My 8 year old son Joshua and I went to Flamingoland for his birthday and had a go at 'Crazy Combat Laser Battle'. We both had a great time and this got me thinking.....
The system they use is MILESTAG a sort of open source 'Laser Tag' system. I was already familiar with the system and my encounter with it was the catalyst I needed to make my own.
I ordered PCBs and plastic domes from www.lasertagparts.com and had them delivered to a friend in the USA I was about to visit. There was a slight problem with the order but a quick 'phone call to the site operator Jim sorted it out.
It occurred to me that the majority of the work required to get a working system involved manufacturing a gun housing, or buying an existing (e.g. Airsoft) gun and modifying it.
I've been monitoring the RepRap movement for a while and it seemed to me that it would be a good medium to build a gun housing with.
I've known nophead for far too long and he very kindly agreed to use his 3D printer to manufacture a custom Milestag prototype for me.
I used CoCreate personal to design the housing. It includes battery compartment, grip, microswitch trigger, lens mount, adjustable IR LED mount, PCB, speaker, LCD, RS232 , mode/reload switches in one modular unit.
Here are some pictures of the whole gun, complete with aesthetic flash suppressor:
Here is a picture of the lens mount and adjustable 5MM LED mount. The lens is a standard 32MM plano convex unit from Surplus Shed and the LED can be adjusted to obtain the optimum focal distance.
This last image shows the speaker/LCD mount and reload switch:
Here is a 'proof of concept' 3D print of the CAD image above. It is damn close to perfect. Going to hassle nophead for the rest soon.
This is my first ever attempt at 3D CAD so I'm sure the next version will be better.