The Arcus 3D-printed rubber band gatling gun fires 48 shots per second

Sometimes 3D printing can be a reminder of humankind’s ability to triumph over our environment, as recently evidenced when the first 3D printed tool was successfully created on board the International Space Station. Other times, it can be a reminder of the wonders of modern medicine, as seen through the phenomenon of “bio-inks” and the dream of one day printing out working organs for life-saving treatment.

And then there are the times when it’s used to print out fully-automatic gatling guns capable of firing off 48 rubber bands in a matter of seconds. Is it wrong that part of us isn’t sure which of these three is our favorite application?

Created by 3D printing artisan Matthew Davis, the so-called “Arcus” is a thing of beauty, and snaps together without the need for screws or glue. Davis has made the instructions available over at Instructables, although you’ll need plenty of time and patience to get all of your 3D printed parts ready for assembly.

“I’d seen a 3D printed rubber band gun online before, which was just a basic hand-held one. I thought it was really cool, so I just set out to design my own,” Davis tells Digital Trends. “The hardest part was making it strong enough to hold the elastic bands, and getting the spinning mechanism to work was a real challenge too.”

As Davis notes, the Arcus isn’t the first 3D printed rubber band gun to show up online, but it’s definitely got some nifty features. “Unlike almost all of the other rubber band Gatling guns out there, the Arcus uses the energy from the rubber bands that it is shooting to spin the barrels,” he explains in accompanying notes. “The Arcus also features the arm mount system, meaning that to hold it you put your arm through the center and the barrels will spin around your arm. A cam system is used so that when you pull the trigger the barrels will start the rotation.”

If you’ve ever wanted to know what Final Fantasy’s Barret Wallace would print if he ever got his hands (err, hand) on a 3D printer, look no further!

Did we mention how much we love additive manufacturing?

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

PS4 vs. Switch: After weighing the pros and cons, which one comes out on top?

Nintendo Switch versus PlayStation 4: Which one has better overall value? We break down the pros and cons of each platform to tell you which of these consoles is truly worth the money.
Smart Home

No strings attached: This levitating lamp uses science to defy gravity

Now on Kickstarter, the Levia lamp is a cool industrial-looking lamp which boasts a levitating bulb. Looking for a table light that will dazzle visitors? You've come to the right place.
Gaming

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Emerging Tech

White spots on Ceres are evidence of ancient ice volcanoes erupting

Scientists are pouring over data collected by NASA's Dawn mission to learn about the dwarf planet Ceres and the bright white spots observed at the bottom of impact craters. They believe that these spots are evidence of ice volcanoes.
Emerging Tech

NASA to launch SPHEREx mission to investigate the origins of our universe

NASA is launching an ambitious mission to map the entire sky to understand the origins of the universe. The Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) mission will launch in 2023.
Emerging Tech

Probes exploring Earth’s hazardous radiation belts enter final phase of life

The Van Allen probes have been exploring the radiation belts around Earth for seven years. Now the probes are moving into the final phase of their exploration, coming closer to Earth to gather more data before burning up in the atmosphere.
Emerging Tech

How can digital art created on obsolete platforms be preserved?

As the lines between art and technology continue to blur, digital art experiences become more commonplace. But these developments are raising an important question for art conservationists: How should digital artworks be preserved?
Emerging Tech

Statistician raises red flag about reliability of machine learning techniques

Machine learning is everywhere in science and technology. But how reliable are these techniques really? A statistician argues that questions of accuracy and reproducibility of machine learning have not been fully addressed.
Emerging Tech

Chandra X-ray telescope uncovers evidence of the universe’s missing matter

Where is all of the matter in the universe? NASA's Chandra telescope has uncovered evidence of hot gas strands in the vicinity of a quasar which could explain the missing third of matter which has puzzled astronomers for years.
Emerging Tech

Wish you could fly? You totally can with these top-of-the-line drones

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.
Emerging Tech

Here’s how Facebook taught its Portal A.I. to think like a Hollywood filmmaker

When Facebook introduced its Portal screen-enhanced smart speakers, it wanted to find a way to make video chat as intimate as sitting down for a conversation with a friend. Here's how it did it.
Emerging Tech

NASA’s space observatory will map the sky with unprecedented detail

NASA is preparing to launch a cutting-edge space observatory to create the most detailed map ever produced of the sky. Doing so will involve surveying hundreds of millions of galaxies. Here's how it plans to do it.