As a franchise based on looting and then shooting guns, Borderlands has been a constant source of inspiration in the maker community for full size 3D prints of the firearms in the various games.
With Borderlands 3 on the horizon Max Giese has decided to not just make another interesting looking prop, but a functional one that shoots rubber bands from a magazine.
Giese tells us that the modelling work here took between 15 and 20 hours to complete. While that may sound like a short amount of time to create a magazine-fed repeating rubber band gun, it’s worth noting that this version of the project is the third iteration, with countless more hours spent testing and perfecting the idea on the other two versions.
The total printing time came to around 69 hours using 700 grams of filament. This was spread across the various pieces: the main body (41 hours), the stock and grip (20 hours), internal parts (5 hours) and the exchangeable magazine (3 hours).
Once assembled this print measures in at 90 centimetres long, 4.5 centimetres wide and 16 centimetres tall.
For finishing work the trigger, grip and upper stock were all heavily sanded with the rest only getting a light sanding. The painting process as similarly simple with a primer, followed by spray paint and two layers of clear coat.
This is a Maliwan gun so an appropriately vibrant colour scheme was chosen. The Maliwan name, as well as the vault symbol were added with that spray paint and stencils found online.
While the prop obviously looks great and perfectly fits into the Borderlands aesthetic while being its own design, the shooting mechanism is the big draw here.
“The gun has a internal bolt with a hook that catches one rubber band at a time if it gets pushed forward against the magazine. If the bolt then gets pulled back, the rubber band will stretch until a hook catches the bolt,” Giese explains.
“When this happens, the hook with the rubber band pushes against the part I call ‘rubber release’, which moves forward when the trigger gets pulled and allows the hook to rotate and release the rubber band. Then the large lever on the outside can be pushed down, which frees the bolt form its hook and allows it to be pushed forward again.”
Well that is rather complex, Giese was kind enough to make this diagram to show how it fires. You can also see the gif embedded above to watch the mechanism in action. Notice that the magazine, which looks a bit like a bottle opener, attaches to the front of the gun on top of the barrel.
If you’re not deterred by the complexity here, the files to make your own version of this project are available for free from MyMiniFactory.
It’s worth noting that you will need a few other items aside from filament. This print is designed to be screwed together (there’s another helpful diagram for that), and it needs some springs and an aluminium T-profile for rigidity.
The bipod and scope you see in the some of the pictures on this page are also not 3D printed, but are instead commercial products which attach to the plastic thanks to the inclusion of picatinny NATO rails.
If you’re not one for Borderlands, make sure you check out the rest of Giese’s work which includes swords from the Witcher series with glowing LED runes.