3D Printing loader shells
First things first. Pumpers love small hoppers usually varying in size from 50rds-100rds. However, these loaders tend to be cheaply made, require modding and in alot of cases, not reliable enough to keep up. Redundant sounding I know, but I have achieved 8bps with a Rotor on a CCM S6. I can only imagine what others can do.
Alot of pumpers and tinkers have taken force feed loaders and blended them with others to create a smaller yet still fast package. You will see some that have taken Viewloader Revolutions and combined them with Sportshots, others are Halos and Evolution loaders and so on. They do work, however they often are hideous and not as sturdy due to the bonding materials that hold the two together.
Sitting messing around on Reddit and reading some very interesting articles on 3D printing, brought up the idea of someone with access or knows of someone that has access to the machine. The good thing about 3D printing is that is relative cheap to produce pieces. It is also easy to gain access to the plastics needed and with it almost all done on a computer, a person confident enough with the program can knock out some shells within a matter of days. It is also very strong. I've seen videos of people creating AR magazines and even an AR lower that fired over 600 rounds without a hiccup.
This comes in to play of copyrights and the proper law channels. However, it would be completely legal to make shells that accept Viewloader Revolution internals. Selling them as a whole would be illegal, however separately would be okay. If someone were to do this, the individual could sell just the shells. No lids, no internals, no buttons, nothing. Then someone could purchase the shells, rip out the motor, board, paddle, button etc. from a Revvy and throw it in the shell and viola.
The market might seem small. But besides pumpers, you also have the market of players that want smaller loaders but with the speed of a Revvy. So that opens up the market for Milsim, Oldschoolers, pumpers, light and tight guys, etc.
The shells would have to:
Hold no more than 110 paintballs
Accept all components of the Viewloader Revolution
Accept Viewloader lids/speedfeeds.
Be reasonably priced.
Normal looking (unlike a Q-loader or Pinokio)
Does anyone seem interesting in this undertaking?
The biggest issue will be materials. Some people have experimented with nylon and polycarbonate. Nylon is a great material, but way to flexible for this application. Polycarbonate would be too expensive to use, as the stock is $88 (plus shipping) per kilogram. The normal ABS is too brittle, and PLA is well... Not the right material.
I would suggest that printing the *mold* and making the shells from a casting resin or fiberglass/carbon fiber, might be cheaper.
All of the above being said, my 3d printer is still in the process of being tuned up, so I am out of this task. Sorry.
There are several advanced mold making techniques available. you may want to check out a few plug making videos on youtube. I think carbon mods (a uk based company) has a mold making kit that I have used. It came with some green crap that I had to paint ont my plug and then put "bondo glass" on the outside to form a hard shell.
I can't really do it at my current location. This apartment is tiny and I lack proper tools, area and of course money. So could we 3D mold a prototype using crappy plastic then purchase a mold kit?
How much could you get out of poly carbonate stock? Say one kilograms worth?
But none the less, if a mold could be come up with, sell/give it to a loader company for them to use.
The answer to "how much from a kilo of polycarbonate stock" is pretty tricky.
If we were making the part on the 3d printer, the walls would have to be fairly thin for weight reduction, but completely solid for strength. Unfortunately, I am away from my shop, so I can't do any fancy 3d modeling or calculations which would help with the volume calculations.
If we were making the molds, then it gets really interesting. The infill within the part can be reduced from 100% to a significantly lower number to allow for structural support, without using up vast quantities of plastic. The difficult part would be designing a mold that would work correctly, and release the shell. You would need to locate a moldmaker to tell you what direction to take. I do not have this type of knowledge.
Appreciate the speedy replies.
Would Kydex work? I know its very strong and relative cheap. However I know under heat it warps, but I don't know about people playing in 100 degree heat a whole lot.
I know nothing of plastics.
Kydex is a thermal form plastic. If you can carve the mold from wood, you could mold the kydex with nothing more than a normal oven and a few layers of towels.
That maybe the better solution for this. Remember that the kydex will not flow, so square inside corners will *NOT* be square, so make the mold with extra area at the base to allow you to smooth the plastic past where you want to cut it.
why use revvy internals?
why not rotor?
with a rotor, you expand your marketability 100000x
Semi/Tourny front/snake guys are now interested.
Just food for thought :)
Wish i had a 3D printer... it'd be fun!
Better yet, why not both?
Personally I'd hate having to buy rotor internals. They're wayyy more expensive than Revvy internals.
go to a field on the weekend, count rotors vs revvy's
betcha its in the 15 - 1 ratio minimum
(today at pump practice we had 2 spires, 2 rotors, 4 sport shots, 2 50rd hoppers)
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