It's Christmas time at DEFCAD! We're pleased to begin by sharing Laff's Dynamics recent Christmas series of Tree Ornaments; handguns in all your favorite patterns: G17, G26, M9-A1, and the Chiefs Special! He's also provided updates to the UBAR-LFS, and his AKM Grips and Stock. Be sure to check out his wide and varied catalog of designs over your holiday break.
AVES RAILS, BOOMER COMPLETE
Aves Rails has become an integral producer in DIY Defense with their line of minimal, metallic kit parts for some of the more popular printed handgun frames and projects. DEFCAD is proud to assist Aves and its community by hosting open source CAD models of their most popular, closed products: The DD17.2, DD19.2, DD26.2, DD43.1, and the new OK Boomer rails. At last, a great way to experiment and to check if your designs will be compatible with Aves rails! Be sure to download them today!
PRINT HEAD & EXTRUDER
At the heart of every 3D printer is the tool head. This block of parts is precisely what makes our 3D printer a printer in the first place. Components such as the nozzle, the hotend, the feed motor, and sometimes even the extruder find their home here. The type and arrangement of these parts is extremely important here, as the wrong selection for your project will cost you time and money.
Perhaps the most important step you can take with your 3D printer is to select a direct drive setup for your extruder. Cheaper printers are usually setup with a Bowden system, which utilizes a long tube (called a Bowden tube) to guide the filament to the hot end. While this does save weight on the tool head itself, it can introduce a lot of compression and backlash into the filament and feeding system, introducing less-than-ideal artifacts into a print. Direct drive extruders are mounted directly to the tool head, which introduces some amount weight (though often marginal), but just about entirely eliminates those compression and backlash issues. Some materials - such as TPUs and TPCs - require direct drive extruders to even print at all.
Another important part consideration is the nozzle, which goes on the end of the hot end assembly, just below the heater block. While we might just think of a nozzle as being one simple part, it's arguably the most complex component on a 3D printer, coming in different sizes, materials, and even internal designs. For now, let's focus on sizes and materials. Nozzles are measured in the realm of tenths of a millimeter, with the standard being 0.4mm. Larger sizes, such as 0.6mm, allow for a faster print but at the cost of demanding higher extrusion rates and inherently thicker print lines (which, if precision is your game, may be less than ideal). The game with nozzle sizes is won by how you interpret the rules, so you'll want to consider what your project goals are before settling in on your favorite.
Nozzle material, on the other hand, is fairly straightforward, with the cheaper options generally being more affordable but less durable. The standard here is a brass hot end, being cheap and easily replaceable, while also maintaining a good thermal conductivity (meaning faster heating times). The next step up is hardened steel, which is a bit pricier, but has a far superior durability, lasting orders of magnitude longer than brass nozzles. Hardened steel nozzles also have a lower thermal conductivity, meaning longer heating times, but are able to maintain a temperature with much less effort once there. Some materials are so abrasive that you'll want to have a hardened steel nozzle, unless you want to be replacing your brass ones every couple of prints.
NYPD GHOST GUNS GUIDE
What makes a ghost gun anwyay? How do you make one? Where can you buy the parts? These are some of the questions our friends in New York law enforcement want us to ask and answer! The New York Police Department recently prepared a handy guide answering our favorite ghost gun questions and DEFCAD has elected to host it for future reference.
This short but sweet set of slides takes a fairly accurate pulse on DIY Defense, and we look forward to many more as the space evolves.