3D Printing a NERF Gun Battery Cover

by Chase Hook

My Nerf gun battery cover broke. What do I do?

At GoEngineer, Nerf gun battles are taken very seriously.  You always want to be within reaching distance of your weapon because you never know when the darts are going to start flying!  So, what does an engineer do when their batteries keep falling out because the cover is broken?  Use SOLIDWORKS and Stratasys technology to design and 3D print a new one, of course!

Plan of attack:

  • Measure battery compartment and preliminary design
  • Design new cover using SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software
  • 3D print prototype for test fitment using Stratasys 3D printer
  • Modify and finalize design
  • 3D print final battery cover in color using Stratasys 3D printer

Measure battery compartment using digital calipers

The first step in the design process was to measure the battery compartment.  I used a pair of digital calipers and created the preliminary design of the cover.

Design new cover using SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software

I started the design with a fully-defined 2D sketch based on the preliminary design I made from my measurements.  Once the 2D sketch was completed, I needed to make my part 3D by adding a 0.110” thickness to the part using the Extruded Boss feature.

Now the battery cover is really starting to come to life!  The next step is to make the battery cover a manufacturable component by adding fillets and chamfers to sit flush in the compartment.

3D print prototype for test fitment

Using the Stratasys FORTUS 250mc 3D printer I was able to print the prototype in 45 minutes.  The test fitment of the prototype was very close but not perfect.  The battery cover was slightly too long to fit in the compartment, and the mounting hole was in the incorrect location.

Modify and finalize design

The next step in the design process was to modify the design based on the test fitment.  I had to shorten the mount tab and relocate the mounting hole.  Once that was complete, I knew that the battery cover was going to fit perfectly so it was time to add the finishing touches LOGO and COLOR!

3D print final battery cover in color

The finalized 3D model was loaded into the Stratasys FORTUS 250mc 3D printer and 45 minutes later the final battery was complete.  The battery cover bolted on like the original injection molded piece, and now I am once again ready for battle!

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