by Chris WasshuberAs a boy I made many slingshots ever since my father showed me how. Find a y-branching twig, cut it to size, attach rubber bands, and a piece of leather to hold your projectile. I must have made dozens of them. I loved the compactness of a slingshot. I also liked to make bows and arrows but those were not weapons you could put in your pocket. And they were harder to make for a boy. Finding straight arrows was one of the problems. With a slingshot any pebble, cone, or other smallish piece of something could be shot. Every weekend we would walk forests and mountains usually with friends. I would have my slingshot, run around and shot at trees and other imaginary foes.
Despite a slingshot's compactness I wanted to make one that would be even more compact, but how? My maker skills were not that developed. Fast forward about 30 years and I find myself with a 3D printer at home. One of my first projects was to realize a super compact folding slingshot. It consisted of a plastic handle, two metal channels and two screws. I printed the body from ABS plastic. But the ABS was too brittle and the snap in lock mechanism or the metal channels would always break after a few uses. It was a prototype but not a functional part. Today the plastics one can print have vastly improved and now I was able to print a functional folding slingshot. I used XT filament from ColorFabb which is excellent for this use. It is sturdy, layer adhesion is awesome, and it is not at all brittle. You can see a little demonstration in the video below: