This is a custom hopper design that was developed for use in the sport of paintball. It served as my first introduction to 3D printing and the difficult geometry allowed me to test my 3D modeling skills. This is a rather unconventional design that isn’t what one would expect in the sport. I designed everything that is pictures here (main body and feeding mechanism) while a friend designed the actual section that held the paintballs.
This was largely worked on through the Summer of 2015 but I haven’t had the chance to come back to it. The primary issue that we ran into was during preliminary impact testing: PLA was not a strong enough material (even when printed with 100% fill) to withstand the impact of a paintball from around 20 feet -unless it had a large number of layers. Unfortunately this meant that PLA was not a suitable substance. We later found that PLA is also not suitable because it will easily warp when left in the sun. ***The brown parts in the pictures below are made of PLA. ***
In the sport of paintball, 20 feet is a modest distance considering the fact that in some matches one can get “bunkered.” Bunkering occurs when your opponent will quickly run past where you are hiding and mark you at a very close distance. In this situation, it is common for a paintball to hit its target after traveling only 1 foot.
As a potential solution, we also tested HIPS (see the purple part in the picture below) -this material proved to be much more durable. Unfortunately, we found another issue when we subjected the hopper to impact testing. While the material itself was strong, the high melting point of HIPS caused the hopper to have a highly orthotropic structure and impact testing made the component break along the 3D printed layers.
I’d soon like to attempt to 3D print these parts with using better methods and complete this project.
I’ve personally done a fairly large amount of work on my 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse including:
- Inner Tie Rods (front)
- Front Valve Cover Gasket and Spark Plug Tube Seals
- Timing Belt, Water Pump, Hydraulic Tensioner, Pulleys
- Spark Plugs
- Spark Plug Wires
- Upper and Lower Intake Manifold Gaskets
- Rear Valve Cover Gasket and Spark Plug Tube Seals
- Fuel Injector Insulators for Cylinders 4 and 6
- Ball Joint/Control Arm
- Headlight and tailight bulbs
- C/V shaft
- Brake/rotor kit
- Motor Mounts
- Finish installing remote start/security system (waiting until I have a few days to do this since I need to disconnect my main wiring harness)