Merry Christmas From Our New Etsy Shop

It is Christmas!

Burnt Weapons are now available for preorder from our brand new Etsy shop, Burnt Toys.

Merry Christmas!


Laser Usage For Kickstarter Rewards

After delivering nearly all of my Kickstarter rewards, I decided to take a look at the usage on my laser cutter for this project.

I produced 144 Enforcer pistols, 74 Destroyer machine pistols, and 36 Annihilator sub machine rifles. According to the log kept by the laser cutter, here are the usage details to date:

Machine On Time (hrs) 80
Job Time (hrs) 38
Laser Time (hrs) 31
X Travel (m) 6196
Y Travel (m) 2096

Apparently I am only running a job for about half the time that the machine is on. The rest of the time, I am allowing the fumes to clear out, loading material, and removing finished parts. The laser tube has a rated life of 8000 hours, so I have only burned through 0.4% of its life on this project. The lens head has traveled 3.85 miles horizontally and 1.3 miles vertically.

Nobody else probably cares, but I find this to be interesting data. Then again, I am a numbers nerd.


Fixing International Shipping Labels And Printing Automatically

Shortly after finding a way to print ZPL files to a Zebra printer, I discovered that First Class International USPS labels were not printing very well. The barcode on them is quite small, 2/3 the size of the Priority International label.

First Class International label with small barcode that will not scan.

I could not scan the code after printing, so I doubt that the Post Office would be able to. I tried to improve my printer settings, but it was still a no go. It might have been my cheap thermal labels off Amazon, but I still wanted them to work. Since I have a number of packages to send to Canada, I wanted this fixed. Since the Priority labels are acceptable to the USPS with the larger barcode, why not just use a larger barcode on First Class? There is enough room.

So that is what I did. Now, you can too.

Getting A Zebra Printer Working On Linux (And OSX?)

Since I got a thermal shipping label printer and have been getting shipping labels from Shippo, I figured out how to print from ZPL (Zebra's printer language). I found that printing from ZPL was more reliable than printing from a PDF since PDF prints are fraught with dithering and aliasing issues. To print, I simply drag and drop the file(s) I want to print on a printer launcher. You cannot get much simpler. Here is how I did it:

For Reference, I am using Linux Mint 17.1. This same idea should work for other Ubuntu derivatives as well as OSX (I have not tested anything on OSX).

First, plug in your printer via USB and power it on. Open up your printer settings (windows key > type "printers" > press Enter). Click on "+ Add" to add a new printer.


The Zebra printer should appear on a USB port. Select it and click "Forward."


Shipping Tools

After reading a lot of Kickstarter creator blogs, I was dreading the task of shipping rewards. Many people recommended a dedicated shipping service or at least using a subscription service like Endicia. Even though shipping is still a ways off, I wanted to tackle how I could get it done early.

The most consistent advice was to purchase a thermal label printer. They are fast, easy, and the labels are much cheaper than wasting toner in a laser printer. I got a lightly used Zebra ZP450 off ebay. Even though it was designed for UPS, it readily prints labels for USPS or FedEx. The 4x6 labels have enough room for customs declarations on international shipments. I even got it working on my Linux computer!

Here was the real find though, Shippo. Shippo is a shipping API for organizing, buying, and printing shipping labels. They have a straightforward web-based interface or you can work the API into your website using a variety of scripting languages. 

Unlike Endicia, you pay per shipment rather than a monthly subscription. You also get to take advantage of heavy commercial shipping discounts. Even after the nominal 5 cent Shippo fee, it is still going to be much cheaper than the post office, upwards of 50% cheaper in many cases. If you have a Kickstarter campaign or if you just have a package to send to your grandkids, check out Shippo.


Kickstarter Sponsors Posted

The Sponsors page has been updated to include the Kickstarter backers. Thanks again for the support.


Thunderclap Sponsors Posted

We have posted the names of people that supported us in our Thunderclap crowdspeaking campaign last May. There were actually over 100 supporters, but most people did not want their names posted. Thanks to all of you.

Visit the Sponsors Page

The Kickstarter backer section is still a work in progress as people are still submitting their backer surveys.


Surveys Going Out

Now that the Kickstarter pledges have been processed and transferred, we are sending out the backers surveys. Our backers must fill out the survey so that we can deliver the rewards.

"Survey Says"

For those who are interested in the funding breakdown:

Pledged:                 $7531
Kickstarter Fees:      $377
Credit Card Fees:     $254
Funding Received: $6900


We are funded!

Thanks to all the backers, Burnt Weapons is now funded through Kickstarter!

Now the real project begins...


We're back online

After a brief hiatus thanks to Blogger accidentally shutting down burntweapons.com, we are back. We fixed, the glitch.


Bye Bye Funding Goal

Our rubber band gun project has broken through the funding goal! ...and there was great rejoicing throughout the land.

Burnt Weapons: Rubber Band Guns (2 week speed campaign!) -- Kicktraq Mini


Almost There!

12 days to go and less than $400 left to raise. Thank you backers!


Thunderclap Augments Kickstarter

Thunderclap is a crowd-speaking platform. Think of it as an online flash mob. You opt in to have a predetermined message posted on you social media at a specified time. Since hundreds of other people will have also opted in and post the message at the same time, the message is more likely to be heard.

