One particular fantasy of many makers in the airsoft scene is making a 3D printed, functional gun. This dream is difficult to realize due to the precision and mechanical properties required for the gearbox. The rest of the gun, however, is easy enough to do. You just need lots of design skills, print area, patience, and the confidence that you won’t be dropping and breaking it anytime soon.
If you don’t want to design a gearbox and feel that mounting a commercial one is cheating, try CO2 capsules. 3D printed parts are weak, but a solid, thick wall could withstand the pressure. The problem would then be how to fit the capsule without leaks and how to accurately press the release hole.
Thecrow2245 has come up with a 3D printed shell launcher that removes the previous difficulties. It uses a 40 mm shell, which stores both BBs and gas. This shell is a rechargeable single use gun by itself. Load it with gas and pellets, and insert it into the launcher. Then put the launcher in your side pocket until the situation requires it. This pocket cannon would have its moment of glory when you need to clear a packed room, or when you are expecting visitors while waiting in ambush. The trigger pushes the back of the shell, releasing the gas in a safe manner for user and gun. If a shower of BBs is not your thing, different models of 40 mm shells can also shoot powder or foam balls.
The creator has made the 3D files available for download here.
While this single use launcher is not a substitute for a main gun, the creator’s objective was to clone the already existing commercial launchers for a fraction of the price.