Inventor William Mace used to live aboard a small boat, where he tried his best to cast and mold custom parts. If you’ve ever worked with resins or other two-part materials, however, you’ll know just how messy and involved the process can be – the two component liquids have to be poured in a precise ratio into a mixing cup, stirred thoroughly together, poured, and then the left-over mixture, cup and stir stick have to be disposed of. Instead, Mace created the Dra-gun – a power drill-mounted system that automatically mixes the liquids in the desired ratio, and that produces virtually no waste.
The three-pound (1.4 kg) system reportedly mounts on almost any half-inch corded or cordless drill. It features two variable-displacement pumps, both of which are powered by the continuous spinning of the drill mechanism. These pumps each draw one of the two required liquids, either from external containers via attached hoses, or from quick-release onboard bottles ranging in size from 16 to 32 ounces (0.5 to 1 liter).
The liquids stay separated until they meet in the Dra-gun’s mix nozzle. Because the draw rates of the pumps can be independently adjusted, the mix ratio can be set as needed.
After the liquids are mixed in the nozzle, they can then be squirted into a mold, sprayed (via a built-in air valve) onto a surface, or otherwise applied. Once the job is finished, users flush the system with a biodegradable, reusable bio-diesel-based liquid. Any casting liquids not used are still left unmixed in separate containers for future use, and no cups partially filled with toxic goo need to be thrown away.
Chances are that if you’re the type of person who would have a use for the device, you’ll already have some ideas for it. Nonetheless, Mace suggests that it could be used for things such as small parts fabrication, truck bed lining, spray foam insulation application, plus hobbies and artwork.
Although William has already been making Dra-guns on a small scale, he is currently raising finds on Kickstarter for larger-scale production. A pledge of at least US$992 will get you one (drill and accessories not included), when and if that stage is reached.
More information is available in his pitch video.
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