3D Printable Nerf-Style Gauntlet: Falconer MK II




This is my second generation nerf gauntlet. Inspired by Yang's Ember Celica's from the anime RWBY they're designed to hold 22 Nerf darts and can fire single shot or automatic. They are also completely 3D printable and the STL files can be found on my Thingiverse here along with the first generation.

DISCLAIMER: I don't have access to a 3D printer nor the money to order prints (part of the reason I want to win a printer with this contest) so this is mostly a theoretical build. I've had feedback on my MK I from some who printed and have used this to improve and modify the design. I would greatly appreciate feedback and suggestions to refine the design further. Due to its modularity there is minimal wastage when reprinting modified parts, something I see as a positive.

MK II Video

Step 1: Electronics

All of the electronics are run through an Arduino Nano.

The VIN can be used for the input power as the Nano can handle the 7.4V given by the LiPo battery. Both the image above and the code section should be used to ensure proper wiring, unfortunately the circuit diagram drawing tools I used didn't have a Nano so the wiring there is representative only and so should be wired with reference to the code, which has better notes.

The flywheels are driven by 2 drone BLDCs (a misnomer, they're more akin to high-speed ACs). It's designed with these motors in mind. (RCX Z R 1804 2400K Micro)

The flywheel motors are driven by these ESCs. (SimonK 30A ESC)

The ramrod motor is a geared torque motor from here. (DC 370 JSX-370)

The battery is a 7.4V LiPo available here. (7.4V 1300mAh 35C LiPo)

Other micro electronics are as follows:

Lever microswitch

TIP120 transistor

1N4004 diode

1K resistor

2 simple push buttons

Step 2: Printing

Parts available here.

All of the parts have been designed to be printed with minimal if any support material and there's no requirement for ABS or PLA in particular. The model has also been broken down into smaller parts to reduce waste, increase fixability and also allow smaller printers to print easily. The parts are all up on thingiverse at the link given in the description. They are assembled with M3 screws which bite into the plastic. 15mm M3's are suitable for most parts.

Cleanup will most likely be necessary. Clearance has been designed in where possible however depending on your printer settings some parts may need sanding or trimming. Ensure you check and test each moving part to make sure it runs smoothly.

Step 3: Code

This code is designed for the Arduino Nano but any small board would probably manage it just fine. The only limitation is the available space. I used a Nano because they're small and I had one on hand for testing.

The code is editable and if anyone with more experience wants to improve it for me I would be very grateful. The code is also derived from two sources, one for each of the circuits. The ESC link will help in calibrating your ESCs if necessary.

Step 4: Assembly

The assembly should be decently straightforward, refer to the videos and just let me know if you need any help.

3D Printing Contest 2016

Runner Up in the
3D Printing Contest 2016

First Time Author Contest 2016

Participated in the
First Time Author Contest 2016



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    41 Discussions


    Question 3 months ago

    The motors have since been discontinued, as have the ESCs. Are there any alternatives?


    Tip 4 months ago

    I have a few suggestions for if you ever decide to make a V3.
    1. I'm not a huge fan of strapping a LiPo battery to my arm.
    2. From an ergonomics and practicality stand point, having the firing buttons on what looks like the barrel (I'm in the middle of printing my gauntlet, so correct me if I'm wrong) just seems awkward. Personally, I'd want to use some sort of grip with buttons.
    3. Related to the previous, there doesn't seem to be anything actually preventing this from sliding off or around on your arm, which could affect accuracy. A hand grip would fix this problem.
    I like the overall design, but as it is right now, it's a little impractical.

    2 replies

    Reply 4 months ago

    Hi, thanks for your comment.
    1. You’re drawing nowhere near enough current to cause the lips to explode, it certainly will not heat up enough for that. I’d much rather have this strapped to my arm than a lead-acid. My electric bike runs on a huge number of LiPos and I draw an awful lot of current from it (I like going fast) and it’s never come close to the point of overheating.
    2. No, you’re probably thinking of the power switch. The trigger switch, as explained in the documentation, is on the ring and pressed by the thumb. I would have to be a fool to design it with a firing switch on the barrel and I hated the idea of giving up hand mobility for a grip-switch. The ring allows you to use your hands quite well and press the trigger when desired.
    3. Again, not having a hand grip is a very deliberate choice. It’s been a while but if memory serves there should be points to attach a strap or two and certainly adding padding to help brace it is expected.

