3D Printing – Borderlands Sniper Rifle – Part 2

When last we met, I’d just started printing a test print of the rifle handle to see whether it was the right size for my hand.  As the rest of the rifle can be scaled universally, getting this piece the right size would impact the size of the rest of the model.  Below are the results of that test print:

Even though the handle was pretty close, I feel it could be a tiny bit larger, so I’ve increased the size of the model by 3%.  Doing a little measuring within Fusion 360, it turns out that when this entire thing is built it will be over 1.5 metres long!  One thing I was impressed by was how smoothly the model printed – this was my first time using the Simplify3D slicer and it is very good indeed.  I’ve also decided to print the trigger as a separate part for a few different reasons, the main one being that I want to be able to move it, and a secondary one being that the support tower wobbled while it was printing which led to a wobbly print.

After a couple of other tweaks to the model, I decided to start cutting things apart ready for printing.  When something is 3D printed, the software adds support structures so the hot end doesn’t have to end up printing in thin air.  While these supports are generally very good, they can leave little blips or marks on the model where they attach.  With that in mind, I wanted to ensure that I could print as much of the rifle as possible without having to rely on supports.   The part I started with was the calibration dials on the scope – this was a relatively straightforward object, but due to the orientation of some parts of it, I needed to break it apart to print it in a total of 8 separate pieces.

My aim was to have the dial parts the caps slide over the rod I’d added to their bases.  The main body was split in two as it would have to encompass the body of the scope, which would be printed separately.  Technically this worked, although I didn’t allow enough clearance around the rod on the side dial, so I had to snap that off to get the parts to fit.  I didn’t bother to sand or finish this part as I was just testing whether I could get it to fit together properly.  Here’s a couple of pictures of it all stuck together:

I’m going to adjust the model slightly to allow for more clearance on the side parts, as I’d like to be able to have the dials be able to be rotated if possible.  I’ll also do all the sanding, filling and other finishing before I glued it together!

The next part I have printed is the sight.  I wanted to be able to add a piece of clear acrylic with a design printed on it to the middle of the sight, so I had to cut the model up accordingly.  Below are the final parts, which have been filled, sanded and filler primer-ed.  They need to be sanded again and I may have to add some more filler in certain areas too.  I cut the piece of acrylic from a small 3mm sheet that I picked up from Hobbycraft.  The arrow indicates the top as it’s not quite square.  I’ve press-fitted it together in these photos as I’ve still got quite a lot of finishing to do…

More soon!

Part 1 – Part 3

3D Printing – Borderlands Sniper Rifle – Part 1

As some of you may know, I am rather a big fan of the Borderlands games, and I’ve long coveted the idea of making my own version of one of the sniper rifles from the game and now that I have a 3D printer, it seemed like as good a time as any.

Rather than go with something small and simply shaped, which would, you know, be sensible, I’ve gone for this: the Barking Volcano.

I chose this one for three reasons:

  1. It looks cool.
  2. It will give me a serious modelling challenge.
  3. My character already had it so I didn’t need to go looking for another rifle.

I took a bunch of screenshots to use as reference material and jumped into another complete unknown – Autodesk Fusion 360.  Fusion 360 is a CAD/CAM package which operates somewhat differently from the 3D software that I’m used to.  After watching a few tutorials online, I felt I was ready to jump in and start modelling.  Using the side view of the rifle as a canvas, I started with the scope, and the stock and once those were done, moved on to the more complicated shape of the body and handle.

Overall the modelling took about 6-8 hours over a number of days, with quite a few false starts and no small amount of swearing.  I’m pretty happy with the final result.

To make sure that I’d got everything scaled properly, I decided to do a test print of just the handle, as the size of the rifle depends on the size of the handle.

I exported just the handle to Simplify3D and set it up to print.  Results to follow… (part 2 – Part 3)