Military-grade DIY: Portable 3D printed railgun

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

A new maker project that recently popped up on reddit looks like it jumped straight out of science fiction and into the real world.

A user, NSA_Listbot (no real name given) submitted something a little different to the section of the site for do it yourself (DIY) projects. Right now the DIY section’s most popular post is a patio, but NSA_Listbot blows that out of the water with a railgun he crafted with his own hands.

A railgun, for those outside of the military and mad-science, is a weapon that propels projectiles using electromagnets.  With NASA considering using the technology to launch objects into orbit and the US Navy testing it out as a weapon, it’s some very serious tech.

The build is detailed in a comprehensive gallery on Imgur. The gun, which is partly 3D printed and controlled by an Arduino Uno R3, can fire  copper plated tungsten, aluminium, carbon and teflon. Several videos have appeared on Youtube demonstrating the gun in action, and it’s truly terrifying to behold:

In the video, a piece of carbon is fired into a wooden target. The small piece of graphites hits the target so hard that it seems to disappear, as mentioned in the video’s description: “I have no idea what happened to that piece of carbon- probably just vaporized.”

The railgun’s creator spoke to several users on Reddit, clarifying some aspects of the project, but he has not said what he plans to do with his weapon. We can’t help but feel like this project’s creator is going to get a knock on his door very soon from some government officials.

As for the portability of the project (the US Navy’s version is not meant to be carried around), we’ll leave that up to you, here is a picture of the completed project with its creator for scale:



[Source – Reddit]

Clinton Matos

Clinton Matos

Clinton has been a programmer, engineering student, project manager, asset controller and even a farrier. Now he handles the maker side of