    Hope that helps.


    Reply 4 months ago

    1. I wasn't thinking of a lead acid battery. I was actually thinking of using one of those cellphone chargers with a Raspberry Pi. I have a set lying around from another project of mine.
    2 and 3. Fair enough. I personally think that a grip switch is more advantageous, but I can understand not wanting to give up hand mobility. I think someone had a link to a data glove that might work better, though.
    Oh, and the links to the motors and escs seem to be broken. Are there any other links?


    1 year ago

    Hi. How's it going? So I'm into making things and all things engineering and prop making and costume design and was wondering about your design for the gauntlet. I think I'm a fan of your work, and it's only been the first time I've seen this. Overall great job!


    2 years ago

    Yeah man that is awesome waiting for the release of volume 4 oct 22


    2 years ago

    (beginning of part 2)

    As I said in part 1, the trigger system could be improved, although now I see the ring isn't that hard to use.

    12-A Nerf Vortex gun like this one wouldn't be too hard to make, right?

    13-I happen to have a Nerf Strongarm, which works similarly to your design (darts are stored in a drum until they are pushed to exit through a barrel). I noticed that te barrel is striated , perhaps in order to provide less friction.

    14-Maybe if the flywheels were striated instead (like >>>>>) they would create more friction...

    Sorry for my terribly boring vocabulary, I haven't written anything for some time. I hope you look into these ideas. Please give feedback. Your design is like nothing I have seen around the web, and I would like to know if I am helping.

    3 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    Hi! First off, lots of good and interesting points! I must admit I rushed development a bit and moved onto designing my new CoreXY printer so it's not had the TLC it probably deserves. If you'd like to help make it a better product I'd be happy to have you on the "team" (quotes as its currently a team of one).
    I'm going to reply point for point now.
    1- Unsure, rushed but made sure to keep to 15mm. Would be a good idea to get heat-insert threads for better quality.
    2- Budget version is very much MKI tbh, Ewaste sounds like a cool idea, can probably do a lot of assembly with waste metal, will look into this if possible.
    3- Very good idea! You solved an obvious problem that nagged at me for ages. A simple barrel connector would work well as it could go in one of the back circular "vents"
    4- Yeah, you're probably right. Need to update my logos etc sometime...
    5- Also a good idea, never for a scope but for a foam blade or something, could be cool!
    6- I never expected this to become something of interest to people (nearly 2,000 views shocked me) so I agree, if its of interest forming a small team for further development would be awesome! Definitely needs more than just me and my busy schedule to get it off the ground though!
    7- This will need further consideration
    8- Its not, though it doesn't hurt to have it there. Mainly because I'm too lazy to pull up the rubbish program I had to use to make the graphics, correct it and upload it!
    9- Seen the FDL-1, that's where I got the BLDCs from! I would indeed like to talk to him if this does become a project of interest.
    10- The main reason here was the amount of oomph the LiPos give, as well as the space constraints. Power requirements too came into play. And many nerf modders replace their AAs with LiPos anyway. MKI uses AAs.
    11- Very cool! I like it and will think further on it. Though a benefit of the ring is it needs no special programming to read pots or force resistors or anything. It's also a safer option as it takes a very deliberate motion to fire. If you make a fist you could rev the flywheels but you have to press the button with your thumb to fire.
    12- Nerf Vortex would be pretty easy in some ways, I just always loved having the cylinder rotate around your wrist!
    13- I too have a strongarm (lovely little thing, not as good as the Hammershot though). Yes, that's a good point! Adding ribs would hold the dart with less friction while also keeping it stable!
    14- Flywheels are very experimental, not sure what system would be best ATM, if I could convince my CAD to do it then flywheels like //// but with more of a curve to them could add some spin to the darts, acting a bit like canted flywheels and improving accuracy.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks, it would be great to be on your team! Just don't expect me to do a lot of work, since the pc I use isn't much (for now) and school is about to start.

