Tag Archives: bq Witbox

Creating a 3D-printed, Arduino-powered rubber band sentry gun


Thanks to this Maker’s project, you’ll never have to fling rubber bands with your fingers again.


If you’ve ever flung a rubber band into your sibling’s back or launched one across a classroom, then you’re sure to love this 3D-printed project from Kevin Thomas. Up until now, there’s only a been a handful of ways to fire one: the index finger, the thumb, the combination of the two, and then of course, the tip of a pencil. That may all change thanks to what the 20-year-old Maker calls the Rubber Band Sentry Gun

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Traditionally speaking, a sentry gun is a firearm that automatically aims and shoots at targets that it detects via sensors. In this case, Thomas used this model as the foundation for a fully-functional rubber band version. After stumbling upon a design on Thingiverse for an Automatic Rubber Band Blaster, the Maker was inspired to devise a mechanism that would be entirely automated.

In order to accomplish this, he employed an Arduino Mega (ATmega2560) as the brains of the gadget along with a pair of servo motors, a micro servo 180° for its tilt, another normally sized one for the pan, and a 360° servo motor to actually fire the band. The project, which took about three days to complete, is capable of shooting 24 rubber bands in succession, though he tells 3DPrint.com that it can easily be adapted with a larger barrel to fire up to 30.

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Thomas used a software package created by Project Sentry Gun in order to control his device, enabling it to find and shoot any moving target. Meaning, no more having to prep your fingers, locate your sibling or friend, and then hope to launch it further enough to hit them! As for the 3D printing portion of the project, the Maker designed the unit with Cubify Invent and printed it with his AVR powered bq Witbox.

Okay, now you have to see this thing in action! Want to make one yourself? Head over to its Thingiverse page to get started.

BQ hopes to inspire young Makers through 3D-printed robotics


“What you see is remembered, what is done is learned.”


Those who say learning can’t be fun have surely never come across BQ’s latest set of robotics kits that provide young Makers with all of the necessary tools to construct their very own robot and control it right from their mobile device.

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The kit is comprised of 10 components and a battery-holder, each of which are used to assemble the electronics of a vibrantly-colored PrintBot. The body of the robot is constructed entirely through 3D printing, where like 3DRacers, Makers have the option of either ordering the frame online or creating their own a printer is readily accessible. For those with programming knowledge, BQ even enables users to customize their PrintBot by developing and installing its own code.

Once a Maker has completed piecing together the friendly little bot, they can traverse its environment using an Android smartphone or tablet via its embedded Bluetooth module. In addition, the easy-to-use kits are packed with IR and light sensors, a potentiometer, a buzzer, LEDs, mini servos and a control board based on the versatile ATmega328.

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Advocates of inspiring future tinkerers to pursue STEM disciplines, the BQ team seeks “to revolutionize the learning process, even from the very first stage, playing. Education is our greatest resource to be exploited to change and improve the world in which we live.”

In addition to its DIY robotics kits, BQ recently debuted a desktop 3D printer, the Witbox. The device boasts a rather big build volume of 29.7cm x 21cm x 20cm, with a resolution of 50-300 microns and at a recommended speed of 60mm/second, giving it the capacity to print large-scale objects and multiple parts simultaneously. Its innovative design also allows for multiple devices to be stacked, making for space-saving storage in any makerspace or lab. This is possible through the Witbox’s reinforced chassis and specially-designed power supply system, located inside the printer.

While the machine is clearly not a toy for children, the company emphasizes that the Witbox is, indeed, safe for young Makers looking to explore. The 3D printer is equipped with a locking front door system, a nice feature preventing access during printing. Based on an Arduino Mega 2560 (ATmega2560) and RAMPS 1.4, the machine is entirely open-source and can run a variety of software including Slic3r, Cura, Pronterface and Repetier.

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Interested in learning more about both PrintBots and the Witbox? Head on over to BQ’s official page here.