Rubber-Band Bow and Arrow

by j_siegel, published

Rubber-Band Bow and Arrow by j_siegel Nov 7, 2010

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I was bored on a Saturday afternoon and with an engineer friend. We decided to have a contest to see who could design and build the best printable bow and arrow, using the following constraints:

One 100mm x 100mm panel of parts
No more than 2 rubber bands
No adhesive
"Reasonable" print time (under 1.5 hours)
"Reasonable" design time (under 1.5 hours)

This was the my entry. The picture is of the first revision, which had a few issues (pins were too small to print cleanly, holes were not oversized enough, pins would shear). The uploaded file is the second revision, which has not yet been tested but should address all of these issues (my printer is down today with "null version reported" so I'll try to get it tested ASAP).


Print the plate, clean the parts up (the holes in particular).
Slide the two leafs over the center piece and put the retainer plate on the back.
Heat up a knife blade (I used a lighter) and press down on the tabs to "fuse" them in place.
Take a piece of hot filament and slide it into the hole on the center piece of the bow; this is now your guide.
Slip your end cap over the filament and mushroom the tip again with a hot knife to keep you from loosing the cap when launching pencils.
Finally, take a rubber band (you'll need a fairly long one) and stretch it across the nubs at the ends of the leaves.
Load a pencil, draw back, and fire!

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Fell apart before first pencil fired

I've not printed it but if the hole is to small you can always get a knife a make it bigger

If a pencil doesn't fit in the hole, then your printer is probably not calibrated correctly. Everything works great. I used super glue to assemble the pieces as the melted tabs let go. I would also have made the tab for holding it a little bigger, it's kind of clumsy to hold and shoot. Otherwise fun!

Can you upload separate pieces? I am having trouble fitting this on my platform.

I managed to repair the stl with the netfabs cloud service and then break it up using repetier-host. Had to do in that order because if I tried breaking it up first it was making some weird breaks in the parts.

If you could still post up the indivual pieces I would still appreciate it.

Is she shooting well? Does the cap get caught on the slide?

Something is wrong with the file. Slic3r said "Warning: The input file is not manifold. You might want to check the resulting gcode before printing.

The model has overlapping or self-intersecting facets. I tried to repair it, however you might want to check the results or repair the input file and retry."

You can run the STL through netfabcloud to clean and repair the STL to make it more soic3r friendly: http://cloud.netfabb.com/http://cloud.netfabb.com/

What were the parameters? Shells? Fill %?

Its little things like this, that make me feel stupid for not thinking of it first

Great job!

Don't shoot your eye out!

This is bangarang! Just shot out 4 @ 1.45hr each; used metal hangar with taped ends for guide and ended up switching to less lethal ammo (straw) after the wife saw what I was doing to things in the garage =-X

This was awesome! Thanks for your work on this! I do have to ask though, did you really print it in under 1.5 hours? I printed it at 40 mm/sec and it took 2:55. Any faster and I think my RepRap would have shaken apart... =-O It's my second print ever on my printer I just completed. Well worth making the printer if this is the only thing I print! Thanks again! 8-)

With the right firmware (Sprinter/Marlin) that supports acceleration, you can run much higher. I'm printing at 70mm/s atm, and with a layer height of 0.4mm Skeinforge says this print would take around 30 Minutes each (so i'd guess it's more like 40-45 minutes). Since we are talking Mendel, we could print up to four at a time with much better efficiency, since the printer needs to wait for the tall parts to cool off before moving on to the next layer.

This is by far the most epic "Back to School" thing

How do you print multiple parts on the build platform in one go? Did you make an stl from an assembly file or is there a way of doing it in skeinfofge?

I did the assembly in Solidworks, then exported as an STL.

Coming from a middle school teacher... this is dangerous! just make sure its not sharpened!!

I'm pretty sure your middle school students already have access to items that would be even more dangerous "in the wrong hands", such as thumbtacks, superglue, paint, etc.

could you load an ipt file i could not convert it to ipt or other files i would like to print already assembled. i use inventor and autocad so let me know if you know a way to convert to any of the files.

You are a genius! I love the idea :-D

how far does it shoot?

Depends on the rubber band, elevation, and pencil. I was able to get ~20 or 30 feet.

lol, elevation.

INGENIOUS! How did nobody think of this before???