3D printing,Open Source and Paintball
Hello all. First time caller long time listener here. I stumbled upon a documentary of sorts about the future of technology. Now before you say too long didn't read. I promise I'll be brief as possible.
3D printers are here. Not in homes yet but in commercial settings that can be hired out. You can give them a CAD like file in .stl format.( I'm not inclined this way so I can't elaborate) 3D printer will duplicate your part in varying thicknesses of plastic and steel. BOOM! Instant part!
I know we have many talented modders on this forum who make anything out of everything. So here's an opportunity for another brain to step in with designer abilities.
The idea of open source is to build a prototype and allow it to be free like shareware. People can now take your idea improve on the design, print a part if they need it and send it back out and so it snowballs.
Essentially the same as doing a step by step mod tutorial.
I'm not selling anything it's not snake oil. I'm just impressed by this.
Not sure if I can link stuff so all I can say is google search 3D printed guns by vice magazine( you'll find it on YouTube ) or search for a dude named Cody R Wilson. Pretty much explains everything I can't. It's an interesting 24 minutes and your brain will automatically turn to paintball and how this can be applied.
Yeah, working AR-15 lowers were printed out recently, and the CAD put up for free for others to do the same if I remember correctly.
Problem is home 3d printing is still a pretty weak plastic and plastic has never been a great medium for high quality paintball markers, other then for shrouds and shells. You could use wax replacement casting, but again, cast markers are pretty low tech as well.
There are plenty of the required cad files floating around for autocockers and other of the more common paintball designs and you can buy some base extrusions to mill. I think that's about as open source as it gets. For the price of buying a high quality 3d printer you might as well by a CNC mill and go to town.
First I say welcome to the forums as far as your posting....now that your cherry is popped maybe you will come out from the shadows more often :)
I like the idea and perhaps as the printers become more prevalent then more of something of this will come out of the shadows as well.
An EDM shop just down the street from me just got a new high end 3d printer and the quality of plastic the thing puts out is amazing. Problem is, I can't really think of anything I would want that isn't already available.
I have a fair amount of experience with 3d printers.
The issue you'll run into is that you need a printer with a very high resolution, and be prepared to spend a lot of time finishing the part once it's done.
Also, you mention about people designing parts to give away for free. I wish you luck in finding people who are willing to put in hours and hours of their time to model something and then give it away for free.
Not to mention the material costs would run pretty high. It takes a while to print and some additional time to get the support material off as well. 3D printing is a great way to obtain simple pre-production models but I highly doubt it's affordable enough as a manufacturing process.
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