Team Fortress 2 Heavy Minigun Build (3D printed, IMAGE HEAVY)


Active Member
Well, I've decided that for this year's Phoenix Comicon, I'm going as the Team Fortress 2 Heavy.
While I'm not quite built like the Heavy, I still think it's a good opportunity to build another fun 3D printed prop weapon. Last year, I built a Vera... but this year, I wanted to construct something with LIGHTS AND SOUND. :)

I'm starting with the Barrel Assembly (the visually "cool" component). I've modeled everything from scratch based on various screenshots and artwork... there seems to be a lot of variation in this prop which will lend itself well to my own creative license.

I do intend to include full sound with my light scheme. I'm in contact with someone to make me a custom sound ship which will include at the minimum sounds for:
- wind up and run
- firing
- run
- wind down
*The prop will be wired to activate the motor and lights right along with sounds from the sound chip... I hope I can pull it off.

I'm 3D modeling my special components in SketchUp and printing them in ABS plastic on my MakerBot Replicator.
The Barrels will be made of 1" ID PVC pipe, and the shaft the assembly will spin on will be made of 1/2" electrical conduit.
Rear of Barrel Assembly will consist of a 4" x 3" black PVC reducer coupling and 3" PVC pipe (with either a PVC cap or specially printed end cap on the back of the 3" PVC).
1" (ID) PVC and 4" x 3" PVC reducer (reducer will house front bearing support for barrel assembly)

My goals with the Barrel Assembly include:
- making it spin easily (to be driven with a small motor)
- installing 12v yellow LED lighting at the end of each barrel
- making the LED lights fire in sequence as the barrel assembly spins (uppermost LED will "fire" as it passes top position)

So, without further delay, here is my progress, thus far.

Flash Hider

Spacer (2 of these prints will be affixed back-to-back... 2 full Spacers needed)

Wide Ring (2 of these prints will be affixed back-to-back, center hole is for 1/2" electrical conduit shaft)

Rear Ring (center hole is for 1/2" electrical conduit shaft)

Light Holder

Printed Light Holder

Tabs on back will have wire soldered directly

LEDs fit flush with surface of "plug"... plug will be slightly recessed in 1" PVC

Printed Lot of Light Holders with yellow LEDs installed

Light Connection (fits in the back end of each of the 6 barrels)

Copper Wire to be used for "feet" to make connection to the braided cable in the front bearing holder as the barrel spins

Front Bearing Holder

Rear Bearing Holder

Printed Front and Rear Bearing Holders (with 3D printed bushings to adapt the 3/4" ID Bearing to the OD of the 1/2" Electrical Conduit)

Front Bearing Holder fits right into 4" x 3" PVC adapter

Shown with steel braided cable and printed bushings

Here's a group of barrel items printed

300 RPM high-torque 12v motor... I need to model and print a pulley for this motor and the barrel shaft (1/2" conduit)... 1:1 Ratio will likely be right

That's it, so far. I'll publish more as I get more done.
Wish me luck!
I do plan on getting everything test-fitted sometime this week so I can verify that my mechanism for operating the lights will function properly.
I figure a dry test fit to verify this method will work is worthwhile... shame to put her all together and have her not work, right? :)

Fun fact: I've been printing the large "flash hider" (flower pot shaped end of the barrel assembly) all day... it's been printing for 6 hours and 20 minutes... and it's only 53% done.
(printing with 10% infill)
Got the most iconic part of the build printed... finally.
After fixing a few weird errors in my model, it printed flawlessly... in only 11 hours and 29 minutes!

Just finished printing the first of 6 Electrical Connectors (26 minutes for one)
This piece goes at the back end of each barrel to wire each LED to a copper "leg" which will ride around in a circular motion over the Front Bearing Plate... making contact during about 30 degrees of the rotation... providing for a rapid on/off for each barrel as they pass by the braided steel cable.
I don't know if this technique has been used before, but I'm sure it's applicable in other props. :)

Okay, I forgot to document some of the stock components I'm using.
So that their size and availability is documented, here goes:

LED pods - Cutequeen LED Car Lights Bulb Yellow T10 3528 4-smd 194 168 (T10 base, made of circuit board material)

Barrel Bearings - Marathon Industries 60011 - 3/4" ID Replacement Precision Ball Bearings (1-3/8" OD)

Drive Motor - Amico 300RPM 12V 0.6A High Torque Mini Electric DC Geared Motor (5.4 x 3.9 x 0.6 inches w/ 3mm shaft)

Copper Wire - 1/16" solid copper wire

Switches - I'll be using standard DPDT switches to activate lights/motor along with sound

Battery - I'm planning on using 8 D Cell batteries to give me long life and free me from a charger... may change to LiPo pack... we'll see.
Progress made includes:
- Printing Pulleys for the small 300 RPM Motor and Barrel Shaft (1/2" Electrical Conduit)
- Test fitting the electrical wire and screws for the connections at each Barrel

Here are photos for you to enjoy. :)

Pulleys (small bore for Motor, large bore for Barrel Shaft)

Yes, I do plan on using large o-rings (3 of them) to transmit power from the motor pulley to the shaft pulley... o-rings are flexible and fairly durable... we're not dealing with much stress or power transmission here.

Electrical Connection Test Fit (one plug will fit in the back end of each barrel providing 2 copper "feet" which will make contact as they rotate, electrifying one barrel's LED at a time as it turns)

Finally, here's a photo of all the items I've printed, acquired, or gathered for assembly of the Barrel.

Even just laying there in pieces, she looks pretty menacing. I can only imagine the finished prop. :)
I hope to do a complete dry-fit test this weekend to ensure proper rotation and operation of the electrical connection I devised... wish me luck. (I might even post a video link, if everything works properly)
That's the plan. "Grain" artifacts from the layers printed on a hobby printer like mine are natural, but they sand out pretty well. Sandable primer is also your friend when treating 3D printed parts like this.

I meant mainly the 3D model style polygonal lines which break the curves up but I didn't make it very clear haha
Made some dummy Hex Heads for one of the barrel rings

Made a spacing bushing for the barrel assembly (separates the barrel from the front bearing)

I decided the braided steel races needed to be raised a bit, so I made this biscuit...

I'll trim, clean, and secure these later...

I also modeled a secure mount for my little 12v 300RPM motor...
Coryalex I have been trying to reach you for months now, I sent you mail through fb probably sitting in your "other" folder, if you get this could you please contact me?
Isaac Shamy.
After getting to work a few hours this weekend, I got the following done...

Custom housing for 12v 300RPM motor

Used JBQuik to secure steel braid

Fabricated a "Y" connector out of PVC and JBQuik (for frame, later in build)

Laid out barrel items for a dry test fit

AND I FINALLY GOT TO SPIN THE BARREL (just a few components to see how heavy it was and to see how easily it would spin)
I was amazed how easily it spun... my little motor should have no problem... hopefully. Now, I didn't have any of the electrical hooked up for lights or motor, but I will soon.
Heavy Minigun barrel test 01 - YouTube

As a pleasant distraction, I did spend some time finising up my Heavy Dolokahs build...
Oh, and I also got my custom sound chip ordered. :)

Sounds as follows...
1 - Minigun winding up and running
2 - Minigun firing normal
3 - Minigun firing crits
4 - Minigun firing crits with 2 bits of Heavy dialogue mixed in (taunts)
5 - Minigun running
6 - Minigun winding down
7 - TF2 theme
8 - Announcer stating mission will begin in 10 seconds, then counting down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, then siren for round start
9 - Announcer congratulating winning team (your team won with applause and so on)
10 - Heavy OM-NOM'ing ... followed by "That was delicious!"

I can't wait to get this thing completed with full lights and sound!

(Sound 8 should be fun to play when I get into an elevator or when I'm waiting with a crowd at closed doors to enter a panel or room).
This is such a fun build!
I mean....Mini guns are cool and all, but a TF2 mini gun? That's cool on a level below freezing...

Sub'ed for sure!
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