Get Your Game On: How to 3D Print a Nerf Gun in 5 Simple Steps

Posted by

3D printing technology has revolutionized the way we manufacture and create objects. With a 3D printer, you can create anything from toys to complex machinery. One of the most popular applications of 3D printing is creating custom Nerf guns.

Nerf guns are a popular toy among kids and adults alike. They are fun to play with and can provide hours of entertainment. However, the stock Nerf guns may not always meet your expectations. That’s where 3D printing comes in. With a 3D printer, you can create your own custom Nerf gun that suits your preferences and needs.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of 3D printing a Nerf gun. We will cover everything from choosing the right design to printing and assembling the parts. Whether you are a seasoned 3D printing enthusiast or a beginner, this guide will help you create a unique and functional Nerf gun that will impress your friends and family.

Choosing a Nerf Gun Model

When it comes to 3D printing a Nerf gun, the first step is to choose a model that you want to print. There are many different Nerf gun models available, each with their own unique features and benefits. Here are some things to consider when choosing a Nerf gun model:

1. Size and Weight

The size and weight of the Nerf gun model are important factors to consider. Some models are larger and heavier than others, which can make them more difficult to handle and use. On the other hand, smaller and lighter models may not have as much power or range. Consider your own strength and comfort level when choosing a model.

2. Power and Range

Another important factor is the power and range of the Nerf gun. Some models are designed for long-range shooting, while others are better for close-range combat. Look for models that have a good balance of power and range, depending on your intended use.

3. Design and Aesthetics

The design and aesthetics of the Nerf gun model are also important to consider. Some models have a more futuristic or sci-fi look, while others have a more realistic or tactical appearance. Choose a model that fits your personal style and preferences.

4. Compatibility with 3D Printing

Finally, make sure that the Nerf gun model you choose is compatible with 3D printing. Some models may require modifications or adjustments to be printable, while others may be ready to print right out of the box. Check online forums and resources to see if others have successfully printed the model you are interested in.

By considering these factors, you can choose a Nerf gun model that is right for you and ready to be 3D printed.

Preparing the 3D Printer

Before you can start printing your Nerf gun, you need to ensure that your 3D printer is properly calibrated and loaded with the right filament. Here’s how to get started:

Calibrating the Printer

The first step in preparing your 3D printer is to calibrate it. This is an important step that ensures your printer is working properly and will produce accurate prints. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Home the printer’s X, Y, and Z axes.
  2. Use a piece of paper to adjust the bed leveling screws until the nozzle is just touching the paper.
  3. Print a calibration cube to check the printer’s accuracy. Measure the cube’s dimensions and adjust the printer’s settings if necessary.

Loading the Filament

Once your printer is calibrated, you need to load the filament. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Heat up the printer’s extruder to the appropriate temperature for your filament.
  2. Cut a length of filament and insert it into the printer’s filament feed.
  3. Use the printer’s controls to extrude a small amount of filament to ensure it is flowing properly.

That’s it! Your 3D printer is now ready to start printing your Nerf gun.

Downloading and Preparing the 3D Model

Before you can start 3D printing your Nerf gun, you need to find a 3D model of it. Luckily, there are many websites that offer free 3D models of Nerf guns. Once you have found the right model, you need to scale and position it correctly and then slice it into printable layers.

Finding a 3D Model

There are many websites that offer free 3D models of Nerf guns, such as Thingiverse, MyMiniFactory, and Cults. You can search for “Nerf gun” on these websites to find a model that you like. Make sure to choose a model that is compatible with your 3D printer and slicing software.

Scaling and Positioning the Model

Once you have downloaded the 3D model, you need to scale it to the right size and position it correctly. You can use a 3D modeling software, such as Blender or Tinkercad, to do this. Make sure to scale the model to the right size for your printer and adjust its position so that it will print correctly.

Slicing the Model

After you have scaled and positioned the model, you need to slice it into printable layers. You can use a slicing software, such as Cura or Simplify3D, to do this. Make sure to adjust the slicing settings, such as layer height and infill density, to achieve the desired print quality.

In conclusion, downloading and preparing the 3D model is an important step in 3D printing a Nerf gun. Make sure to find a compatible 3D model, scale and position it correctly, and slice it into printable layers using the right settings. With these steps completed, you are ready to start printing your Nerf gun!

Printing the Nerf Gun

Starting the Print

Before starting the print, make sure that you have the necessary files for the Nerf gun. You can download the files from various online sources. Once you have the files, load them into your 3D printing software and set the printing parameters. These parameters include layer height, infill density, and printing speed.

Next, prepare the 3D printer by leveling the bed and loading the filament. Make sure that the bed is level, and the filament is loaded correctly. Once everything is set up, start the print.

Monitoring the Print

While the printer is printing the Nerf gun, it is essential to monitor the print. Check the printer regularly to ensure that it is printing correctly. Look for any signs of problems such as warping, stringing, or layer shifting. If you notice any issues, stop the print and address the problem before continuing.

Removing the Print from the Printer

Once the print is complete, remove the Nerf gun from the printer. Carefully remove the print from the bed using a scraper or spatula. Be careful not to damage the print or the bed.

After removing the print, inspect it for any defects. If there are any defects, such as rough edges or stringing, use sandpaper or a file to smooth them out.

Finally, assemble the Nerf gun, load it with darts, and test it out. Congratulations, you have successfully 3D printed a Nerf gun!

In summary, 3D printing a Nerf gun requires downloading the necessary files, setting up the printer, monitoring the print, and removing the print from the printer. With these steps, you can create a functional and fun Nerf gun with ease.


After printing your Nerf gun, it is important to perform post-processing to remove any supports and rafts, and to sand and finish the print. Here are some steps to follow for post-processing your 3D printed Nerf gun.

Removing Supports and Rafts

The first step in post-processing your Nerf gun is to remove any supports and rafts. These are structures that are added to the print to support overhanging areas and prevent warping. To remove them, use pliers or a sharp knife to carefully cut them away from the print. Be careful not to damage the print itself.

Sanding and Finishing the Print

Once you have removed the supports and rafts, it is time to sand and finish the print. This will help to smooth out any rough edges and give the Nerf gun a professional look. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Start with a coarse grit sandpaper (around 80 grit) and sand the entire print to remove any rough spots or bumps.
  2. Move on to a finer grit sandpaper (around 220 grit) and sand the print again to smooth out the surface.
  3. If desired, you can apply a primer to the print to help fill in any small imperfections and create a smooth surface for painting.
  4. Once the primer has dried, you can paint the Nerf gun in your desired color and finish it with a clear coat to protect the paint.

By following these post-processing steps, you can create a high-quality 3D printed Nerf gun that looks and functions like the real thing.

Assembly and Testing

Gathering the Necessary Components

Before you start assembling your 3D printed Nerf gun, make sure you have all the necessary components. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • 3D printed parts (printed according to the instructions)
  • Nerf gun trigger mechanism
  • Springs
  • Screws
  • Glue
  • Sandpaper

Assembling the Nerf Gun

Once you have all the components, it’s time to start assembling your Nerf gun. Follow these steps:

  1. Sand the 3D printed parts to remove any rough edges or bumps.
  2. Attach the trigger mechanism to the printed parts using screws.
  3. Insert the springs into the appropriate places.
  4. Glue the parts together according to the instructions.
  5. Let the glue dry completely before moving on to testing.

Testing the Nerf Gun

Now that you’ve assembled your 3D printed Nerf gun, it’s time to test it out. Follow these steps:

  1. Load the Nerf gun with darts.
  2. Pull the trigger to test the firing mechanism.
  3. Adjust the springs and trigger mechanism as needed to improve performance.
  4. Test the Nerf gun by firing it at a target.

Congratulations, you’ve successfully assembled and tested your 3D printed Nerf gun!