Structure Design- Rubber Band Gun

Yu_Wen Zhang


Yu-Wen from Wen Create Make Room has long been interested in designs that involve gun structures. When he first learned about laser cuttings, he started out working on works that can fire rubber band (Figure 1). Hence, let’s talk about rubber band guns today.

Structural Analysis
Basically, there are different structures for firing rubber bands.

Fixing refers to carved dents for holding the rubber band, and the rubber band can be fired out by pulling the band with a strip or by hands. The easiest form consists of a small clip fixed on the bamboo chopsticks, and the rubber band is fixed and stretched with one end at the front end of the chopsticks and the other at the clip. To launch it, all you have to do is loosen the clip, and the rubber band will fly out.

There is also the rope-pulling model that features ropes stretched on sticks bound together. A good example is Gatling rubber band guns that are designed with a structure for pulling strings.

The sliding model is the most common design, if you wish to fire multiple bands at once, where there are the Rear-moving and Up-moving models. The Rear-moving model features a simple structure, as the crossed ladder-shaped slots can store multiple rubber bands, and the firing takes place when there is displacement resulted from the movement of the middle and outer layer structures. In this movement, the rubber bands move up one step after another, and the band flies out when it moves to the top (Figure 5).

The up-moving model, on the other hand, allows multiple shots using the length of the gun body. Its structure features the trigger to allow firing bands one after another.


The model with a rotor wheel is the most common type on the market at present. The structure uses a rotor as an escapement wheel. It saves space for storing rubber bands, and there are several open source files to be found on the Internet.

Design Concept

For Yu-Wen’s sharing, it will cover the models he built in early days and the rubber band gun with a tenon structure. The first gun was a model intended as an atomic cannon (Figure 8), which cannot fire. During the process of design and research, Yu-Wen had also learned so much about designs different structures, which turned out to be helpful for his designs later on.

When referring to many resources on the Internet, Yu-Wen realized that one must have a basic understanding of the structure and the ability to modify the drawings, or the parts produced using laser cutting may not fit with each other. Take the gun below (Figure 9) for instance. It could not fire properly up until modifications for the fourth time.

Models that adopt the Sliding mechanism features stacking of laser-cut parts, so there are not many restrictions on the size, as the model can be enlarged and reduced at will. This model, on the other hand, requires gluing for assembly (Figure 10), which is why Yu-Wen tried using tenon structures to simplify the parts required.

From there, the gun model becomes the 3-round burst rubber band gun we have today.

With the same concept, we can have guns that fire one round, two rounds, and three rounds. The difference in structure design can be better explained through the finished works, which also serve as good teaching materials.

Later on, there is also the model for a Stirling submachine gun (Figure 13). This model can fire a total of 200 rounds of rubber bands, and users can even adjust the firing speed by turning the handle.


With the sharing above, it is hoped that everyone can realize that you will make progress at anything you are doing, as long as long as you set your mind to it. We wish you all the best of luck in your future progress.



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