Group 24 - Tippmann 98 Custom - Gate 1

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In Gate 1 for the Tippmann 98 Custom paintball marker, we will go over the work proposal, management proposal, and the assessment of our product archaeology. The work proposal states the plan for dis-assembly and possible problems that the the group members may run into. The management proposal will go into detail about the structure of our group and how we will work as a team. The last part of this section will discuss the product archaeology, where the basic structure of our paintball marker is covered.

Work Proposal

Disassembly Procedure

1) Loosen all external screws using the Allen wrenches
2) Remove aluminum face-plates and make sure to keep track of all screws
3) Observe inner-workings and plan to take apart the trigger and internal components
4) Disassemble any other various parts such as valves and the firing mechanism

Tools Needed

The paintball marker has a fairly simple procedure for disassembly because it was designed to be capable of allowing regular repairs while in the field of play. The necessary tools are:

1) Various sized Allen wrenches
2) Flat head screw driver
3) Phillips head screw driver

Possible Challenges

Our best estimate on the time it will take to completely disassemble the product is somewhere between two and three hours. One challenge that may arise would be that in not knowing the true inner workings of the marker some other tools may be needed that we are unaware of. Another obstacle that our group may find is that the strength of the material within the marker may be too great or two little, either hindering the product’s disassembly or sturdiness. Small parts in the components of the gun might run the risk of easily being broken or lost. The reassembly process could also bring up another challenge because of the sheer complexity of the internal mechanisms. This would make it difficult for us to put the marker back together the way it originally was, and retain its functionality.

Group Summary

Here is a little information about each of our members:

\'\'\'Kyle Mau\'\'\':He is a 2nd year Aerospace Engineering major, from Schaghticoke, NY, and his two favorite hobbies are soccer and video games.

\'\'\'Evan Lepkowski\'\'\': He is a 3rd year Mechanical Engineering major from Castleton-On-Hudson, NY and his two favorite hobbies are soccer and riding his motorcycle.

\'\'\'Curt Nowack\'\'\': He is a 2nd year Mechanical Engineering major from Churchville, NY, and his two favorite hobbies are soccer and racquetball.

\'\'\'Danny Dobrovosky\'\'\': He is a 2nd year Mechanical Engineering major from Skaneateles, NY, and his two favorite hibbies are biking and fishing,

\'\'\'Ryan Fonzi\'\'\':He is a 2nd year Mechanical Engineering major from Gasport, NY, his two favoriter hobbies are tennis and visiting friends.

\'\'\'Table 1:\'\'\' Group Strength and Weaknesses\'\'\'
\'\'\'Group Member\'\'\' \'\'\'Strengths\'\'\' \'\'\'Weaknesses\'\'\'
\'\'\'Evan Lepkowski\'\'\' •Leadership experience

•Diligent worker

•Excellent in time management
•Writing skills


\'\'\'Curt Nowack\'\'\' •Organizing Data

•Disassembling products

•AutoCAD experience

•Knowledge of a paintball marker

•Performance anxiety


•No previous Wiki experience

\'\'\'Daniel Dobrovosky\'\'\' •Hard worker

•Experienced in AutoCAD

•Unfamiliar with paintball markers

\'\'\'Ryan Fonzi\'\'\' •Proficient with AutoCAD
and Microsoft Office

•Experience with MatLab
and C++

•Background knowledge in mechanics

•Online publishing

\'\'\'Kyle Mau\'\'\' •Math skills

•Organized, industrious

•Knowledge of paintball markers

•Writing skills

•No previous experience with Wiki pages


Skills to be Developed

Some possible skills that would need to be developed would be in the area of wiki webpage design. In order to present our information we will be uploading information onto the wiki website. No one in the group has previous uploading knowledge, so Curt elected to learn. The group will also need to do some research on the inner workings of the marker.

Management Proposal

This project has been split into 5 different gates, each having different objectives that need to be completed by its respective date. Each member of the group will have separate roles and separate tasks that they will be required to fulfill. Chart 1 shows what each gate consists of and each gate’s projected deadline. In order to ensure the completion of the project by the due date, the group will have to work diligently and in a timely matter.

Chart 1: Gantt Chart

In order for the team perform at its best caliber, roles have been assigned to each member corresponding to their strengths and weakness’:

\'\'\'Evan Lepkowski\'\'\'-Team leader, photographer, compiler
\'\'\'Curt Nowack\'\'\'-Wiki developer, disassembly and reassembly
\'\'\'Ryan Fonzi\'\'\'-editor, disassembly and reassembly
\'\'\'Kyle Mau\'\'\'-compiler, disassembly and reassembly
\'\'\'Dan Dobrovosky\'\'\'- editor, CAD designer

Role Responsibilities:

\'\'\'Team leader\'\'\': Evan’s tasks as the team leader will be to make sure the group is completing the tasks in a timely matter. In order to achieve this, communication with the other team members will be necessary for success. Strict deadlines will be set and team meetings will be organized when necessary.

\'\'\'Photographer\'\'\': The role of the photographer will be to take pictures during the disassembly process and organize the pictures taken afterward.

\'\'\'Compiler\'\'\': The compilers will collect the data and put it into an organized format. For each gate, every team member will have a different task to complete. Once they have finished their part they will e-mail the work they have completed to the compilers. From there the Evan and Kyle will format the work in a professional manner.

\'\'\'Editor\'\'\': Dan and Ryan will be responsible for the editing of the compiled work. They will read over each part, correct any grammatical errors or make changes that will ensure the work is ready for presentation.

\'\'\'Disassembly and Reassembly\'\'\': Each member will be present and taking notes during the actual disassembly and reassembly but Kyle, Ryan, and Curt will lead the dissection. They will be taking each part of the marker apart and be responsible for understanding how it will be reassembled. They will be paying close attention to each piece of the marker and analyzing/discussing what they notice as they proceed with the process.

\'\'\'Wiki Developer\'\'\': Curt will be responsible for the wiki page and formatting the information given to him from the editors.

\'\'\'CAD designer\'\'\': Dan will work with Autodesk in order to re-create 3D-animations of the parts that are within the marker.

Meeting Plan:

The group will have a mandatory meeting each Monday after class at 5:00PM in the Lockwood Library basement. The purpose of these meetings will be to discuss what needs to be completed during each week, with emphasis on any deadlines that need to be met. Any other tentative meetings will be held after 5:00 PM any day of the week. During these meetings the group will discuss the work that each individual has been working on. This will be a time to state any challenges they have run into, develop a solution, and discuss any other matters that are brought up. The group will not make any important decisions until everyone is notified of the problem, and 3 or more individuals agree upon a single solution. In conclusion to each meeting, the group members will be reminded of the deadlines for that week and their responsibilities. This will help resolve any confusion or disorganization.


\'\'\'Group 24 Team Leader\'\'\': Evan Lepkowski (

Communication will be an important part of completing this project. In response to this fact, each member has exchanged his e-mail address and phone number with the rest of the group. Conflict Resolution: If there are to be any conflicts within the group, we will try to come up with a resolution as a whole. If any member of the team has a conflict that they feel should be brought up, they can either contact the team leader or bring it up at a group meeting. During this time the group will discuss the problem and state their opinions. In order for a resolution to be reached the group will have a vote where 3 or more people must agree on a solution. If any member is to slack-off or become tardy with their work they will be approached by the team leader and given a warning. If a problem cannot be resolved within the group then a third party, for instance the professor, will be notified. Each member is responsible for their duty and should fulfill it with the best of their ability.

Product Archaeology: Preparation and Initial Assessment

Development Profile

The Tippmann 98 first came on to the market in 1998. It was mostly intended for sale in Western countries where paintball is more popular. Since it was intended for paintball players in countries such as Canada and the United States, the marker was designed to look more similar to a gun used in the United States military as opposed to a gun used in other militaries around the world. The aesthetics of the marker required it to be engineered so that all the mechanical parts could fit into the shape of the real gun it was designed to look like.

From an economic standpoint, the Tippmann 98 custom paintball marker was designed to be a very capable, reliable marker at an affordable price. According to the Tippmann website, it’s pricing starts at $119 (Markers, 2010). This is much less compared to some of the higher end markers that can cost well above $200. Upgrades and modifications can be purchased for the 98 custom to make it competitive with the performance of the more expensive paintball markers. This is great for beginners since they can save money, but as they get more into the game of paintball they can improve their marker without having to purchase a new one. The designers of the marker made it affordable in order to appeal to paintball players that don’t want to spend too much money on it.

The Tippmann 98 custom is a product intended to provide entertainment. It is meant for people to affordably get into the game of paintball as a hobby. Paintball is a game for those who seek thrills, and Tippmann company attempts to bring an exciting experience to the player. The marker was designed to give players the feeling of handling a real firearm in order to enhance their paintball experience, while staying affordable.

Markers. (2010). Retrieved September 15, 2011, from

Usage Profile

The Tippmann ’98 Custom is a paintball marker built for a market targeting those who have interest in competitive combat simulation in both casual and professional situations. It is a product designed to look, feel, and act similarly to a firearm, but is not intended to cause harm. Because of this, it is indefinitely marketed alongside protective gear so that, when in use, consumers do not end up harming themselves or others.

Paintball markers have been used in various locations, including rural outdoor areas, indoor arenas, and even in military settings as training tools. The Tippmann ’98 Custom is not likely used for military training, as it would appear to be more geared toward casual users who see the sport of paintball as more of a hobby. Therefore, this specific product can be classified as more of a ‘home-use’ piece of equipment. The product doesn’t perform any practical uses that might make living more convenient, and is therefore seen as more of a product made for entertainment and social activity.

Energy Profile

The energy used by the Tippmann 98 custom to fire paintballs comes from compressed gas. A tank of Carbon Dioxide is attached onto the marker, and a tube runs from the tank to the inside of the marker. CO2 travels through the tube when the trigger is pulled, and then through the internal mechanisms in the marker. The pressure based forces from the compressed gas causes the paintball to accelerate out of the barrel, gaining kinetic energy. The resultant firing velocity of the paintball can be adjusted using an externally accessible control valve/screw. Using this control system, the amount of carbon dioxide used to fire each paintball can be changed, which results in shots of generally higher or lower velocity. The air pressure from the co2 has pneumatic energy. When inside the barrel the paintball is pushed by this energy and begins to accelerate down the barrel. When adjusting the firing velocity with the screw the rate of CO2 released is changed and allows for more or less pressure to be built up, thus adjusting the firing velocity.

Complexity Profile

The exterior of the Tippmann 98 Custom gives very limited insight to the interior of the marker. Because the interior is what we most hope to investigate, this fact means that until dissection of the product, it will be hard to estimate the full complexity and number of parts.

However, what the exterior does show is valuable in terms of our points of key interest. For instance, on the side of the marker, near the back, there is an opening that shows a large protruding pin. This pin is attached to a cylindrical tube that is indirectly backed by a spring. It appears as though pulling this pin back far enough locks the marker into firing position. Strangely enough, when the marker is in this position, the loading tube, located on the top of the gun, is in an open position implying that the marker fires with an open feed-tube.

When the trigger is pulled, the pin, and all attached parts, are released from firing position. Without the pressure related forces acting within the marker, this release is not counteracted as it is known to be during regular use. The pressurized gasses (commonly CO2 or compressed air) enter through a threaded hole located near the bottom of the grip. Inside of this it can be seen that there is a contour made to open the pressure lock on a connected air tank. There is evidence of the quantization of air pressure intake as well as the adjustability of this amount by the user.

Without the Barrel and air tank, the gun visibly has somewhere between 35-45 different parts (including the casing, bolts and screws). It is expected, however, that this number could be more than doubled upon dissecting the product. As of the exterior examination, it appears that most individual parts are not very complex, whereas on the inside, as seen through openings, simple and complex components interact in order to make the product function. By examination it is seen that most all of the systems activate at once, and return to equilibrium at once. The system shows evidence of not only complexity, but of the fact that all of the internal systems are connected, share the same sources of energy, and execute simultaneously.

To scale the complexity of the individual parts you look at the number of interactions the part has as well as the number and difficulty of manufacturing methods needed to make the part. A complex part is one that may contain air, mass, and energy flows as well as multiple different manufacturing methods. A simple part may have no flows at all and only a few manufacturing methods.

Material Profile

The main housing of the paintball marker is made out of metal, probably steel, and coated in paint. Most other outer parts are metal too, including the screws, cocking mechanism, expansion chamber, and CO2 adapter. The trigger is made out of plastic, along with the rail sight, cocker cover, and the safety. The hose connecting the adapter and the expansion chamber is braided stainless steel, and the last part I can see from the outside is the grip, which is rubber. Without looking inside, I would think that most of the mechanical components will be some sort of metal, with some rubber o-rings to create better seals.

User Interaction Profile

The marker is designed to be easily used and, in only a few steps, the user is ready to start firing paintballs. First there is a threaded CO2 adapter to connect the CO2 tank, which has standard threads, so there is no problem with it fitting. In order to shoot, the user needs to pull back the bolt, or manual cocking lever, which is covered in plastic to protect fingers from the metal. The trigger is in the standard place, on the handle, and there is a front grip to ensure better accuracy. The safety switch is easily identifiable, with a red o-ring on it, and writing to explain on and off positioning. It is a conveniently placed push button that locks in place and stops the trigger from activating. The velocity adjuster is also conveniently located so that no disassembly is required, only an external adjustment by use of an Allen wrench. If a paintball is broken in the chamber, it is proper maintenance to remove the hopper adapter, which can be done by the push of a button, to get to the shot chamber and clean it with a towel, or a squeegee. In some cases, the paint may seep into the frame and further disassembly is required. For disassembly, the frame has 6 screws that all require the same size Allen wrench to be removed. If any part has been broken or lost, Tippmann has a website that sells all parts that are used in its paintball markers.

Product Alternative Profile

\'\'\'Table 2:\'\'\' Product Alternatives\'\'\'
\'\'\'Alternative\'\'\' \'\'\'Image\'\'\' \'\'\'Price\'\'\'
\'\'\'Tippmann A5\'\'\'

(High End Mechanical Marker)

TippmannA5.jpg $179.99
\'\'\'Kingman Spyder Pilot\'\'\'

(Low End Electronic Marker)

Spyder.png $219.99
\'\'\'Dye DM11\'\'\'

(High End Electronic Marker)

Dye.png 1,799.99

\'\'\'Advantages & Disadvantages:\'\'\'

The Tippmann 98 Custom has many advantages with being one of the most basic markers available. First off, it is the cheapest of the four markers listed, as seen in the chart above. This is because of the basic parts used in the marker. It would be located in the low end mechanical marker category, and costs around $120 dollars, which is the most inexpensive marker shown. A low end mechanical marker consists of the basic components a paintball gun needs, like a simple trigger, shot chamber, barrel and paintball feeding system. The difference between a high end mechanical marker would be the trigger sensitivity, a smoother feeding system that would cause less misfiring, and a better, more accurate barrel. All of these basic systems in the Tippmann 98 Custom means that it is one of the most inexpensive markers available, while still being functional.

Since the 98 Custom only has the basic needs for a paintball marker, it is also the most upgradable of the lot too, because nearly every part can be improved. Since it is one of the most popular markers on the market, there are a number of companies that provide aftermarket parts designed to fit the 98 Custom. The competition made by the number of aftermarket parts available increase competition for sales, and therefore makes the upgrades available for this marker cheaper than most.

With the minimal features that the marker comes with, The Tippmann 98 Custom holds some disadvantages. One being that it does not have the systems that come with an electronic marker, like the electronic trigger, which are more sensitive and can be changed to 3-round burst or full auto. Another disadvantage of being a mechanical marker is that it does not have an ‘eye,’ a common aspect that is used in electronic markers that is used to make sure that a ball is fully in the shot chamber, thus reducing the number of paintball breaks and blank shots. Making the Tippmann 98 Custom a mechanical marker kept the cost down, but lowered its overall performance.

All of the other paintball guns listed are also lighter than the 98 Custom, due to the inexpensive, but durable material that the gun is made from. Usually, the higher end the gun, the lighter, more maneuverable the gun is so you can quickly adjust its positioning and so the user does not get to holding it. The 98 Custom is a beginner gun, and one of the features they sacrificed is weight, which was sacrificed for durability. (2011). Retrieved September 27, 2011, from