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Old 12-02-2014, 04:21 AM #1
dapoofyhairdude
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Mini Rotor Hopper

Hello and thanks for checking out my thread. This will be a bit like a blog of updates regarding my 3d printed rotor project aka the Shoe Loader (because it looks like a shoe, duh).




On the first page of this thread, I'll be duplicating and linking my major updates with regards to the project. They'll be in chronological order so you can see my progress.




Here's some information regarding the Shoe Loader:


How big is the capacity?
Capacity is 70-80


How much does it cost to produce?
Cost of plastic material, depending on what type of plastic you're using, is ~$6-15.


How long does it take to print?
Depends on your printer, but probably at least 24 hours for a decent print.


How much does it weigh?
The stock Rotor shell+tray weighs 380g.
The Shoe weighs 340g. That's quite a bit considering its size and capacity, but the weight is mostly due to the fact that printed plastic has to be thicker in order to be strong enough to withstand hits.


Will it use the rotor lid?
there are currently two tops, one for a cut gxg sf, one for a universal sf. Rotor sf is a bit too big for this. I'm also planning a podlid top.


Where can I find the files to this
work in progress: https://www.youmagine.com/designs/shoe-loader-v10



When will this be available for purchase and how much will it cost?
I don't know when (if ever) I will consider this project "complete". It is currently a work in progress. I don't know how much I'd sell the final version for. Don't even know if I'll sell it at all.

No promises that this actually becomes a real hopper, but I hope so.






2014-12-01

Following in the footsteps of the Pico, I've started a personal project working on a mini rotor. It's been quite challenging figuring out 3D modeling and tweaking my printer to be able to print some of these features well.

A year or more ago, I was working on making a low-cap for the V-max, but in the end I decided to drop the idea. The Vmax was just too tall due to the roller sensor.

At the moment, I am planning on making it a ~2 piece, top and bottom. The geometries for the guts are all pretty much figured out. The guts in the picture rotate fine.

Not exactly sure on what capacity I want to make the top, but I think a preliminary 100rd rotor would be pretty solid.





2014-12-2
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...5#post85874665


UPDATE!

The top half came out pretty well! Now seeing it in person, this thing is a bit smaller than I expected. Printing a ramp right now to cover the guts. I was able to fit ~60 reballs in there without a ramp.






2014-12-03
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...7#post85894777


Assembly and size comparison!



Feeding!







2014-12-04
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...1#post85910521



So here's a pic of the hopper from the CAD to show why the reloading would be so slow. Pretty much only one row of paintballs can roll down the tray at a time.




Coming up with the next print

a slightly larger (~20cm taller) shell, which should help the reloading
features to secure the ramp/tray
features to screw the shells together

lower half printing at the moment.








2014-12-05
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...5#post85940345


Update!

2nd iteration is printed! The printer had a slight malfunction and I messed up on a few geometries that couldn't be fixed with a dremel, so no feeding video for this one =(.

However, I was able to check for capacity. By raising the top by about 12 mm, I was able to increase the capacity to 80balls!. The feeding is much much improved due to the extra clearance. Even with a speedfeed it's not bad.

This hopper (measured at the top of the speedfeed lip) is about 28mm (~1in) shorter than the stock rotor, depending exactly how you measure it. Here are a few pics to show the comparison between the hoppers.










2014-12-06
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...1#post85954601


Here are some more pictures that I think may help visualize the overall difference in profiles.
















2014-12-07
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...5#post85975185


Something to hold you guys over til my next iteration which is printing right now (as you can see in the pic). Meet my printer:



It is a MendelMax 2, made by Makerstoolworks. Specs here: http://store.makerstoolworks.com/pri...-standard-kit/

Works well enough for me. Pretty happy with the abilities and accuracy of the machine. As with all hobby grade printers, it still requires a good deal of tweaking, tuning, and maintenance.

I'm by no means an expert on 3d printing, but if anyone has questions regarding the tech/hobby, I'd be happy to answer and/or point them in the right direction.





2014-12-09
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...1#post86002121


Nothing new tonight, printer maintenance. oy.



new print with slight adjustments coming tomorrow or day after.






2014-12-09
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...9#post86013809

UPDATE!

New video! blue.






Still waiting on the lids to come in so I can add flip lid to the top shell.




2012-12-12
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...9#post86082529

Small update. Fits snug. maybe too snug.








2014-12-14
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...5#post86105225


Update! Halo lid! Feeding video! Black shell!







2014-12-16
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...1#post86151641


Update!

