and now there’s an entire exhibit behind it. You can check out her ‘making of’ post right here.
A mirror is a useful survival tool, if only for signalling people. Here’s a video showing long-distance mirror signalling, over a distance of 27.5 miles. The mirror used was 330 x 254mm, but the real challenge here is pointing the mirror in the right direction. For that, [Andy] used a bamboo pole a few meters in front of the mirror. By reflecting sunlight onto the pole, he knew it was going in about the right direction. Accuracy versus precision, or something like that.
Last week, a slow leak was detected aboard the International Space Station. The leak was quickly traced to a 2mm hole in the upper orbital module of a visiting Soyuz spacecraft. prompting call of micrometeoroid damage and plenty of speculation on what would have happened if this hole appeared anywhere else on the station. Now, it looks like this hole was put there by a drill, probably during assembly or testing, and was somehow plugged until the Soyuz was in space for a few weeks. Why this hole just magically appeared one night is anyone’s guess, but there you go.
Around four years ago the world was up in arms over the first gun to be 3D printed. The hype was largely due to the fact that most people don’t understand how easy it is to build a gun without a 3D printer. To that end, you don’t even need access to metal stock, as [FarmCraft101] shows us with this gun made out of melted aluminum cans.
The build starts off by melting over 200 cans down into metal ingots, and then constructing a mold for the gun’s lower. This is the part that is legally regulated (at least in the US), and all other parts of a gun can be purchased without any special considerations. Once the aluminum is poured into the mold, the rough receiver heads over to the machine shop for finishing.
This build is fascinating, both from a machinist’s and blacksmith’s point-of-view and also as a reality check for how easy it is to build a firearm from scratch provided the correct tools are available. Of course, we don’t need to worry about the world being taken over by hoards of angry machinists wielding unlicensed firearms. There’s a lot of time and effort that goes into these builds and even then they won’t all be of the highest quality. Even the first 3D printed guns only fired a handful of times before becoming unusable, so it seems like any homemade firearm, regardless of manufacturing method, has substantial drawbacks.
Thanks to [Rey] for the tip!
Continue reading “Making A Gun Without A 3D Printer” →
For some reason the US News media decided on the AR-15 as the poster child of guns that should not be allowed to be made for, or sold to, the consumer. The words still out on the regulation, but, in a very American response, a whole market sprang up around people saying, “Well, then we’ll just make our own AR-15.”
Ordinarily, we wouldn’t cover this sort of thing, but the work [AR-15Mold] is doing is just so dang interesting. They sell a product that enables the home user to cast an AR-15 receiver out of high performance resin. In the process they made a really informative three part video on the casting process.
A lot of people are interested in the product, and having fun with it. In this two part video series, [Liberty Marksman] cast their receivers and test them to destruction. In one video they see how many rounds they can fire out of the gun before it breaks. When it breaks, they excitedly tear down the gun to see where it failed.
It’s quite a bit of fun to watch. Videos after the break.
Continue reading “DIY Cast AR-15 Receivers Are More Interesting Than Expected” →
[Boris] must have been a little bored over Thanksgiving. We’re guessing that’s the case; why else would he build an AK-47 out of a common garden shovel?
After buying an old shovel from an antique barn in Vermont, [Boris] cut off the handle an attached it to an old Bulgarian AK he had just lying around. The new stock proved to be very comfortable, and not wanting to waste the iron in the shovel head, decided to make an AK out of the remainder of his purchase.
After tossing the shovel head into the furnace and pounding it flat, [Boris] had a respectable piece of metal to construct an AK receiver from. A bit of plasma cutting, grinding, and drilling turned this former shovel into a future gun, and with the help of a blank barrel the shovel became an AK receiver that is twice as thick and twice as heavy as a ‘normal’ AK receiver. Yes, [Boris]’s new gun is even more indestructible than a stock AK – something that really shouldn’t be possible.
In the end, [Boris] spent $2 on a shovel, $30 on a barrel, and $200 on a Romanian AK kit. The result is an actual, working gun that is legal for him to own (but not sell – see the comments for that discussion).
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” →