We have released a Thunderclap campaign to urge people to back our Kickstarter in its final days. The message will blast out automatically from those who have joined on June 29th at 6pm. Join the Thunderclap with Facebook, Twitter, and/or Tumblr.


Project Reloaded!

The new campaign is live! Enjoy more reward levels and lower prices: 


Current Campaign Cancelled, Reload Pending

The deed is done. Our current campaign has been cancelled.

Unlike the initial campaign, Kickstarter required that our new campaign be reviewed by Kickstarter staff, so it is pending for the moment. Hopefully it will go live tomorrow. I will send out an update with a link to the live campaign when it does.

In the meantime, you can check out this reloaded campaign preview:



Chris Daniel Show Segment

Here is the radio segment that feature Burnt Weapons Rubber Band Guns on a local radio talk show:


Time for New Photos

We will be taking some time over the next week to revamp a lot of our marketing content, particularly our photos and video. Here is a first cut at a better Destroyer photo.

Destroyer full auto machine pistol (prototype)
Destroyer Machine Pistol


Vote On Your Favorite Alien

I am putting together a set of targets for the Burnt Weapons rubber band guns and decided to go with a Space Invaders-esque theme. Take the survey to vote on your favorite alien: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BD72B87 (voting now closed)

Vote for your favorite!
Don't forget to like us on Facebook: Burnt Weapons Toys
Follow us on Twitter: @BurntWeapons
And subscribe on Youtube: Burnt Weapons


Burnt Weapons was featured on the radio!

I am no radio personality, but KMJNOW's Chris Daniel Show out of Fresno, CA featured Burnt Weapons in a segment today. We talked about where the idea came from, the status of the Kickstarter campaign, and how awesome these rubber band guns are. If you have every been 14 years old, you will want one.

Because of the show, there was an influx of likes on our Facebook page and I noticed a number of first time Kickstarter backers trickle in. Welcome to Kickstarter, I hope Burnt Weapons makes it a great experience for you.


> $1,000 on Day 1!

After a day of pledges, people have already pledged more than $1000 toward the Burnt Weapons project on Kickstarter! As of now, the project is over 10% funded. If we can maintain this kind of momentum, we will blow the funding goal out of the water!

Thank you to all my current backers. If you want to get in on the action too, use the widget in the left sidebar to visit the Kickstarter page.


Burnt Weapons has Launched!

Burnt Weapons has launched and is now live on Kickstarter! It is time to start pledging so that you can get the early bird deals. Back the project by clicking on the widget below:


100% Support on Thunderclap!

Phase 1 complete!

We are now over 100% supported on Thunderclap. This means that the Kickstarter announcement will blast out over social media and help us start strong with the financial side of the campaign.

I want to thank all of our social media supporters. I believe you will make a big difference in the campaign moving forward. I will be trying to contact you in the coming weeks to find out if you want to be publicly recognized for your support.

Stay tuned for the Kickstarter launch this coming Monday!


New Teaser Video

I have put together a little teaser video with a few of the clips from the Kickstarter video I am working on. Less than a week before launch!


Slow Motion Destroyer Firing

I decided to capture some slow motion video using my Raspberry Pi single board computer and its associated camera module. Using the 90fps mode and playing the resultant stream back at 10fps give an apparent 9x slow motion effect.

It was interesting to see how much the gun shakes during firing. You can feel it vibrate when you are holding it, but I did not expect it to shake as much as it did.


Annihilator Prototype Video

I was having too much fun with the Annihilator and ended up with a slightly longer video than the other models. Oh well.

Enjoy the demonstration of the select fire aspect of the rifle as I switch between semi and fully automatic. There is a simple toggle switch just above the trigger to select firing modes.


Destroyer Prototype Video

Here is a full-auto slaughter of plastic cups using the Destroyer machine pistol prototype:


Enforcer Prototype Video

Some target shooting with the Enforcer 5-shot semi automatic pistol:


Annihilator Prototype and Video

Annihilator V004 select fire submachine prototype

I cut the Annihilator V004 prototype out last night. It is looking good aside from a mishap where I cut additional holes in the stock. See below for a proof of concept video for the select fire aspect of this submachine rubber band gun.


Prototype Madness!

BurntWeapons prototypes
We have been working hard to prototype our three models for the kickstarter campaign. The best designs are found through iteration, so we "design early and often." Note that the select fire submachine rifle is beginning to take shape! The stock and grip are absent to conserve material during early prototypes.


Destroyer full auto prototype
This is the Destroyer full auto machine pistol. It holds 16+ rubber bands and boasts fully automatic firing. A mechanical oscillator provides a satisfying *clack-clack-clack* during firing and vibrates the gun a bit.


Enforcer semi auto step up pistol prototype

Here is a prototype of the Enforcer rubber band gun. It is a five shot step up semi auto piston. It is the smallest BurntWeapons gun and best choice for small hands.


And so it begins...

BurntWeapons has a website!

We are all about laser cutting fun things. Join us on our journey as we conduct a Thunderclap campaign to drum up interest for our Kickstarter campaign to drum up funding for a laser cutter so that we can deliver fun to the masses.

Simple, right?