Jason J. Gullickson

Jason J. Gullickson

Great balls of cheese

Inspired by a video on Hackaday , I decided to take a whack at building a cheeseball gun.

The original design called for a leaf blower, a PVC barrel and fittings fabricated from modified leaf-blower accessories. Since I have a 3D printer, I figured I could design some custom parts to mate things together.

It was a little tricker than you might expect because the outlet of my leaf blower isn’t round but oval, so it took a little fiddling in OpenSCAD to get a shape that looked right. I figured it would probably take a couple of tries to design a part that fit, but that’s the beauty of having rapid-prototyping equipment.

Of course the downside of rapid-prototyping equipment (at least the kind I build) is that you don’t always get what you expect. In this case that was OK, because even though the part wasn’t usable, it was good enough to verify that the design would connect to the leaf blower correctly.

Even a second failed print was useful in suggesting improvements to the design.

Finally I had a part that worked and the whole thing came together. Initial testing showed that the design worked, although it didn’t perform up to my standards, and of course the power system was rather awkward in the field.

Based on these findings I started working on Mark II, which eliminates the need for the leaf blower (the most expensive part if you don’t have one) and is designed to improve performance. Here’s a few shots of the progress so far: