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Printer Build Technology

Guy Creates Handheld Railgun With a 3D-Printer ( 276

turkeydance writes: Using a combination of 3D printing and widely available components, David Wirth built a functioning handheld railgun that houses six capacitors and delivers more than 1,800 joules of energy per shot. So far he has tested the gun using metal rods made of graphite, aluminum and copper-coated tungsten. David has shot projectiles at over 250 meters per second in tests.
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Guy Creates Handheld Railgun With a 3D-Printer

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  • For values of "hand-held", obviously.

    I'd like to see the holster for that.

  • by oic0 ( 1864384 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @06:02AM (#50764219)
    There are no function related parts in a rail gun that can be 3d orinted. You cant print capacitors or metal rails. Theres even less to print than you could on a normal gun.
    • by Sique ( 173459 )
      Actually, there are methods for 3D printing metal.
      • by oic0 ( 1864384 )
        True, but not any I know of that would work well as a high voltage conductor. Milling or cnc yes, but not sintered together metal particles.
        • by Rei ( 128717 )

          Most 3d printing metal services online actually due a variant of lost-wax casting. The resulting prints are basically just cast objects, and have the same material properties of any other cast objects. But beyond that, since when is laser-sintered metal not capable of being strong? There's a sort of "in-between" method that sacrifices some strength (but is still quite strong) wherein you print out metal powder with a binder, sinter the part as a whole while burning out the binder, then fill in the pore sp

  • by vyvepe ( 809573 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @06:08AM (#50764227)

    AK-47: 715 m/s

    .44 Magnum: 360 - 450 m/s

    Black powder musket: 120 - 370 m/s

    • .45 ACP - 250m/s.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Heckler and Koch MP7: 735 m/s

      It will turn your Kevlar vest into confetti. This is why the authorities everywhere in the world do not want to see fully automatic versions getting into the hands of private citizens and the black market.

      • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @08:53AM (#50764783) Homepage

        Hmm, interesting, that's the gun that our government (Iceland) was secretly smuggling into the country (bypassing all customs processes and parliament) with the intent to have one in every police car. And then when caught claimed that it was a "gift" from Norway. And when Norway said that no, it's not a gift, you deliberately sought them out and offered to purchase them from us, they "clarified" that Norway marks things as sales for billing purposes, but they never send the bill, it's just a little wink-wink nudge-nudge game between friends. And when Norway said no, we promise you, we're sending the bill.... half a year later they eventually sent the guns back.

        But I guess we have to do something about our one-of-the-lowest-on-Earth murder rates**, and the threat that ISIS wants to take over our rock in the North Atlantic (yes, these are the actual arguments made by proponents...)

        ** In its entire history, our equivalent of SWAT (Víkingasveitin / The Viking Squad) has had to kill a grand total of one person. And they issued an apology to his family for it (the guy was mentally disturbed and shooting at them with a shotgun in a densely populated area, hitting one officer before they decided to try tear gas, hit another after they tried to get him out with gas, and finally hitting another while they went in after him, before they finally had to shoot him).

        • "The Viking Squad"? Okay. What do your countrypeople generally think of that name?

          Thank goodness the guys in the U.S. did not go for a catchy name, or we'd probably have "Team America, World Police".
          • by Rei ( 128717 )

            What's wrong with it? We use viking-related terms a lot. For example, what you call "banksters" we call "útrásarvíkingar" - that is, "outvasion vikings" ;) That is to say, they went on "útrásir" to plunder and brought home the spoils to enrich themselves. Names from the viking era (both names of people and old norse deities) are popular here, Reykjavík has number of streets named after Norse gods [] and famous vikings (also, coast guard ships do the same thing), and there's even

            • I don't have a problem with it at all. I was just wondering what the locals thought. It's a name with powerful imagery, so I assume that there would be either great acceptance or great opposition.

              Thanks for the insights.
        • by bsolar ( 1176767 )
          From what I understand it's actually 1 kill in 70+ years [] by the whole police force, not only the special squad.
          • by Rei ( 128717 )

            Most police don't have lethal weaponry, so one shouldn't expect a difference between those two numbers.

      • Heckler and Koch MP7: 735 m/s

        It will turn your Kevlar vest into confetti. This is why the authorities everywhere in the world do not want to see fully automatic versions getting into the hands of private citizens and the black market.

        Yer granddad's .30-06: 890 m/s. And, more importantly, 3820 J muzzle energy, as compared to 506 J for the MP7.

        Or, if you want to get a little more modern, the 7mm Remington Magnum: 1100 m/s and 4057 J. Or there's the .338 Lapua: 1050 m/s and nearly 5000 J. Or... we could keep going up here.

        Standard hunting rifles are dramatically more powerful than standard military small arms, because they're designed for shooting larger animals and because rapid fire is less important, so recoil can be much greater. A

        • My MP7 fits nicely in a backpack . . . how about your elephant guns . . . ? I'm not concerned about some terrorist trying to navigate a Nitro Express rifle in the aisle of a train from Amsterdam to Paris. The terrorist would probably break his shoulder on the first shot.

          With an MP7, you can empty the clip before you say "boo!" to yourself, and take out a bunch of innocent folks, without feeling a thing.