    I have already printed the parts, look great, can use a little oiling. All that's left is the electronics. By the way, it doesn't seem that I can get the ramrod motor you chose without paying a fairly large fine. Do you think these will work too?






    They're in german, didn't find them anywhere else.

    I'll try to do some stuff, let me know if you need help with anything. Thanks for hearing me!

    PS: The flyweels work well, as long as you tape them.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Hi, I understand seeing as I'm now settling back into university myself! From the little information given on those pages it looks to me like they will all fit. I'd go for the 4th on the list personally as the rpm reading means it'll fire 1 dart per second, a reasonable rate and not likely to tear itself apart.

    I got your message, haven't had a chance to look at the stand yet, but very cool idea! If you want to post it in the Thingiverse forums and include a link to the Falconer as well as any other information, that's cool with me!


    2 years ago

    Hi there! I have been thinking about your design for some time (I have already ordered the parts) and I noticed some things I woud like to say.

    1-How many screws are needed and what is their (more exact) length? Although it might be straightforward after printing the parts, it might be more appealing to show all the stuff you need before printing.

    2-Making diferent versions is an awesome idea! Other than the Cosplay version, there could be:

    --Complete version, much like Mark II, with all you can get inside;

    --Budget version, more like your Mark I, with a lower-in-general price tag;

    --Ewaste version, made from old PC/househeld appliance parts, like old CD drives (for the motors), for exemple.

    3-I noticed you named one of the designs as "back filler". This got me thinking: since the battery is so close, wouldn't it be possible to place its charging port there?

    4-The letters on your identification plate (with your information) may be too small for printing. Just saying.

    5-Why not adding a nerf-compatible tactical rail? You can find it on thingiverse here:



    6-It might be a nice idea to form a team for making accessories for your design. Like a laser sight or a dart clipper. Or a dart speed meter.

    7-It would also be nice to provide "support" for the previous versions, like part upgrades.

    8-What is that thing about the diode? Is it really needed? If so, why didn't you update the Instructable?

    9-Somebody has actually made a Mega dart gun like this one. I´'s called FDL-1, and perhaps you could talk to the designer. His design is on Thingiverse if you want to check it out:


    10-Just an idea, why not making it powered by AA / C / 9V batteries? Just an idea, I said...

    11-Also, I've seen your ring system, and it doesn't seem to be very functional. My idea? Use this:


    (end of larger part 1 because I have no more time)


    3 years ago

    Okay, some questions about the stuff to order. Apologies for noobishness, I am not entirely uncomfortable around electronics but have not worked with any of this stuff before:

    1. BLDCs: Should I order 1 clockwise and 1 counter clockwise?

    2. ESCs: Where do these get mounted in the design?

    3. Battery: Does the design need 1 or 2 batteries? It looks like you designed for 2 in the diagrams and the video, but there is only spoken of in the text.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Hi! Don't apologise, this has been a learning experience for me too :) if you compare to the MK I a lot has changed. I had to include a microcontroller, had to learn about ESCs and how they work and stuff...
    BLDCs: as far as I know the handedness refers mainly to the way the screws on them turn. This means that you can have screw-on propellers that won't fall off when it turns. The motors should be able to run backwards but yes, one of each is safest!
    ESCs: they're represented by two blue boxes in the CAD, one on either side and right behind the cylinder.
    Batteries: no, just 1 big battery that sits towards the back (also blue) and behind the crank system.
    To note: batteries are collections of cells. A cell is represented as a long line and a shorter line next to each other. Two or more of these make a battery. Not really a good ASCII symbol to illustrate this, sorry!


    3 years ago

    I've started printing it, now just have to find and order all the non-printable parts. Can't wait to assemble it!

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