Sunday, April 9, 2017

Fallout 4 Pipe Pistol

Kamui Cosplay has an interesting buildup of a pipe pistol from Fallout 4.   At first glance you would think this is a relatively straightforward project.  After all, the pistol is constructed from very basic shapes- cylinders, blocks, hexagons, etc..  The kind of stuff that's tailor-made for hand fabrication from simple, readily available materials like MDF and PVC pipe.

Instead, they print out all the parts on a high-resolution 3D printer.  I don't even want to imagine how much that cost in filament.

Don't get me wrong.  The end product looks great.  It just seems like the project is using 3D printing  for the sake of using it when more traditional modeling techniques would be both faster and cheaper.


The_Doomed_One said...

Honestly that probably only cost between $5-$10 in filament, the real cost of 3d printing is time, but the time the printer is going is time you could spend working on something else. This is also a fantastic project to get started with 3d modeling, what with all the simple shapes.

CoastConFan said...

The simplification of ignition systems from flintlocks to percussion to cartridge is what made firearms into a machined process from what was originally a highly trained artisan exercise. Milling and boring machines, the stock lathe, and standardization allowed marginally trained individuals to manufacture parts, which were then assembled easily (and interchangeably). Many of the early percussion revolvers, starting in the late 1830s could be created with tools found in most small machine shops, which is why there was a plethora of small makers and inventors at work for at least a half of century, until the inexpensiveness of mass produced products put them out of business.

The problem with cartridge guns is not the manufacture of the guns themselves as they can have the same tolerances as percussion revolvers, but the cartridge itself. Which required some new technology such as seamless metal extrusion and absolute metrics. That was the sticking point for the early years of cartridge making – an investment into new technology and some expensive machinery that lent itself largely to mass production. Reloading existing empty cartridge hulls required only a few hand tools, however.

You really don’t even need the complication of a self-indexing and auto revolving cylinder (as patented by Colt in 1837) as there were a number of makers who produced revolvers with hand-rotated cylinders with simple stops for alignment, while that patent was in force. Note that many older percussion revolvers were reworked to accept cartridges quite easily

That’s why for those post apocalypse types in RPGs making a weapon from modified and scavenged components is not too difficult, with lots of material lying around, but making cartridges from scratch is a whole different ball game. For that matter, making the fulminate of mercury component for primers might be possible under some circumstances, I just don’t see it as very simple or safe. All said and done, the hard part is cartridges (with primers), the rest is just reforming and machining.