I have a fully functional hopper now =)

Guts fit pretty good.
Anti-jam fin works, can use a little bit of tweaking.
Halo lid fits well, snaps on. Will need to adjust the spring cavity.




I figured the most relevant comparisons would be to the popular Inception Pico as well as the Empire Sport Shot. I got the numbers for the Pico off of the 3dprint file available from Inception. I got the numbers for the Sport Shot from one I have at home. I'm calling my hopper The Shoe for now since my wife decided that was the best (happy wife, happy life, no joke), and I also want to stay away from any derivative of the word "Rotor".

Height (as measured from top of feedneck to top of lid lip)
Pico ~115mm
Sport Shot ~85mm
Shoe ~90mm

Width (at widest point)
Pico ~100mm
Sport Shot ~100mm
Shoe ~100mm

Length
Pico ~180mm
Sport Shot ~175mm
Shoe ~170mm

Capacity
Pico ~100 balls
Sport Shot ~100 balls
Shoe ~75 balls

Weight (with internals)
Pico ~18.9oz
Sport Shot ~5oz
Shoe ~17.1oz



All in all, pretty competitive IMO.


As you see in the pics, the bottom of my hopper is very flat. This was designed to minimize warping during the 3D printing process. This may affect FOV, especially compared to the Sport Shot, which has a very generous (vision-wise) curvature. I went a little overboard on how flat it is and will slowly adjust it back in the next iterations.

Also, next print will have a much cleaner seam.












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Old 12-02-2014, 04:56 AM #2
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2014-12-18
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.php?p=86212337#post86212337


Update!


Making a few tweaks here and there. Printing a few shells so that I can do durability testing soon!

Here's a silver Shoe with speedfeed and halo lid. With the speedfeed installed, the height goes from ~90mm to ~96mm.





Some people were asking for smooth surface. Bottom shell looks pretty good. Top printing right now.

Oh and look at what showed up at my door. =)








2014-12-19
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.php?p=86229433#post86229433


Top shell came out pretty good =)
Now that I see it, smooth is good.









2014-12-23
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.php?p=86302681#post86302681


Small update:

It's been a while since my last post. I've been printing shells with tweaks here and there so that I can run some durability tests. Still printing a few more. All these pictured below are in PLA plastic.



I starting to print several shells in ABS plastic so that I can test the difference. PLA is a stiffer but more brittle material. ABS is slightly softer and potentially more durable.

For those unfamiliar with the 3D printing process, ABS takes a little bit more work and is a bit more prone to warping during 3D printing, so I'm hoping that my design can still work.

I think I'll be applying enamel coats to some of these shells so I can see if any post-printing processing will help the shells stay intact.




2014-12-24
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.php?p=86325857#post86325857

Yikes. This is what happens with improper setup trying to print ABS.

There goes 15 hours of printing..






2014-12-25
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.php?p=86340721#post86340721

Getting ready for this weekend's testing, I've coated a few of the shells with some protective coating.

If anyone has any suggestions for other coats I can use let me know!
I'm thinking the automotive one should be pretty good.






2014-12-27
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.php?p=86367513#post86367513

Update!

Hooray. ABS material, much better than the previous print. Had to do quite a bit of stuff to my print setup in order to get this right.





And here's getting ready for my durability tests tomorrow. Going to shoot these til they break I think. I hope they don't break.






2014-12-29
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.php?p=86392297#post86392297
A LOT MORE PICS IN LINK


TEST DAY!

Lots of pics and videos!

Oh boy. Went to the field for testing. The people running the paintball park were kind enough to let me use one of their older fields to test. I wanted to make it as controlled an environment as possible so that I could get useful results. I brought with me 6 printed Shoes and came home with one. So yeah. My super awesome wife was my assistant and camerawoman today. We were able to capture pictures and videos of all the tests.

The two main tests I did today were feeding and durability.


Feeding



For this test, I wanted to see if the hopper would feed consistently and if there would be any jams. ROF was not as high of a concern, considering the purpose of this hopper.

I tested with semi and ramp at the range and while shooting during the durability tests. There were minor ROF hiccups and one major jam, but no ball breaks. Anti-jam fin works pretty well. There are a few changes that I'll be making to the design of the interior so that it is less prone to jams. A few flat spots that can slow/stop a ball.

Here's a video of the hopper feeding



Overall, I'm happy with how it fed. A few minor adjustments should get it to be even more consistent.



Durability

Yikes. This was not as successful. For these tests, I wanted to see how the hoppers would hold up to impacts in the front as well as on the sides. I also wanted to see if coatings would make a difference. Lastly, I wanted to see if ABS plastic would hold up better than PLA. All hoppers were mounted on a rental, which was clamped to a wooden barrier. I stood about 16ft away from the gun and was shooting 280.

For the most part, all the hoppers withstood frontal impacts very well. Even at high ROF, they stayed intact (as you can see in the vid below). There's a weak point on the lower shell in the front that will be addressed in the next iteration.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about side impacts. There are some clear weak points that break pretty much on first few impacts. I'll have to consider how to beef up and/or add ridges and other geometries so that they can withstand impacts. Clearly, any spot that was on the thin side gave way very quickly.

It doesn't seem like the enamel coatings made much of a difference.\

The lid lip broke on almost all shells. I'll have to beef that part up.


Also unfortunate, I ran into more printer issues while working on ABS, so I only had one hopper in that material for this test. That hopper did not last. 3d printed ABS, while more durable and flexible than PLA, has poor layer-to-layer adhesion. Apparently paintball impacts are a great way to expose this weakness. Layers began separating after just a few shots.

While happy that the hoppers were able to take frontal hits, it looks like I still have a lot of work to do. I'm quite disappointed that ABS did not hold up well. I'll be looking into other plastics that have different properties to see if any of them can do any better. I have my eye on PET+, which boasts strength, impact resistance, and good layer adhesion. It's about 2.5x the price of PLA or ABS but if it works, it works.



If you have a weak stomach, now's your chance to stop reading.
For everyone else, here's the damage.


Ow











2015-01-12
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.php?p=86718033#post86718033

So one thing I realized when taking a closer look through the carnage of my shells was that I may have weakened the shells with a setting in the 3D printing process.

For anyone who is familiar with 3D printing or would like to learn, my slice settings were set so that I didn't have a very high number of perimeters. This led to what were thinner outer shells at the thicker spots in the model. I noticed on several of my broken shells that they broke where the slices starting doing infill (which was set to 10%).

I'll be adjusting the slices a bit and printing a few more PLA shells for testing.

I also received the PET+ filament I've been looking at, which boasts layer adhesion and impact resistance. I'm very excited to try a few shells in this material =).






2015-01-15
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.php?p=86792985#post86792985


Thanks for all the encouragement guys!

Here's a pic of of the updated model compared to the old model. Not only is the shell thicker, the 3D printing algorithm (slicing) is set up so that there should be no more hidden weak spots (much higher perimeter count). I have to admit, that was a tremendous oversight on my part of a very basic print setting that a fellow 3d printer hobbyist might scoff at. Live and learn.










2015-01-15
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.php?p=86943617#post86943617

Update!

Redesign printing as we speak! First hopper is complete and feels way stronger. Again, I made a few embarrassing modeling and printing blunders on the previous version, so I have high hopes for this one. I hope to get at least 5 hoppers ready before i head out for more durability tests.

Here's a pic of the design so you guys can understand a bit better what I mean when the tray is incorporated into the shell.







This geometry would not be possible using traditional molding, which is why 3D printing is a very cool technology!





2015-01-22
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.php?p=86969521#post86969521

So an unfortunate misprint happened (most likely due to a tangle in the 3D filament spool) that messed up a print of the upper shell.

Cool thing is it happened at a spot that now lets you see inside the hopper. Almost looks like I did it on purpose. I guess it wasn't a total waste of time.















2015-01-23
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.php?p=86969913#post86969913

For giggles, here's a hi-cap comparison






2015-01-26
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.php?p=87033961#post87033961

Slowly but surely I'm printing my next test subjects.


Last edited by dapoofyhairdude : 03-19-2017 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:57 AM #3
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2015-01-27
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...5#post87079545


2015-01-27
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...1#post87091041


2015-02-05
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...3#post87322393


2015-02-06
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...5#post87338185


2015-04-15
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...1#post88910201


2015-06-18
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...9#post89980009
TEST DAY VIDEOS! PICTURES!


2017-01-19
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...6#post97083106

Hi guys. I'm back. It's been a long while and I'm sure some of the excitement for this project is gone. Last time I updated, I was just starting a new job and moving to a new home, and just didn't have time for this project. Things have settled, and I've recently had the itch to make something so I figured this should be fun.

I make no promises or commitments, but I hope to have something that can be used in actual play (I actually did use one of my test prototypes in game before, but it never took a hit). I'm guessing my updates will be much slower than the 2-3 a week that I did when I first started, but we'll see.

Right before I stopped working on this, I started working on a pretty significant change to the hopper, but never got around to trying it out. As I mentioned before, 3D printing allows for geometries that just aren't possible with other manufacturing methods. This should make the areas of the hopper most likely to be hit much sturdier.


Here's a fit check I printed last night. Installs quite easily, spins freely.
<check link above>

Also, dye has since come out with R2. Does it have the same internals?



2017-01-26
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...6#post97145586

Feed test!







2017-02-05
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...6#post97225906

Been printing. I decided to pursue speedfeed mod with a cut gxg. Doing so gives it a lower profile than using it stock. It does require cutting it a little, but gxgs are cheap.













2017-02-06
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...0#post97237970


Made adjustments to the screw locations to reduce the added front profile.

I'm getting pretty close to releasing files. Will probably release a few different tops. One gxg , one universal sf top. Maybe I'll do a pod lid top too when I have the time.








2017-02-08
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...2#post97255282

Files!

Here are the 3D files. I'll do a more thorough write-up later today or tomorrow. Please take note the license under which these are released.

There will be tweaks. You are my beta testers. Glhf.

https://www.youmagine.com/designs/shoe-loader-v08





2017-02-10
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...8#post97272018

More pics

Side Profile






Front Profile






Guts




Button







2017-02-13
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...8#post97293618


Takes a while to go through all my vids.
For now, here's two clips.


Print the lower, it should be good.











2017-02-24
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...0#post97388690


Hey Guys

I'm finally back with my writeup of my field test. Again, my wife was there to help film and photograph the tests. There's good news and bad news.


Good News

1. The thing feeds great. There were a few "trap" spots in the previous design where a ball could get jammed. By adding a few geometries here and there, the jams are gone. In the video I posted previously, I shot more than a bag of paint at psp ramp with no jams. I'd say that's good to go.

2. The majority of the shell is solid. I shot the loader from about "surrender" distance (~15ft) and moved progressively closer if there were no issues. I angled the hopper so I could test 4 different profiles: front, front angled, side, and back. The front profile held up great. As you can see from the video I posted, it can withstand a barrage of paintballs at point blank.





Bad News

1. The GXG speedfeeds are too stiff. The stiff rubber on them makes it pretty much impossible to feed the loader with a 50rd pod. There isn't enough weight to bend the fingers. The solution is to furthur modify the rubber. By cutting out a little bit of each finger's base, they become flexible enough for feeding. If you're already committing a GXG SF to the Shoe Loader, cutting a little more is trivial. Also, it's $3 at ans.

2. There are two critical weak points in the hopper, all located on the Upper portion. If you're mechanically inclined, you can probably very quickly identify them. The interface between the outer shell and the ramp is a sharp corner. Physics says that stress is concentrated at sharp corners. One everyday example of this would be arches in buildings: the geometry of the arch allows weight (or stress) to be distributed throughout the arch, allowing it to be much stronger than a rectangular structure. Every single loader that I tested failed at the ramp-to-shell interface. The solution is to add fillets to these spots.

3. One loader, red, had structural failure on the Lower during side profile test after about 100 shots from "surrender" distance. Unfortunately, there's no filleting here. Solution: don't get shot 100 times.



What this means for the people that printed already?
The Lower is good to go, use it. The Upper is functional, but may break depending on where you get hit. I subjected the loader to stress that's beyond most circumstances, so it should last a while. However I do recommend reprinting it when the opportunity arises.


I will be releasing an update to the 3d files very soon.



This is the red after all of the shots from front.


Broken stuff



Failed Lower




No Fillet



Fillet



Cut GXG






2017-03-18
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...5#post97588305



v10 in its own link.
https://www.youmagine.com/designs/shoe-loader-v10

universal SF and gxg versions available
the only changes were to the 2 upper files.

I'll make a pod lid version, i promise.






2017-03-19
https://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...3#post97595713


first fit check. its coming






Also... I'm thinking this is ready for some field testers. I'd prefer it be a team. Need people that can commit to playing with it for a while and have enough experience with all types of pump loaders.




2017-03-21

Pod lid!

Now 3 upper options. Pod, universal, gxg.








Also, looking for a team to do some field testing. Pm please.




2017-04-07

Assembly guide!


