Downloading From Thingiverse

One of the amazing things about this technology is that designs are made available for public use, and they can be downloaded & printed.  When I was describing my printing of swaging accessories on the Castboolits forum, a user chimed in about wanting an improved part for his RCBS press.  The primer catcher / decap tray that comes with RCBS single stage presses is notorious for allowing primers to escape (and fall on the floor / roll out of sight). I agreed to check into it and see what I could come up with.

Before going off and designing a new part (which for this, would probably take me a considerable amount of time), I checked on  Low & behold, another Thingiverse member had designed and uploaded exactly this part!  He has a left hand and right hand variant, which is a fantastic mod that users will appreciate.  How cool is that?!?


I reached out to the designer of the part (lcecil) and we’ve exchanged several e-mails.  He’s a reloader & 3D printer with lots of wisdom that I’ll put to use.  This morning, I downloaded the part, prepared it for printing (“sliced it”) and assuming another project finishes up in time, this will print while I’m at work today.

Our conversation led into the use of others’ designs and selling them.  He licensed this part under the Creative Commons – Attribution License, which can be used and even sold in small quantities by others.

So…  actually selling this stuff is something to consider.  Clearly, I’ve got my eye on that and I’m working through all of the different implications before I make a final decision.  Stay tuned.


Second Swaging Accessory

I’m focusing first on swaging accessories; the second piece in my “set” of items I want to design and print finished up overnight.  This is a ‘derim cup’.

Derim Cup Assembly

Derim Cup Assembly

A derim die takes a piece of empty .22LR brass, and pushes it through the die to flatten out the lip.  That creates the jacket for a .224 (for .223 / 5.56) bullet.

The derim cup catches the jackets after they’ve passed through the die.  This is a problem that can be solved many ways – using an empty soda bottle or hose, for example.  But why do that when I can print one, and it matches my press?

The whole assembly comes off the die easily and separates at the base so the cup can be emptied.  This one is sized to contain my typical batch of jackets that will go on together for further processing.


Day 1 – The Outcome

Ta da!  When I left for work in the morning, my newest creation was printing.  When I came back, it was done – it’s a “bleed tray”.  When swaging lead cores, they’re pushed through the die and the excess lead bleeds off through a hole in the side of the die.  Unfortunately, it drops to the floor.

This simple bleed tray solves my problem.  It’s not revolutionary, but it represents a huge breakthrough in how technology is accessible for us to solve problems.  More to come!

Bleed tray that catches extruded lead from a core swage die.


Day 1 – 3D Printing

My FlashForge 3D printer arrived yesterday, and after a short & easy setup, it was ready to go. I elaborated on that experience here.

What you’re seeing in this video is the third print I’ve ever created being printed. I designed this in FreeCAD, and it’s a cup that will capture lead wire that bleeds out of a swaging die. More on this later.


Concept Meets Reality

My 3D printer is showing “at destination sort facility” on the FedEx site, so I think the odds are good that it will be delivered today.  If so, that’s 7 days, from ordering on Amazon from a manufacturer in China.  Nice.

Ideally, tonight I’ll be translating concept to printed reality.  Here are a few of the drawings I have queued up:

Derim Die Base Derim Die Cup RCBS Shell Plate Holder Die_Plate_Holder


These are just a few of the things that will be printing soon…  each of these are reloading related (see the Custom Creations page for details).


Baby Steps

After deciding to create this site, it’s beginning to take shape.  They say ‘content is king’, so I’m trying to build out the hierarchy of the site in a way that makes sense and highlights useful information.

Overviews are up in the ‘Making Your Own Bullets‘ and ‘Reloading‘ sections; the ‘Trusted Links‘ page is filled with the basics.  And, the ‘Custom Creations‘ section has an overview of what I’m hoping to accomplish by merging some bleeding edge technology with the art of reloading.

If you’ve found this site, let me know what you think!


What’s Next?

Welcome.  Soon, this site will be filled with a variety of content including:

  • Tips & tricks I’ve learned as a reloader.
  • Links to reloading information I trust.
  • …and, depending on what happens this week, information on new reloading related gadgets I’ll be creating.

The site is kind of sparse right now, but check the “Trusted Links” and “Custom Creations” links.

Stay tuned!