Each printer and filament will have a bit of unique wiggle room, so be prepared to make adjustments as you go. On my Anycubic Plus the following settings worked quite well:
- Nozzle temperature: 215 (PLA)
- Bed temperature: 90
- Resolution: 0.2
- Infill: 15% hexagonal
- Supports: Tree supports. You want to go as minimal as you can with these.
- Rafts: Yes. I found these to be helpful maintaining the parts on the bed.
You’ll need to sand down the pieces individually in order to get them to fit right and prepare them for painting later on. You’ll also want to look carefully at the reference picture for the blaster, so you don’t put the scope up too high like I did the first time!
Supports are important for this print, as I discovered when I tried to print sans support and ended up with some glitches in the print.
This sort of thing is easy enough to correct if the impact from the lack of supports is minimal. This is just plastic, after all! I heated up a butter knife and carefully melted the plastic into its correct shape around the scope adjustment knob. A little sanding, and it'll look fine beneath its paint!
Going overboard on your supports is liable to cause other problems, however! On my first try at printing the blaster’s main chassis, I added heavy supports, and they became too completely connected to the model. When I removed them, they left one side badly scarred in a way that even sanding couldn’t fix. I had to go back and redo it with minimal tree supports instead.
As you can see here, removing my tree supports proved much easier, but I’d still have liked to go even lighter with them. When I try my hand at a more complex version of this model, I’m definitely going to take an even lighter touch to the supports if possible. Adjusting the overhang is pretty vital with your supports, since that defines the angle at which the supports will be placed.
Ideally, supports will just pull away with minimal cutting. Any points they leave behind can then be sanded down carefully.
The internal grip sits between the two pieces that form the grip itself. On this model, it doesn't have a hole defined for a screw, even though the grip pieces do, so if you add a real screw make certain to pre-drill your hole.
The external grip pieces are grooved and usually painted to look slightly brown - depending on which set of reference photos you're going off of.
It's not completely clear why a blaster has a hammer, beyond that the original German handgun used to form the base for the original blaster model had one. For our purposes, this is the piece that our newly-built grip connects to.
The trigger on this model is static and quite delicate at a low infill. Other models have more advanced trigger designs with working mechanisms, but those are a bit more complex to print and fit together. In this case, the trade-off is an easily-snapped trigger if you play around with it too much. You'll want to reinforce the trigger with some clear superglue if you plan on taking it out and about for cosplay purposes.
This model is designed to snap together, the plastic groves interlocking on the various pieces. This will initially leave some unsightly gaps. To rid yourself of these, carefully sand your parts down as you fit them together, in order to get a close fit. Then use superglue to join them permanently. Later, during painting, any remaining gaps will vanish!
I showed you some pictures of this earlier pre the removal of my supports. The final version turned out alright, though, as you can see from the striations that appeared in the print, I still need to perfect my settings.
The barrel piece slots into the groove created by fitting together the grip and hammer with the trigger section. A little sanding will absolutely be required to get the fit nice, here. Superglue will hold the pieces together, but don't apply until you've gotten it sanded down the way you want!
An easy enough step, this just requires lining up the pieces well. You can sand it down afterward, to ensure that the rounded bottom of the grip is smooth--the most important part is getting the pieces of the grip to fit snugly against the main body of the blaster. Just superglue it down. You can pre-drill a screw hole and add a screw later.
This piece turned out to be quite neat to print. I found that I did not need to print this with supports, and, indeed, supports might have clogged its more delicate features. From what I can tell, having the right print temperature for your filament is key to getting something like this to come out correctly.
The barrel on this model doesn't fit as well as I'd like - the connecting point is too small, so the connection will always be loose. You'll need to apply some superglue and just fit the muzzle onto the barrel directly, eyeballing it to get it even.
As I mentioned earlier, I tried printing the sight sans supports. This almost worked, save for a little mishap with the control knob. But, rather than waste all the good plastic I'd put into an otherwise serviceable print, I just cut away the excess plastic that had unspooled around the knob, then melted it into the right shape. A little sanding and some paint will see it turn out perfectly.
This model is very strange when it comes to the sight brackets, as they're a bit too small for the scope! I could see adding some screws to make it all fit together, or you could size up the model slightly. For this test, I just fit them together as best as I could and glued it down. I'd be more subtle with a more complex model that I'd actually plan to gift to someone, but for my own use this was acceptable.
The final step is to attach the scope! As you can see, I messed up a little and put the scope bracket too high up on the blaster! This is correctable, but I'd suggest just avoiding that mistake in the first place when you do it. You may also want to do some of the painting first before assembling this final piece, with more painting following to complete the look.
Either way, there you have it! I'm quite pleased with the result, and look forward to trying my hand at one of the more complex versions of this model in the future. Go ahead and post pictures of your attempts in the comments! I'd love to see how your version turns out.
There are a lot of different 3D printing surfaces out there -- metal, BuildTak, painter's tape, glass, and more. But for most 3D printers, glass is the ultimate printing surface.