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Rant on nerf modding

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Unread postAuthor: SEAKING9006 » Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:50 pm

Personally, I'd prefer it if the deadline was sometime in February. As it is, I have very little free time to spend working in my garage, and that isn't going to change until next semester (when I finally get rid of those god-awful physics and calculus classes :x). After that, I'd be free to buy all the fittings and pipe I'd need to build my entry.

And yeah, btrettel, I have always known that rapid prototyping isn't the most accurate thing in the world. My main concern is the CNC mills and lathes, and what they can do. My goal would be to machine parts for a nerf gun entirely in CNC, starting from parts from a rapid prototyper if needed. The problem isn't the mechanisms, it's fitting everything into a shell no larger than a Glock with a light on the bottom. THAT'S what the prototyping is for. None of the mechanical bits would be printed, just the major components, such as the slide and the frame. All the fiddly bits (hammer, trigger, etc.) would be milled. Anyone know if there is a 12 gram CO2 reg the size of a D cell? :lol:
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:54 pm

Most "contests" completely fail to get off the ground. If you're doing one, actually do it... not just some idea that falls flat after a week and a half.

SEAKING9006 wrote:Anyone know if there is a 12 gram CO2 reg the size of a D cell?

Probably. But even if not, if you've got machining capacities, you could make one.
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Unread postAuthor: btrettel » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:05 pm

I attend College Park and unfortunately have no time to do HvZ. I've participated in only one or two Nerf events here.

Eventually I'd like to participate in HvZ but I'm not sure if it'll work with my schedule.
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Unread postAuthor: JDP12 » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:13 pm

See the good thing is my top college choice is Purdue and theres over 1000 players involved in HvZ there...

So that would be pretty sweet
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Unread postAuthor: SEAKING9006 » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:16 pm

I'm starting to get confused. What kind of HvZ are you guys talking about?
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Unread postAuthor: JDP12 » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:41 pm

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Unread postAuthor: iknowmy3tables » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:52 pm

http://humansvszombies.org/
well if this contest doesn't get off the ground we could at least set some goals to build a nerf gun by some day in febuary, then perhaps we can make a thread to discuss comparisons of the guns released in February

how come you guys are so persistent on building your guns from scratch, I'm just planning on a using existing nerf guns for feeding mechanisms because they're cheaper and probably will be more reliable
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Unread postAuthor: JDP12 » Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:16 pm

Ah where's the fun in that now??
i
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Unread postAuthor: SEAKING9006 » Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:51 pm

Aww dangit, my universities aren't on the list of live games! :x

Well, Texas Tech is, but their machine shop sucks, so I'm kinda iffy about going there...
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Unread postAuthor: btrettel » Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:20 am

Why homemade? You're asking the wrong question. Why limit yourself with modifications of existing guns?

Building from scratch or from off-the-shelf parts may be more difficult, but it's also much more satisfying in two ways. The quality of the product is completely under your control. You can make something better in any/all aspects that matter to you. You can make things that have no equivalents in the modified world. There also is the satisfaction from feeling that you've really accomplished something, a feeling that does not come from modifications except for perhaps the most time consuming.

Modifications are extremely limited. While you do get to use existing systems and this simplifies manners in many ways, you also have all of the disadvantages of that particular system. For example, existing flow paths can only be improved to a certain extent. Replacing springs with stronger ones might not be possible due to geometry or stress in the parts. These issues can be avoided completely by building from scratch.

As you could imagine, more extreme changes to functionality might be more involved than building from scratch. There are too numerous limitations to changes in functionality as I've already explained. To use stronger springs requires reinforcement of parts in some cases. I have seen some "modification" replace parts with homemade equivalents, and while I understand the ergonomic issues and potential to save time, I wonder why anyone would bother as you lose flexibility in what parts you can use, how they can be placed, etc.

Additionally, a modifier often does not have detailed plans for a system or knowledge of how a system works. This leads to bad decisions. A knowledgeable designer who builds from scratch can avoid these issues entirely.

Another reason worth noting is that homemade Nerf guns can really anger or intimidate some people. This I think is part of the reason why some want to ban them (I'll make it clear that this is speculation). Some people don't know how to make them, and I think that alone scares them. They do take more work and mental effort and that makes them inaccessible to many.

The disadvantages of the homemade route are plenty, however, I think for the truly dedicated they are minor at best. Let me reiterate that: Homemade anything isn't for everyone, but those who value what I've listed above will find the process to be the most rewarding.

Edit:

SEAKING9006 wrote:And yeah, btrettel, I have always known that rapid prototyping isn't the most accurate thing in the world. My main concern is the CNC mills and lathes, and what they can do. My goal would be to machine parts for a nerf gun entirely in CNC, starting from parts from a rapid prototyper if needed. The problem isn't the mechanisms, it's fitting everything into a shell no larger than a Glock with a light on the bottom. THAT'S what the prototyping is for. None of the mechanical bits would be printed, just the major components, such as the slide and the frame. All the fiddly bits (hammer, trigger, etc.) would be milled. Anyone know if there is a 12 gram CO2 reg the size of a D cell?


I'm not quite sure that you read my post. Perhaps you're misunderstanding me. Again, accuracy generally is not a problem. Resolution is a problem, though CNC mills and lathes are very good in this respect.

Also, to reiterate another point I've made, you should check the costs involved as you might not like what you see. I just checked my emails from earlier this year and back then CNC machining cost $35 an hour here at UMD. I'd imagine it costs more now given the economy.

You'd probably be better served with manual machining at this stage.

I'll leave it at this as you probably find me annoying on this point. Apologies if so as that is not my intention, rather, I don't want you to be disappointed.
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Last edited by btrettel on Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:20 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Unread postAuthor: Solar » Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:21 am

There are paintball regs like the CMI-2000 that go inline that are the size of a "C" cell.
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Unread postAuthor: inonickname » Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:40 am

I infact have a bolt-action cartridge rifle which would fit nerf darts and is rifled.. It still needs a good pilot setup, but it works fine.
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Unread postAuthor: iknowmy3tables » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:41 am

@trettel I think I understand your point after visiting your site, and I'm a very crude engineer, for example I guarantee you that my air tank will be 3liter soda bottles, my 3way valve actuator will be a butchered blowgun, it is only by by ghettoize my projects that I get the motivation to complete projects because there's always something just as cool that I could be building for less
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Unread postAuthor: JDP12 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:16 am

I'd be game for a nerf gun contest... I already have a design in the works..

I need a gun for when I go off to college. It's secret though so shh....

Are we gonna do this contest? If so, let's set down some guidelines. Here's what I've been thinking. I'd be willing to head it/organize

GUIDELINES:

1) Gun has to be safe by the Humans vs. Zombies rules- see here for details. http://humansvszombies.org/rules I say this because otherwise someone might go out and build some super powerful gun that isn't applicable for nerf wars/HvZ

2) Gun can be any mode of firing, single shot, manual cocking, semi-automatic, et cetera.

3) Gun can be spring fired or pneumatic.

4) Gun has to fire normal nerf darts, or homemade stefans. I'm going to say unweighted darts because most HvZ games ban weighted darts because they can hurt at close quarters. Also, no hot glue dome heads as those are very painful.
------IF you think weighted darts should be allowed please let me know---

5) Gun would have to be homemade. You can use parts or something from a nerf gun for ease (i.e. shells), but no modding of an existing nerf gun. I say this because most modifications have already been done, and are unoriginal. Also, while modding guns is perfectly cool for HvZ, I think this contest should be different than what most people do with nerfs.

If people really want to do modded ones, perhaps we could have a subcategory of the contest only for mods of production NERF guns.

JUDGING

Judging would be based on a couple main criteria

1) Reliability- Does it operate consistently? Is it constantly jamming? ( A pretty big issue with nerf guns) Is power and range consistent?

2) Ease of use- is it user friendly? How easy is it to reload? This kind of goes along with the reliability above

3) Safe? I think this is obvious

4) Uniqueness- Has your idea been attempted before? Looking at what trettel has done, he's got some unique stuff. His FANG 2 is pretty sweet so far, albeit incomplete IIRC. It would have to present a better way of operating in battle. The pump action, spring loaded NERF guns in production are not very unique. It's what everyone uses. What makes your gun stand out from the rest??


I don't know what prizes would be yet.

Final Date for Submission would be: March 1, 2010? I know alot of the guys (myself included) that would be involved in this are extremely busy with school and find it hard to get time to experiment and build.

These are my ideas for now. Feel free to insert your own comments, and I can update this as necessary.

Thanks,

JDP
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:28 am

ilovetoblowthingsup wrote:4) Gun has to fire normal nerf darts, or homemade stefans.

Arse. That rules out my anti-armour steel core darts.
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