Since Elon Musk and the Boring Company released the “Not A Flamethrower” we and many others like us were horrified to learn that there was no way to get one in to the UK.
This Blog post is being updated as this project takes shape, last update 19th May 2020. Please check back for updates.
Customs will not allow a Not A FlameThrower in to the country based in its name alone, rather than looking on it as a grown ups toy. We heard of one UK resident that has one stuck in the USA. This got me thinking, and almost side tracked from the project in hand. We’ll touch back in this in a lot more detail as this story evolves.
Not content with not being able to have a Not a flamethrower, is wasn’t long before people started to recreate them on 3D design software and modelling them. I came across the 3D Printable STL files not long after Not A Flamethrower was sold out. Naturally I downloaded the STL files from Thingiverse, but never had the time to print all 30 odd parts until recently.
Before you rush off to Thingiverse and search for it, it’s long since been removed. Possibly because the files can be adapted to make the real deal, or maybe a copyright claim from The Boring Company, who knows. For this reason, please don’t ask us for the files to print your own. We don’t have permission to distribute it, not even under creative comms license.
As we have a 3D printer in house, used to make some our products, It’s was easy for use to start printing. If you are interested in what we use, we have a Dremel 3D45. It’s a costly machine, but worth it as it just works every time. Unlike many 3D printers the Dremel is well set up in the factory as you would expect from Dremel.
Back in March we started 3D printing the first parts for the NAF (Not A Flamethrower). We got a few parts printed off before we switched to printing colourful ear savers for our local NHS trust to help protect their staff amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. We donated hundred of items of PPE comprising of Face Masks and Ear savers. In late April we finally started printing the rest of the project between customers orders.
It was a this point we started checking on just how good this 3D print was going to be. We’d seen The Boring Company’s website promo video and noticed something strange. Check it out below.
In above video you can clearly see two versions of the NAF, one on the left is clearly different, possibly an Alpa Prototype version, and the one on the right is more like the NAF we all know and love. This got us exploring YouTube and vloggers footage and even two videos where people had made their own replicas. Again, we noticed key differences in the builds and what you could call “mistakes”. There was now one major issue, we know how to build the a real NAF, all be it a replica. But like all good tails we’ll come back to that in a moment.
We now had a bundle of over 30 parts to assemble into one piece. The files printed out in mainly left and right sides of the NAF with the exception of the stock and burner head.
As time passed the completed prints grew and it was time to assemble the 3D printed NAF.
I assembled the 3D printed Not A Flamethrower using double sided tape at first, before realising it wasn’t going to work, so a Hot Melt Glue Gun was needed. We already has this Bosch Cordless Lithium-Ion Glue Pen to hand having purchased it recently, and it’s a great bit of kit. Realistically it’s a little under powered for the job. However we persevered.
The result was a fully assembled non functioning 3D printed replica of The Boring Company’s Not A Flamethrower. So technically it should be called Not A Not A Flamethrower or Not Not a flamethrower.
You’ll notice we are missing the propane bottle holder and the gas bottle. We have ordered the same bottle holder as used the on the Not A Flamethrower. Again, off to trusty Amazon for the Bottle holder. It’s Made by Pro Bike Tools and we have ordered the Matt Black Version. We’ll 3D print a gas bottle at some point in the future.
Why did we order the manufactured bottle holder? Well, we are going to attempt to make a replica of The Not A FlameThrower.
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