Ok, are you looking for a customization idea for your nerf loadout? If so, try out printing your own 3d printed nerf dart heads. So how do you 3d print your own dart heads? Glad you asked!
The Processes Begins:
You need a 3d file that can be converted into an stl file. Either you needed to sources a file, or design your own. I designed mine on tinkercad. Probably not the best 3d design, but it fulfilled my needs. If you don’t happen to have a 3d printer, here is a post on how to make it without 3d printer, click here.
Using My stl File:
If you don’t want to design your own nerf dart head, you can download one. You can use my design included in this post, but by using my file you agree you are over 18 years old and accept full responsibility for all damages and risks that result from printing and making your own nerf dart heads. With all that “fun” out of the way, lets get to the good stuff and make a dart!
You need to consider a few basic requirements when choosing your design. First, your 3d printed nerf dart head needs to fits the dart blaster of choice. This means if your dart head needs to be slightly smaller than the foam base (body) of the dart, and the foam needs to fit snugly in the chamber for optimum range.
Next, you need to consider safety. As should go without needing to be said, but anything you try I share on this site or social media, you are trying at your own risk. Custom darts can cause injury, so be careful! If you can print in tpu, try to print it with a hollow dome on the tip to reduce impact. Another option would be to design your own waffle-head dart and print that as well out of tpu. After you settle on your design, print it, and then test it repeatedly on different objects that are semi-soft and check for damage. If it is too hard and can cause injury don’t use it.
One of the last considerations of dart head design is attachment. You need to design the dart with a glueable surface. That might be a texture or some sort of thread. If you design the dart head well, it will glue nicely onto the foam dart body.
Dart Head Weight:
The weight of the head is important as it influences the dart’s flight characteristics. If it’s too light it will not stabilize properly in flight and it can cause its range to suffer. If you make your dart too heavy, on the other side of the spectrum, the dart will take a nosedive and also suffer range loss. You need to find a sort of “sweet spot” between too light and too heavy. The easiest way to figure this out is to print the dart head at varying infill levels. Most likely you will need greater than 20% infill.
3d Print Nerf Dart Heads:
Test your dart head weight before printing a large quantity. Try different infill percentages to determine which level works best for your length of dart and dart blaster. If your 3d slicer software support it (Prusaslicer does), print multiple copies of the dart head at once, but all with different infill percentages. Next, test all the different weights and compare their flight characteristics.
Now, print a few using the ideal infill percentage you just discovered. The goal of this small batch is to strength test them. Shoot them at a slightly harder surfaced target. If they break you will need to adjust possibly your extruder nozzle temperature.
Once you settle on just the perfect weight and infill for your dart, and all your other settings are just right, print a large batch. If you purchased your 1kg spool of filament for around $20 US, each dart head will probably cost you only around 1 cent (of course this will vary based on your settings and filament).
Hot glue seems to work well and is currently my favorite method for the assembly of darts. If you use hot glue, watch the temperature. If it is too hot, the foam with melt and shrink and the 3d printed nerf dart head will melt and deform. To once again state the obvious, it is easy to get the HOT glue on your fingers, be careful, and don’t get burnt. Of course, I can listen to all my advice, so last time I succeeded in burning my finger, so smart.
Congratulations! You made your own 3d printed nerf dart heads and nerf darts! Share below in the comments your thoughts and experience and check out the accompanying YouTube video. Check out the rest of our blog posts for more content about Nerf and Airsoft. Have a blast, see you around!