Ballista (crossbow) print in place

by senns, published

Ballista (crossbow) print in place by senns Jan 7, 2017


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This is my mini Ballista, everything printed in place.
Fires the arrow without problem through the room and further!
I used four layers of cotton sewing thread as bowstring.
Easiest loading method is with help of the arrow as seen in the video.

Tested with PETG and PLA both with 90% infill and layer height of 0,2mm.
Printtime with this settings is about 2 hours.

Print and test video: https://youtu.be/olYlUPdZJGM

Have fun!

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17 hours ago - Modified 17 hours ago

What orange filament did you use? Looks great.

great fun! Inland PLA @ 210C Bed @ 50C (Maybe not even needed?) Downloaded and clicked print, was ready to fire in under 2hrs! Minimal cleanup. Wan Hao i3 v2 w/Z-axis supports mod, Delta fan 40mm parts cooling fan, 8mm slider hack/Engraver (for making PCB's), Power supply 120mm fan adapter, stock firmware, Repetier Host/Server.
Xprint = 200
Yprint = 225
Jerk = 9.0
Xmove = 400
Ymove = 400
Filament diameter 1.73mm (dont forget to put this measured value in for every new spool into your slicer!)
Fan dialed in to MAX 50% (I'm using a 40mm Delta on custom ducting - blows like the WIND!)
If your printer isn't setup right, it will print fast but like crap! Google & youtube... jus sayin is all.

If you were to make a split version of this with the 'springs' separate from the bulk of the crossbow and assemble after printing it would be really cool. It would help with upscaling.

I printed this over a month ago and it's awesome!! really precise shooting.

The only two cons I have would be that the arrow broke on an impact against a target due to the cilinder being too thin.
the other one is that yesterday one of the "trigger" parts also broke. Will try printing again with a few mods

nice project!

I managed to make a crossbow that was 2x larger than the original. it works really well with wedo3dprinting PLA and it can fire 15m
thanks so much for this design
I would scale it up even more but my printer is not big enough

Apr 2, 2017 - Modified Apr 2, 2017

Whenever I string and try to fire, the knot in the string snaps. I am using cotton sewing thread. Tips? Thank you.

try dental floss or fishing line, much stronger

Hey would this print work with Makerbot

Printed with ABS, faced 2 issues.
1) The leg is hard to disconnect, please make a version with this peace separate.
2) The trigger should be harder, since this one doesn't hold the tension.
Thank you!

Works great in PETG

Love it. It worked so well, it took us half an hour to find the arrow because it flew farther than we expected! Well done.

I tried the version with bigger tolerance.
It works great. Only the stand on the front is too loose...

Mine broke after a day in school (the arms bent back and eventually broke)
i have shot around 100 times with it. how long do all your crossbows last?

Printed this and it came out great! Thanks! My arrows don't fly far but they certainly don't tumble... Any suggestions for getting it to possibly fly further?

This model is great, my kids are loving it!

Hi this is a really cool design.

I am having a strange issue when I pull the files into Cura. I don't think they are the right scale can you please post the overall dimensions for the 2 pieces?

Thank you!

Jan 29, 2017 - Modified Jan 29, 2017

Hi. I'm a noob to print in place.
But i can't seem to separate off the button or the handel.
Are there like simple tricks you use?
I can see that the parts were indeed layed out like that. I see the gaps. But there are no gaps.

Have you tried adding support?

No, I thought the instructions said no support but I can try next time.

I use fishing wire, which works great. The only issue is that the arrow doesn't fly straight but tumbles in air.

Very impressive. I made one at 0.3 layer height and 20% infill and it still worked pretty well (UM3 Ultimaker silver).

I will def need a few of these for the office...

Had an idea to make one of these as well, a few changes tho:
-I will see if I can get the bolts to whistle as they fly through the air.
-See if I can get the bolts a little more aerodynamic so they fly better (they currently tumble in the air).
-Make it in multiple parts and make the Bow out of nylon. Also make it larger.

If I ever get around to it i'll upload some shots of it.

after reading your comment I tried making one "whistling arrow".
The results:
1.- the arrow flies really straight and IMO is stronger
2.- the whistle whistles quite loud.
3.- the arrow doesn't whistle while flying (sadly)

I think it needs to be faster wo whistle (and I'm doing something wrong definitely)

+1 for the whistle idea :)

Jan 10, 2017 - Modified Jan 10, 2017

i have tried it two times (different filaments), but it won't works :/

can you please publish a version with more distance? (see picture)

layer high 0,2mm
infill 90%
material pla (white, silver)

added a new version with even bigger gaps and fixed the breaking point

works! thank you very much! (last updated: 01-11-17)
When it's finished, i'll post some pics (Made).

hi senns,
tested it: https://postimg.org/image/s76wyib41/
same printsettings

added a new version with even bigger gaps and fixed the breaking point

Jan 10, 2017 - Modified Jan 10, 2017
senns - in reply to Enzi1984


if still not working try to lower the material flow

thanks! .... i'm going to try it tomorrow :)

Used 4 layers think of dental floss, works great, love the design!

nice im about to print this do you have to use a string can i use a rubber band

Rubber band will do the job too, if you get it trough the 2mm hole.
I used four layers of cotton sewing thread.

do you have to put it in the hole