Last edited by dapoofyhairdude : 04-07-2017 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 12-02-2014, 06:54 AM #4
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Awesome
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Old 12-02-2014, 07:13 AM #5
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that's really awesome!
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Old 12-02-2014, 07:16 AM #6
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so mad the pic isnt working for me. but love the idea
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Old 12-02-2014, 08:47 AM #7
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:35 PM #8
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:44 PM #9
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Perfect! I would pay today if it helps you! The rotor is such a great platform to build on. I haven't looked into it, but what are the internals of the rotor running($$$) these days?
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:14 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wc! View Post
Perfect! I would pay today if it helps you! The rotor is such a great platform to build on. I haven't looked into it, but what are the internals of the rotor running($$$) these days?
No need. Not sure how far this project will go. No promises. I don't think anyone really sells internals, since rotor shells are so hard to break. My guess is people would have to get a beat-up rotor for this.

Don't go getting that yet though, I still have a long way to go.
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Old 12-02-2014, 05:00 PM #11
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I've had a bad time with a V3 Rotor last year and I'm hesitate to try another one. Hopefully this works out.

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Old 12-02-2014, 05:28 PM #12
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I'd be on this quick, my rotor is amazing with the seed kit and switching it to a small shell for pump would be stellar.
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:34 PM #13
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The 100 round idea is awesome. I would buy a prototype anytime you decide to sell one. Even though my many rotors have jammed in the past my boyfriend's rotor has never jammed and if it did was only due to really really bad paint (fluke magic rotor). But then again the Texas heat can do that to the loader cause that plastic is very heavy. Take your time on the project.. Patience is a virtue.
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Old 12-03-2014, 01:00 AM #14
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UPDATE!

The top half came out pretty well! Now seeing it in person, this thing is a bit smaller than I expected. Printing a ramp right now to cover the guts. I was able to fit ~60 reballs in there without a ramp.


Last edited by dapoofyhairdude : 06-25-2015 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 12-03-2014, 01:03 AM #15
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Old 12-03-2014, 01:04 AM #16
AndrewTheWookie
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Looks good so far. Any idea if you're just gonna scale down a Rotor and use a Rotor lid or model it for a Halo/universal type lid?

Looks like you posted as I was typing this out, lol.
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Old 12-03-2014, 01:06 AM #17
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Originally Posted by AndrewTheWookie View Post
Looks good so far. Any idea if you're just gonna scale down a Rotor and use a Rotor lid or model it for a Halo/universal type lid?
This is a good question. I very much doubt the rotor lid is feasible, especially with my limited 3Dmodeling skills. However, I really don't like the extra height that the universals add.

For now, I'm using the universal. At some time, I will definitely figure out a way to get the rotor SFs to fit , probably a 3rd clamping piece that holds it in place.
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Old 12-03-2014, 01:27 AM #18
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I've had a bad time with a V3 Rotor last year and I'm hesitate to try another one. Hopefully this works out.

People either love them, or hate them.
99.9% of the problem is the batteries. They last forever and you don't know when they go bad until they jam. If it jams the batteries need to be replaced. It will still work but under high rates of fire and added weight of a fresh pod they can jam with old batteries.

I use lithium Ion batteries they last in rotor for about a year after that I change them out even if there not bad. You can also adjust the torque with the brass fitting on the motor housing if you're shooting real crap paint.

Best part is just about everyone has a rotor, and all the parts are tool less so you could switch shells on the fly or as needed. Awesome idea Seriously if you need someone to send a prototype to hit me up. I will test the **** out of that.

Universal isn't bad just add a small lip like the Revy has so the exalt collar locks on good. Otherwise you going to sacrifice capacity unless you make it taller defeating the purpose of integrating it.

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Old 12-03-2014, 01:33 AM #19
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Best part is just about everyone has a rotor, and all the parts are tool less so you could switch shells on the fly or as needed. Awesome idea Seriously if you need someone to send a prototype to hit me up. I will test the **** out of that.
Heh unfortunately, this iteration of the rotor will not be tool-less disassembly
My current plan for holding top/bottom together is 3 screws.
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Old 12-03-2014, 01:36 AM #20
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Heh unfortunately, this iteration of the rotor will not be tool-less disassembly
My current plan for holding top/bottom together is 3 screws.
3 screw to hold the shell together?
Or you have to make a bracket to hold the motor in place?
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Old 12-03-2014, 01:38 AM #21
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3 screw to hold the shell together?
Or you have to make a bracket to hold the motor in place?
3 external screws to hold the shell together.
Bracket that holds the motor/gears/guts/rotatingthing down is pretty much the same as a stock rotor.
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