          Speaking about serious weapons, that will fit in your backpack . . . look no further than the McMillia

          • Hunting rifles are not elephant guns, and many of them can break down nicely, especially sportsterized versions with shorter barrels. Also, MP7s do not have a "clip", and you're absolutely wrong that I could take out a bunch of innocent folks without feeling a thing, regardless of weapon.
    • My groundhog rifle (.22-250 at 4000fps): 1220 m/s or Mach 3.55

  • who thinks this story sounds like a Plague, Inc. in-game headline?

  • I need one to deal with desktop wars here (and some clients) :-)
    • Which raises an interesting question: How would existing gun laws around the world deal with a rail gun . . . ? It doesn't use gunpowder to deliver the projectile, like a gun does . . . and it doesn't use a bow either, like a crossbow or regular bow.

      Will politician be forced to make new laws, when these thing become common . . . ?

      • That would be an issue in Minnesota. Here our law defines a firearm as a something that shoots a projectile using compressed gas, explosive, or a spring. I believe that this follows the federal regulations so it would seem that it would require new laws to regulate them. Also interestingly enough as this would be classified as a firearm one could legally build a fully automatic one and not fall afoul of the law.
      • by Cederic ( 9623 )

        In the UK bows aren't regulated, although various landowners impose restrictions (including the governmental body responsible for the national forests). The restrictions tend to be around crossbows rather than other bows, primarily due to relative ease of use.

        What is defined in law is hunting with bows. It's illegal. What's also clear is that walking through the streets with a cocked bow, or releasing arrows on a crowded thoroughfare will get you arrested whether you hit anybody or not.

        So a rail gun could w

  • The anti-liberty Libertarians :-)
  • Don't mis-feed it after midnight and never get it wet.
  • This thing is less powerful than other youtube handheld rail guns... and the design while funny is not especially practical. Obviously the capacitors need to be mounted on your back or something to distribute the weight more effectively on the user.

    *drops mic and walks*

    • by Khyber ( 864651 )

      "This thing is less powerful than other youtube handheld rail guns"

      Your 5 joules PALES IN COMPARISON to 1800 joules this does.

      So, no, you're wrong. Try again when you can actually read the fucking article and do the math yourself.

      *drops mic and walks off*

  • The next version will support e-mail too.

  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @09:02AM (#50764819) Homepage

    Guy Creates Handheld Railgun With a 3D-Printer

    His name's David, not Guy.

  • by celest ( 100606 ) <> on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @09:36AM (#50765011) Homepage

    Only some components were 3D printed. But, you know, #3DPrinting is trending so...

  • I dunno who this "David Wirth" is, but he should definitely rearrange his name to be "Darth Wivid". (Which is kinda what my brain saw anyway when I scanned the description...)

  • by TheDarkMaster ( 1292526 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @11:21AM (#50765783)
    What I find funny on this is that I see everybody criticizing the performance of the gun (and some in a very arrogant way) but no one noticed that he did this project for the sheer fun of doing it.
  • So its co2 boosted?

  • Fake Fake Fake! (Score:5, Informative)

    by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2015 @12:33PM (#50766183)

    This is 100% fake. []
    1: That's not handheld.
    2: That's a CO2 tank.

    He's built a paintball gun and put a bunch of shit on it, then added sparks at the end of it.
    1800 Joules is way over a fucking 44 magnum (1300-1500). Yet if you look at the videos posted, you can see that when he fires at some particle boards nothing fucking happens. The "article" original claimed it was 3,000,000 Joules. LOL!

    If you read the video descriptions on Youtube, he claims:

    WXPR Test 3 - 1" long 0.25" aluminum sabot (1.1g total mass). 1.6kJ caps, 500 psi injector. 36" distance to target: angled 3/4" plywood board with 1/4" mild steel backplate. Made a 1/2" deep indent in target and bounced off. Speed was above 250m/s.

    Successful proof of concept for repeatable shots on the same set of rails.

    So, 1600 J, not 1800. And that tank at 500 PSI is an "injector"? LOL! It's an air gun with some capacitors for no reason!!
    His latest video involves shooting a cantaloupe, because everyone laughed when he couldn't penetrate plywood. He claimed they were "steel backed" plywood boards, but he still barely put a dent in them.

    Here's the cantaloupe: [] He allegedly fires at around 1300 J according to his own LCD display. There's an odd cut at 1:51 in the video as well, so I have no idea what he's actually doing. (Watch from 1:49 to 1:52 at 0.25 speed to see the cut). You can watch the shot in slow mo too.

    Here's a 44 magnum shooting a watermelon: [] A 44 magnums runs at 1300 J to 1500 J. Do they seem at all comparable?

    • by dj245 ( 732906 )
      Great catch. It's really a shame nobody noticed this earlier. The discussion could have been a lot more interesting.
    • I don't think that it delivers 1,600J, so much as it consumes 1,600J. Quoting the numbers you printed:

      1.1g sabot
      300 m/s (above 250 m/s, so let's be generous).

      E = 0.5*M*V^2, so
      E = 0.5*1.1*300*300 = 49,500mJ = 49.5J. So, the muzzle energy is about 1/30th of the energy it appears to be using.

      Poking around a bit, I found a variety of velocities and masses for paintballs, so I'll posit that the muzzle energy of a paintball pellet varies between 12J-20J. So, assuming the pressure system is imparting

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard