I recently discovered ASA filaments and they are producing some outstanding prints.
Shown here is my N1 pistol brace and the Fusion pistol grip. The ASA filament requires more work on the front end but will require less work for you. Many folks who have purchased from me before run their parts as is, so I strive to make them as nice looking as possible.
For those that want to sand and paint there parts to make them look ‘less 3d printed’ they will have another option, acetone vapor smoothing. Exposing ASA to acetone vapors will melt the outer layers together and the parts become smooth as glass. I will be experimenting with this process over the next few weeks and report back my findings.
For those that are interested here is a link to an article that outlines the process.
Reader James put together an Airsoft based SA80 and I thought you would like to see some pics of his process. He also wrote me the following in an email which helps explain a lot of the problems I had trying to put mine together.
James wrote quote;
This is a bitch to put together……
For the upper and the lower. I used a Star Airsoft cause the metal was a bit thicker then the G&G. They all had issues with spacing. Basically… Here’s the deal. You have to use an Airsoft body unless you have a massive press and dies. But the airsoft guns all put the magazine too far forward and too far apart from the trigger pack holes. The airsoft guns are all too wide by about 2mm. And in some guns like the G&G, the mag well is too short. So basically… All uppers and lowers have to quartered and welded back together. I have some images of how I did this and where I too material out. I used the STAR because its was 2mm too long all in the area between the Magazine and the Trigger pack so I could just take out 2mm right down the middle, and the mag well accepted AR15 mags without modification. However, its probably the least like the real steel guns. The G&G and Army bodies of which I have 2 or 3 each could work, but you’ll need 2 guns to make 1 gun cause the length of the airsoft gun is spot on, but you need to remove 2mm from the length between the magazine well and the trigger pack. This is all based on were the trigger is and having an actual trigger rod and a trigger pack. You know the spring guide from the back of the gun will locate the back of the Barrel extension block or trunnion. And then the bolt in battery will basically just pass the Auto sear location.
In AutoCAD i made blocks of the pieces that I had for the real gun. Those I wanted to fit absolutely and I found that those told me where things had to go to make things work. Key points. Spring guide rod. Trigger Pack holes. Length of bolt hold open level to catch magazine follower. HK magazine. Auto Sear location on Trigger pack. Auto sear cam on bottom of bolt. Bolt face with lugs in battery will tell you where the barrel extension goes. Length of trigger bar from trigger to trigger pack. Those all all fixed elements which when placed will show you that airsoft bodies need a shitload of work to make things fit right.
The G&G and Army bodies although they’ll look better need to have 2 airsoft guns each cut into 4 pieces, 1 cross cut and one length wise cut. Because they don’t have the extra length.
Just a quick update on the Fusion “paperweight” and the Fusion grip.
The Fusion grip will now be printed as a slickside. It will require little to no sanding and polishing by you and for most it will be used as is. Bolt it on and go!
The Fusion “paperweight” has eliminated the buffer detent hole. Don’t worry, it will still work with your AR15 upper but will be a bit more fiddly when taking down for cleaning. Most are planing to use this with their BRN-180 upper and this will make it an even more perfect match.
Reader Alex sent me this link. Jump to the 22:03 mark to see the AR18S.
You can definitely see the unique flash hider on this gun. If you need one for your shorty project head over to AR180Parts.com. I just got a batch back from John Thomas at Retro Arms Works and they are ready to ship.