This was made at LVL1, Louisville's Hackerspace. (see more at http://www.lvl1.org) Be sure to check your area for a hackerspace, they're a great place to meet new people, learn new things and get access to awesome tools.
Having a laser cutter or CNC machine will really help with this build, but they're not required. The pics in this tutorial were all taken after the gun was built, so everything is its final colors.
When building my weapons I try to make my weapons scaled perfectly and worry about the details later. There are a lot of miniguns out there, but most of them are scaled horribly. To me, the details don't really matter as long as the weapon is scaled properly.
Laser cutter or CNC machine
hot glue gun
really long Phillips head screwdriver
Rough List of Materials:
1/2" foam board
3/4" PVC pipe 10'
1/2" PVC pipe about 3' long
1/2" conduit about 1' long
4" PVC coupler
4" to 2" PVC adapter
3" PVC pipe 1' long
2" PVC pipe about 2' long
12" long 3/8" diameter threaded rod
6x coarse 3/8" nuts
4x 3/8" lock washers
2x 3/8" fender washers
4x 3/8" washers
3/8" inner diameter bearings
belt (and pulleys if you don't want to make your own)
black and white paint
other bits of scrap wood
Step 1: Make the Barrel
Cut six 1" diameter PVC pipes to 19" in length.
Use 1/2" foam to cut out 6 foam supports (8 for a static barrel.) This file is for a laser cutter which makes the final part a little smaller so you might need to scale it slightly to work with whatever method you use.
- Print the file onto a sheet of paper, glue to foam, cut out with a knife.
- Same thing, as above, but use a band saw or jig saw.
- Laser cutter
- CNC machine
- Mind bullets (advanced users only)
Four of these only need to look pretty, two need to fit snugly in the end. On all of them, the pipes should fit snugly; our entire barrel assembly is held together with nothing but friction and paint. If you're cutting the holes manually it is also easier to hide mistakes if the holes are slightly smaller instead of too big.
Test fit all of your foam pieces, then add a layer or two of Mod Podge. I know this sucks and it takes forever to let every foam bit dry, but if you don't Mod Podge the foam it will melt when you paint it.
The wood pieces are smaller and have a center hole for the axle. If you aren't going to make the gun spin you can skip the wood pieces and make two extra foam supports. Our first revision of this gun didn't spin and the barrel was just held in place by the friction of the foam in the funnel bit and a single screw on the top.
Fit all of the foam pieces together as best as you can. To get the individual barrels even cut a scrap piece of 1" thick wood to fit inside the end so you can press the barrels down against it.
Bolt the wood bits onto a 12" long 3/8" wide threaded rod (our axle). As you can see in the pics, I only used hardware to secure the very end support and then used the second support as, uh, support. The hardware I used was
nut - lock washer - washer - fender washer - support - fender washer - washer - lock washer -nut
Once the wood supports are attached to the axle, slide the wood pieces onto the barrels. This is kind of hard, I ended up pressing down on the wood support and spinning each individual barrel up into the support a little bit at a time. When you're done you will probably have to readjust all the foam supports again.