Not only will you have a plethora of options to choose from when you're looking to pimp your gun, but even those options have options. We build your kits and parts with several materials that have been carefully selected, tested and properly applied to the designs.
For example, let's break down the standard Vector magwell. The bulk of the body is made using a professional grade of ASA. The detents that prevent spare balls from falling out of your chamber are made with flexible TPU. The ambidextrous magazine releases are constructed with a high performance, High-temp PLA for stiffness, added durability and low friction that ensure plenty of smooth mag changes.
Here is an overview of the materials Magfed Maker uses to bring you the amazing kits that allow you, the player and maker, to create even more amazing markers.
This is a similar polymer to ABS, only it's more UV resistant and temperature stable. This makes for the ideal polymer in the sport of paintball, where players are exposed to the elements such as hot/cold weather, plenty of sunlight and moist environments with various chemicals/substances getting on our gear. This is now the primary material that is used to print Magfed Maker items, and has proven to be stronger and last longer than ABS. For what it's worth, this is the same material auto companies use to make the plastic trim on cars, albeit somewhat modified to be optimal for 3d printing.
There's a lengthy scientific name for this stuff, but all that is important is that this is one of the most common engineering grade polymers. It's the midrange performer of 3D printed plastics, as the more widely used PLA tends to warp/melt in direct sunlight, while the stronger nylon is more prone to warping while printing. It's more difficult to print than PLA, but much easier than nylon or polycarbonate. While ASA is the primary material used, it doesn't come in as many colors as ABS, so some special color requests by players will be made using quality grades of ABS.
High Temp/High Performance PLA
Most PLA has a glaring weak link in it's polymer chain: It deforms in moderate heat. This means parts left in the sun or used in the warmer climates have a chance to "melt", rendering them useless. However, modern developments in 3d printing filaments have resulted in several varieties of PLA that are now capable of being ran through a dishwasher without deforming. Naturally, that's the stuff we use :) PLA has some advantages over ABS/ASA in that it's stiffer and more resistant to abrasion. For this reason we will use HT/HP PLA for items, such as mag latches and buttons, that see repetitive mechanical stress.
Another great sciency name for this stuff, but the most common offering is made by a company that designates their brand of it as NinjaFlex. Magfed Maker uses both their standard flexible variety as well as "Cheetah" when parts need a little extra stiffness (like buttplates or the Bizon kit's detent). This isn't really a rubber, though it is very rubber-like, and we use is as such in our designs. This stuff is virtually indestructible by hand, and we have yet to experience failure as a chamber detent from the punishment of blow-forwards. It too has special conditions to be printed, so making entire parts with this stuff is not a viable option. That, and we don't think you'd want a squishy magwell...
Our kits will also utilize steel fasteners, springs and brass threaded inserts to increase utility and strength. These mean that your kit may not be waterproof and will require additional maintenance when it's time to break out the tech mat and oil everything up. The brass threaded inserts are so you can attach and detach your kit as many times as your heart desires without worry of wearing it out.
3D printed items are constructed layer by layer. While some polymers have better layer adhesion than others, when there is an area that will be stressed more than usual perpendicular to the layers, usually we'll add some pure carbon fiber rods inside to increase strength. These are true, single strand carbon fiber, and the same material used in building RC aircraft.
Hot Melt Adhesive
HMA, which is a fancy term for hot glue, is an industrial strength acrylic adhesive extruded by a heavy duty hot glue gun (not the kind you'll find at a craft store). We use it at temperatures around 200 degrees Celsius, which allows it to bond better to polymers. We supplement some prints with this as a filler to further increase strength and make a part immune to impact damage.