Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

FDL-1 Blaster

by JesseKovarovics Jun 30, 2016
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Does the software work with an arduino nano ?


It would have to be ported to a Nano. The pinouts are different between it and the Particle Photon. The code itself is mostly compatible otherwise.

Here's the OnShape document of the FDL-1, converted from the original Autodesk files.

Feel free to put it in the Thing Details if you like

Hey Jessie,

I've had a few people ask for my onshape conversion of your cad files for the fdl1, would you mind if I share a link to it here and as a pull request on your GitHub readme?

Go for it. I haven't done much work on the FDL-1 in a while and I don't know when or if I will again. If you guys can take it and do something cool with it that would be awesome.

I have met this designer in Person. Jesse you are an awesome guy and this design is amazing. #WatsonThings #NvZ2017

Thanks dude. Likewise. I've got a new design incoming soon too. Gettin armed for NvZ 2017.

Have you considered making a mag-fed version of this? Just a question.

Yes...and no. I originally pondered making the FDL-1 mag-fed but it's a pain to find Mega mags so I went with a revolver. While I think it would be cool to have a mag-fed FDL-1 it would really be an entirely different blaster. I used it as an engineering exercise to see how usable I could make a revolver with the aid of some electronics. Mag-fed blasters are all about rate of fire and quick changes. The FDL-1 is more of a constant load and conserve ammo kind of blaster. It's a completely different play style. I'd like to make a belt fed version happen at some point and maybe removable clips but like I said, being mag-fed would be a whole different ball game likely warranting a major redesign. I would probably design a mag-fed elite dart blaster before turning the FDL-1 into one.

I get what you're saying. I used an overhauled Barricade for almost an entire war, and it is VERY different from my normal Stryfe.
But that's beside the point, because I wasn't saying SWAPPABLE mags, I was saying have 1 fixed mag that you can continuously load darts into, like the Magnus, but having a capacity to speak of. That would solve the problem (at least I see it as a problem) of only being able to load 1 barrel at a time. And make it less mechanically complex. But that's spoiling the fun a little, isn't it? You'd have to make a mechanical burst fire or something to make up for it.

Oh, I gotcha. That's a cool idea. Then you could load a few at once and top off as needed. It might be interesting even to make the revolver into a built in drum of sorts.

Yeah! or a double-stack mag! If you do make a drum, MAKE IT SYMMETRICAL. PLEASE.
but either way, the mag solves the problem of empty chambers, because a dart will always be at the top, unless you're completely out. I think the hard part would be getting a system that retains the darts, yet still allows you to add more, without squishing them.

What material would you suggest to print the FDL-1?

I printed it out of ABS. I didn't need to make any special accomodations in order to make it work. The shrinkage rate didn't matter. I have a heated chamber though, so the large parts were easily controlled

I personally prefer PLA. Some of the tolerances are pretty tight between some of the moving parts and PLA tends to warp less throughout prints making it more accurate. I've never actually printed an entire blaster in ABS though. My Printrbots don't heat up enough without enclosures so until I build a couple I honestly can't say one way or another. I have had one person successfully use ABS though and it fires so it's certainly possible. I've recently been made aware of a heat resistant PLA by MatterGeeks that I want to try. I take the white blaster in the pictures out to Nerf wars all the time and it's been fine in the hot sun but that heat resistance would be cool.

Posting the Github link as it was only in the previous "prototype" version https://github.com/jkovarovics

Just to help people from bugging you. Thanks for a great design!!!

Thanks! I'm working on getting a BOM and more complete wiring diagrams up there.

A suggestion.
tilt your shooter motors at least a few degrees. Left one one way, right one the other. This will put some spin on the dart as it shoots forward and should make it fly straighter (as long as the darts are not too warped). It might also allow for the use of different types of darts.

you will have to experiment with the angle or you can look up the calculations. (same ones apply to real bullets). you also may need to change the shape of the "drive rings" on those motors.

Yep, this is called canted flywheels in the Nerf community. I'd like to give it a try at some point. It wouldn't be too hard to tweak the model a bit to try it out. I've had discussions with people about the effectiveness of it on Nerf darts and opinions vary. There is a high end aluminum flywheel cage out of Germany that is popular among the more hardcore Nerfers that uses about 6 degrees of cant. It seems to work well but we're talking about a precision machined part. It may work well just because of that. I'd be curious to give it a try and do some objective testing. Good suggestion, thanks.

An American called Hawki007 is also making a custom cage. THe product he ships is cast resin, but his test cages were 3d printed, and they got the same results. However, this may be because of the 19/32 inch brass barrel guiding the darts in his and the German cage. Once I get my printer working (it's a homemade from 2011 that I rebuilt, somewhat poorly) I'll make test cages that are exactly alike except for the cant to see whether it has any effect (and what the optimal cant is)

Cool, I didn't realize he made cages too. I met him at DartCon and I knew he casted parts for Stryfes but not cages. I guess I should have paid more attention. Let me know how it goes. One of these days I'll get around to sciencing the heck out of some of this stuff, but for now I may have to defer it to the community. As it stands, the FDL-1 is surprisingly accurate, especially for a Mega blaster, and I'm pretty happy with that.

Yup, he makes cages. I should be getting one for myself in the mail in a couple of weeks. I too would much like to get on with sciencing, but as I said, my 3d printer is being a punk and refusing to work.

wicked work dude me and the kids are going to build a few over summer thanks alot

Thanks! It will definitely be a cool thing to build for kids and... it's really fun to use after. I've only ever had a couple completely assembled at any one given time. It would be neat to have a few of them on the field.

yer when we are done we will post it we are just looking at some cool pla to print it out of
hope i am not being to cheeky but do you have a fill up to date wring diagram

I'll put one together. It's has changed a fair amount now that I've switched to custom made PCBs.

Comments deleted.

Yep, will do. Out of curiosity, which CAD software are you using? My main file is a dwg from AutoCAD. I think most of the big CAD softwares can import that but I'm not sure things like Sketchup and 123D will.

I use a number of things, but yeah most can import dwg, but often there's some data loss because of the proprietary nature. Things have likely improved since I last tried it 8 years ago though. I'll give it a try with solidedge later. However, if you can export the solids as a STEP/IGES, that generally gives the least questionability about translating solids from the original geometry for non-autodesk products. STEP or IGES works well with things like Sketchup, 123D, Solidworks, Solid Edge, etc., and can easily be converrted into other things