3D-printed railgun can fire projectiles 560 mph

Most people are familiar with rail guns through video games and other works of science fiction, but as the electronics needed to build these weapons become cheaper and more accessible, they’re quickly making their way into the real world. Need some proof? Just check out this ridiculously beefy homemade rail gun designed by YouTuber and DIY electronics enthusiast xtamared.

NERF guns have become the bane of any office employee without one. Even my mother has to duck and cover behind her desk every Friday afternoon as a NERF war surrounds her, pistols against mavericks against chain fed machine guns. At the end of the working week, squishy warfare is waged in offices across the globe, with each NERF enthusiast trying to outdo the other.

Along with Ryan and David from Youtube channel Eclectical Engineering, Mark built this gigantic version of a NERF Maverick, with the darts travelling at an astounding 40 MPH (64KPH). They also decided to 3D print a projectile for it that travelled an amazing 130 yards (118 meters) with the assistance of the 3000psi paintball tank “under the hood” of the Maverick. It was a bit more aerodynamic than the pool noodle/toilet plunger they had MacGyvered together, although it didn’t stick to the surfaces it hit.

The gun’s electronics are controlled by an Arduino Uno R3, which monitors the levels of the electronic components — including the capacitor voltage, the amperage, the temperature, and battery voltage. The entire unit is powered by a 12V lithium-polymer battery that’s stepped up to 1050V using a micro-inverter and a transformer. It fires a variety of metal armatures, such as copper-plated tungsten, aluminum, carbon, and Teflon/plasma.

Video footage of the gun firing is pure awesomeness. The aluminum sabot flies out of the gun at 250 meters per second (559 mph), hits a plywood target with a steel backing approximately three feet away, and bounces off the wood after leaving a 1/2-inch deep indent. The carbon test was much more impressive from an audiovisual point of view, however, setting off a loud arcing sound and a discernible spark as the carbon projectile flew out of the gun and disintegrated.

 

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