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Nerf Desolator Mods & Upgrades

Ever since I was a kid, I enjoyed playing with Nerf guns blasters. I just liked shooting things around the house, which included my brother. I remember shooting suction cup darts at our CRT TV while watching shows (aiming at the characters / actors). It was way too much fun.

As I grew up, and pursued engineering, I found a new interest in learning how the blasters worked. Then I started modifying and building my own and making them more powerful. After that, I found yet another interest in the industrial design of the blasters. Needless to say, this is a very multifaceted hobby for me.

<Nerf Desolator in its Stock Configuration>
A short time ago, I got my first personal 3D printer. This was the tipping point. Now I could use my sweet design skills to make modifications, upgrades, and additions to my Nerf blasters - or create completely new ones. This led to my first project: upgrading my Nerf Desolator.

<Light Configuration of my Desolator>
Ever since Nerf came out with the …
Recent posts

ES120 Electric Screwdriver Review

For a long time I've been on the look out for a good electric screwdriver. I wanted one that was small, had good build quality, good RPM, and good torque. Now, "good" is a relative term so I'll elaborate a little and say that I do like nice things and most of the screws I use are in the #2 to #10 range. As long as the driver could push these with a decent speed and seat them with a "finger-tight" level of torque, I would be happy. I didn't want something huge like the ones that you can get from the hardware store. Recently I found the ES120 electric screwdriver and it appears like I found what I was looking for.


Honestly, this little electric screwdriver is sweet. It's about the size of a large marker or highlighter and has only one button that controls the entire operation. Holding down this button will turn on the screwdriver and light up a little screen. Rotating the screwdriver clockwise or CCW will start the motor. There are 5 qualitative torqu…

Pacific Rim: Nuclear Vortex Turbine

This past Halloween I really wanted to making something impressive. I still wanted to pluck something from my favorite movie, Pacific Rim, to continue my theme from last year. I already had a nice leather jacket with the Gipsy Danger logo, a kaiju kill count row, and some patches. This year I needed something better... more complicated...


It didn't take long for my focus to shift toward the star jaeger's eye candy, the thing that really made it visually pop - the cool Iron-Man-like chest turbine thing. Specifically, in the context of the movie, it's called a Nuclear Vortex Turbine (NVT). What it really does, and how it technically works probably isn't a good question to ask... Just know that it looks really cool. This was the perfect thing to not only make, but also make function. I needed it to spin. I needed it to glow.

My plan was to make something I could wear on my chest that would be heavily modeled after the NVT from Gipsy Danger. I would use leather straps arou…

Steampunk'd Glowing Nerf Persuader

This is something I've wanted to do ever since I started seeing it on the internet. It struck me as a very easy way to make a high quality steampunk gun without spending loads of time building every piece of it. Most people don't have the skills for that. For the ones that do, like myself, sometimes the time or motivation to do that level of work isn't there.

I love Nerf guns blasters. I loved them as a kid because I could shoot them all over the house, at my brother, etc. As an adult (some people I know would disagree with using this term to describe me) and engineer, I still like them because I can shoot them all over the house. I also developed an interest in the technology Nerf has come up with over the years to expand and progress their blasters. Another aspect I enjoy is learning about how the blasters are designed & assembled given that they are all injection molded. I've been involved in the design of several such parts and I always find gems hidden inside…

3D Printed Mechanical Pencil

What better way is there to spend multiple consecutive weekends than sitting at your computer, redesigning a mechanism that has existed for decades, all to be able to 3D print something that can be bought at the store for less than $1? ... That's right, anything. However, when your co-worker throws down the gauntlet there is only one thing to do. Take it up.


This is how the 3D printed mechanical pencil came to be. Luckily though, it actually works pretty well and has enough style to spare.  
This pencil has 4 separate parts and was printed fully assembled as shown in the image below. Its about 6" long and 1/2" in diameter at its maximum, not including the pocket clip. It takes standard 0.9mm lead and 7mm diameter erasers. Three extra pieces of lead can be stored behind the eraser. I would have liked to do a more common lead size like 0.7mm or 0.5mm but the feature sizes required to hold lead that small are very difficult to achieve even on high resolution printers. Its …

3D Printed Tape Measure

Going off the success of my 3D printed dial calipers, I decided to try to print something even more elaborate. But what to print? I contemplated several options but ultimately decided to print a tape measure.


Originally I didn't think a tape measure would be that interesting... I mean, it doesn't even have gears. Once I started piecing it together in my mind and determining the acceptable "cool factor", I realized that the parts count alone was skyrocketing. My calipers had 9 pieces, this tape measure would have well over 100... Now things were getting interesting.

I decided to attempt this based on the parts count and the fact that, if successful, I would be able pull out over 4ft of tape from something about 3" sq. Also, I had no better ideas at the time.


I designed the tricky parts first, then I printed little test pieces here and there to validate the design before integrating them together. Right around the time I starting adding all the cutouts in the main…