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3D Printers

3D-printed magic wand zings rubber bands instead of spells

The Loom Launcher toys on Kickstarter include a series of rubber-band guns, but the real gems are the magic wands.

The Loom Launcher Wizard is ideal for Harry Potter fans. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

The Loom Launcher's promo video on Kickstarter starts off in a suitably dramatic fashion, with designer Adrian van Wijk intoning about how the creation is "the first all-in-one, mechanical, 3D-printed, multi-shot rubber band launcher with a self-priming trigger." Then it ascends into cat footage and childlike excitement about the project.

Toy rubber band guns have been around about as long as rubber bands themselves. I had one crafted from a curled piece of wood when I was a child. Kids (and adults) today can have toys made of much more modern materials like the 3D-printed nylon used by Loom Launcher.

The Loom Launcher line consists of four different gun designs and two magic wands. The guns are small and printed in white, so they do look like toys. The magic wands, however, are a lot more fun. Since we can't really be Harry Potter with a working magic wand, this is the next best thing. It can't cast a spell, but it can cast a rubber band.

The Wizard wand has a lightning-bolt design on it and is made to look like a sculpted branch. Harry Potter fans will be all over this model. You will need to shout something like "Flexilis cohortis!" every time you fire it. The Princess wand opts for a leaf and star pattern and would look great with a custom glitter paint job.

All of the Loom Launcher toys have the capacity to hold 12 mini rubber bands at a time, a distinct advantage over the slow-loading forefinger-and-thumb hand model most rubber-band warriors start out with. The range maxes out at about 20 feet (6 meters).

One nice thing about a 3D-printed project like this is that you can just buy the DIY files for the classic gun style for a mere $5 (about £3, AU$7) pledge and make your own (if you have access to a 3D printer). The wand files cost $12 (about £8, AU$17). If you want Loom Launcher to print one and send it to you, it starts at a $28 (about £18, AU$39) pledge.

Keep in mind that not all crowdfunding projects deliver as expected and on time. The Loom Launcher has already handily topped its $2,271 funding goal and has attracted over $8,000 with a few days left to run. Rubber-band warfare may never be the same again.

Loom Launcher rubber band gun
The Loom Launchers are ready to be customized. Loom Launcher