Foam Dart Launchers with Project FDL April 17 2020
Project FDL is a small business in the US, run by Jesse and Jackie Kovarovics. They create 3D printed Foam Dart Launchers or short FDL.
"We've started this business from a hobby that Jesse got into. Now we have our blasters in the hands of players all around the world. We also run two leagues for competitive play, the Atomic Dart League and the Neutron Dart League," says Jackie.
It had all started when Jesse got his first 3D printer as a Christmas gift. At that time, he's also got his first Nerf blaster from work so he could play with it in the office about six years ago. However, his creativity had him never settle for anything "basic". That's how he created the FDL-1 as turret mounted to his desk at the office. "While we didn't know this was what we wanted to do back then, now it's our passion and something we love to do as a family," they say.
From there, many improvements were made to make the design smaller, more handheld, and the FDL-2 was born. At the moment there are three blasters in the library. The FDL-3 is the latest model created to be more versatile. It consists of a system of noses and tails that you can choose based on how you will play with it and what kind of darts you plan to use.
"We are always looking for ways to improve our designs. The FDL-3 came to be thanks to a lot of feedback from our owners on what they would like to see next," Jackie talks about the work behind the blasters.
A great thing about Project FDL blasters is that the costumers can choose between buying the custom blasters made by Jackie and Jesse or printing and assembling their own blasters as the 3D printable files are uploaded on Github and Thingiverse free of charge. You can also find electronics, magazines, and darts on their webpage for easier assembly. They also have a youtube channel with various resources like the assembly tutorials and explanatory videos.
"Since the FDL line is all open source, there are always small improvements being made, and those are taken into consideration when we are designing the next blaster. We currently have a backpack and small blaster set up that uses HIR (High Impact Round) darts that look like small foam golf balls. It's a blast to play with!" Jackie explains.
We have commissioned Jackie and Jesse to print one of their awesome FDL-3 blasters for our team at ERRF 2019 (East Coast Rep Rap Festival), as we just had to have one on display at the booth. The blaster turned out to be a really cool with the full nose, auto tail blaster with full stock, it uses full-sized darts with the auto tail, and many features can be changed to suit the different gameplay. Featuring an OLED screen, the rate of fire, speed, spin up, and more can be changed. The blaster also has three preset buttons in which you can save your favorite settings for more comfortable use and two magazine releases to make swapping magazines a breeze. It was printed with PLA Extrafill Vertigo Galaxy, Luminous Yellow, and Crystal Clear.
"We LOVED how the blaster turned out! The contrast between the Vertigo Galaxy and the Luminous Yellow is stunning, and with the added Crystal Clear, it gave a balance that rounded the blaster out," says Jackie with excitement.
"We have loved working with Fillamentum for years. Jackie's first blaster had used PLA Everybody's Magenta, and she was hooked. PLA Vertigo Grey is one of the most used filaments in our shop, as well as the Wizard's Voodoo," Jesse tells us.
Follow Project FDL: