2017-03-06 (M) Pi0 Laser Tag PiTagErrUs

There were two epiphanies today. The first came when all the tagger pieces were arranged as they would be if they were going to be assembled. I have never designed like this but I wanted a cool exploded view so I took the time to arrange everything. As I did this I realized the intrinsic value of designing like this from the beginning. Several model changes were necessary after rearranging and they would have been printed incorrectly otherwise.

Exploded and rotating view

The second epiphany was that this will be a weak enclosure with plenty of points for failure. 3D printing is powerful and valuable but it still has weaknesses and every time a five-hour-print fails midway through it exemplifies this. With an entry-level printer, this is simply a factor to contend with every time. I began to explore possibilities for building on top of a different enclosure and augmenting it with 3D-printed parts. Normally a tubular shape would be difficult to add to but properly modeled parts could easily turn a piece of inexpensive PVC into a durable tagger.

PVC was explored in the past as a tagger material but discarded because it was too restrictive due to the shape but with 3D-printed parts, it should be a simple matter. This also opens up the opportunity for a tagger longer than a printer’s platen and parts which can be printed on smaller printers for anyone copying this project. Currently, the tagger was pistol sized and already as wide as my printer’s largest dimension.

Close-up of the emitter portion

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1.
Completed projects from year 2.
Completed projects from year 3.

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2017-02-23 (Th)


  1. Just found out about your projects while working on a lensholder myself different project though. How do you adjust the distance between the LED and the lens?

    Personally I'm not sure If I just measure it first and leave the option for calibration and directly print the full part, or maybe halve a cm for calibration. But how?

    I'm using a 3D printer for producing parts.

    1. The plan here, at this time, was to start with the published focal length of the lens and print a cone with the lens at one end and the LED at the other. If it needed fine tuning I would change the model and reprint it.

      If you read some of my later posts for this project, I abandoned this idea for an LED holder because it wouldn't allow for any fine tuning after it was printed. The new design is to hold the lens stationary and mount the LED on a shuttle supported by three threaded rods, just machine screws in this case. Three adjustable points of attachment means that the LED could be aimed in two axes while adjusting the focal length. I hope that make sense.

      Check out the March 13th, 2017 post for clarification.



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