Looking for an affordable and fun project to round out the summer with? Why not practice your archery skills with a fully 3D printed miniature compound bow.
While the world has been expressing an immense amount of concern over the potential rise of 3D printed guns, it’s easy to lose sight of all the fun projects that this technology enables us to create. To us, the most impressive projects consist of functional objects that are primarily made up of 3D printed parts.
One type of design we’ve commonly seen shared by makers is the crossbow, available on the internet in both miniature and regular size. For instance, German engineer and maker Sebastian Stickel–who goes by DonStick3l on Thingiverse–created a 3D printed miniature compound bow to fire off wood skewers.
It’s fully functional and has an incredible design, made up of 18 3D printed parts, some string and a few screws.
For just a few bucks, you can create your own compound bow too. Of course, if you plan on 3D printing your own, be sure to use it responsibly! With it, you can become maker version of Robin Hood, becoming a master archer and having an enjoyable outdoor activity to impress your friends and family with.
Let’s take a look at what you need and the basics on how to build your own.
3D Printed Miniature Compound Bow: What You Need & How to Build it
There are 18 different 3D printed parts that make up the miniature compound bow, all of which are freely available to download via Thingiverse. Aside from your 3D printer, you need a collection of M3 screws and some bow string (some Thingiverse comments suggest using nylon fishing line with a 0.7mm diameter). Finally, for the arrows, the designer recommends wood skewers that are 300mm in length and have a diameter of 2.5 to 3.5mm.
Compared to some of the other Weekend Projects we’ve shared, this miniature compound bow seems quite challenging to build. Thankfully, Stickel shares a comprehensive assembly guide alongside the STL files, equipped with every step, part ID, and pictures to assist in the build process.
After a quick disclaimer urging makers to use the compound bow responsibly, the creator shares all of his slicer settings. Next, there’s a lengthy section that explains what each 3D printed part does and how it was designed, along with how to optimize the printing process and perform post-processing for every component.
After going over some information on how to select the non-3D printed hardware, the engineer starts on the intensive build process, which consists of 36 different steps.
If you want to learn more about the assembly of the miniature compound bow, head over to the project’s Thingiverse page and look at the Compound_Bow_Instructions.pdf, which is included with the collection of STL files. Stickel also appears to be quite active in the comment section, so feel free to drop him a line if you’d like.