Group 9 2012 Project Planning

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Contents

Project Management: Request for Proposal

Work Proposal

In the work proposal, there will be detailed information outlining how our group, Group 9, intends to go about dissecting our Nerf N-Strike Rampage Blaster for reverse engineering purposes. We will then use the information that we find to determine how the Nerf gun functions and use our judgment to come up with a way to re-engineer the product so that it can function at a higher level. All of the necessary steps to be taken will be discussed such as; how the dissection will be documented, the tools used, and the steps that will be taken to be sure that the dissection goes in the smoothest fashion possible.

Reverse Engineering Procedure

In order to reverse engineer the Nerf N-Strike Rampage Blaster, our group will first dissect the product to see its inner-workings to gain an understanding about how this gun functions. This will be done by disassembling the gun and taking photographs along the way to be certain that we know just how this product was put together. Once this information is gathered, we can then proceed to find any possible flaws that might have occurred when this product was initially manufactured. We anticipate finding several systems within the gun. Most or all are energized by spring force. We expect to find a pushrod like system that will cock the gun. We also expect to find a spring powered drum in the cylinder. As well as a spring powered mechanism to fire darts. There will most likely be other subsystems as well.

Dissection Process

To begin the Dissection process of the Nerf Gun, we will all meet together and establish which which system will be dissected by each member. We have created a sections chart by observing the gun from the outside alone which may lead to some changes during the dissection process, but for now, we will base the sections for dissection off of the diagram shown below. Once we encounter each individual subsystem, we plan to break down each section as much as we possibly can. We expect nearly every subsystem to have some sort of spring or locking mechanism to keep the energy created from the cocking mechanism from releasing before the trigger is pulled. It will be important not to lose track of any small screws or springs so upon being taken apart and photographed we will place each part into individually marked bags that correspond to each subsystem.

MainPartsPicture.png
Tools

1/4 and 1/8 in Phillips screwdrivers- to remove the outer shell of the gun

Camera- to be used for documentation of the dissection process

Zip-Lock Baggies- to keep all the small parts from the gun in an order after dissection

Group Member Dynamics
Jeff Verrall Tim Whetstone John Laper Matt Palombo
\'\'\'Strengths\'\'\' \'\'\'Strengths\'\'\' \'\'\'Strengths\'\'\' \'\'\'Strengths\'\'\'
CAD, Inventor, Microsoft Office, Leadership CAD, Inventor, Microsoft Office,Time Management, Organizational Skills, Penmanship CAD, Inventor, Microsoft Office, C++ CAD, Inventor, Microsoft Office, C++, Technical Skills
\'\'\'Weaknesses\'\'\' \'\'\'Weaknesses\'\'\' \'\'\'Weaknesses\'\'\' \'\'\'Weaknesses\'\'\'
No Wiki experience, Time Management, Grammar, Spelling No Wiki experience, Public Speaking No Wiki experience, Time Management Spelling No Wiki experience, Time Management, Organizational Skills

Management Proposal

Group Member Email Position Description
Matthew Palombo mjpalomb@buffalo.edu Technical Expert Will lead the group through the dissection portion of this project. Mainly responsible for where each part goes on the gun, and what its function will be. Will also be responsible for the format of the wiki page.
Jeff Verrall jsverral@buffalo.edu Project Manager This position ensures that the entire group is working together. Will assign each group member with a section of each assignment, and will make sure that they complete that part before the due date.
Timothy Whetstone tmwhetst@buffalo.edu Communication Liaison This position will be the main communicator with the professors and TA’s. They will also be responsible for making sure that each group member will know the time and location for the next meeting.
John Laper johnlape@buffalo.edu Documenter Will be responsible for recording the steps of disassembly and assembly of the gun. Will take pictures after each major part of dissection and will record what has been done in that part.


In order to maintain a regular meeting schedule and to avoid having any group members not completing their required sections for each gate. We will meet every Sunday night at 8 p.m. the week before the required gate is due in the student union. That night we will complete as much of the work as possible whether it be written work or the dissection process itself. If for any reason the gate cannot be completely finished and revised during the allocated time frame, the group will meet the following Wednesday at 5 p.m. to finish revising or writing up any sections of the gate. If for any reason a group member(s) cannot attend Wednesday due to work, illness, or other school work, there will be a final group meeting Thursday at 3 p.m. If a conflict should arise within the group we will first make every attempt to keep the group members working together and on task, but if no such end can be met, we will contact the instructors to take further measures.

Product Archaeology: Preparation and Initial Assessment Questions

Development Profile:

When the Product was Developed

The Nerf N-Strike rampage Blaster was developed as part of the Nerf N-Strike Elite branch of the dart launching systems. This new branch of Nerf featured more innovative types of weapons such as snipers, gatling guns, and semi automatic weapons. This new branch was created in 2012 and the Rampage was one of the first toys produced under this new line.

Key Economic and Global Concerns at Development Time

During the time of this toy\'s production, there are many wars going on around the world for various reasons. While creating this toy Nerf has been sure to make every piece on this gun noticable and not able to offend any citizen of any country. By creating a clear plastic case to close off the large orange round drum, the user can easily identify the blue and orange darts that are inside of the magazine barrel instead of any sort of bullets.

Economically, Nerf and it’s N-Strike team must be able to find a new and efficient way to advertise, evolve, and manufacture this new toy line in such a way that they can increase their profits while still maintaining a steady rate of sales comparable to the older, Raider model.

When a potential consumer is taking their first glance at the toy, Nerf they will be making sure to be purchasing a toy for their child that does not send the wrong message. As opposed to the cold, metal look of real weapons, the Nerf guns are a very light plastic that shines a bright orange and blue all around the toy. This paint scheme, along with the orange tipped barrel are all there to ensure that the parent is not misleading their children into thinking that they might actually have a real weapon in their hands that can cause harm.

Unfortunately for Nerf, the only raedily avaiable resource to create their darts without threatening any serious injuries while maintaing a low price point is styrofoam. While this product is cheap and easy to mass produce for their darts, it can be very harmful to the environment if they are all not collected and disposed of properly after they have been fully used or broken while playing in an outside environment.

Countries and Regions to be Sold

The Nerf N-Strike Rampage is a product that will be sold domestically and worldwide via major retailers such as Target, Walmart, Toys R Us, etcetera, as well as online through distributors such as eBay, Amazon, among others. Worldwide, this product will be available to everyone, but due to certain health and safety regulations, the actual specifications of each toy might be different from what is sold here. Differences may include but are not limited to, type of dart used, differences among spring constants in order to enhance or reduce the speed and distance which the darts will travel, and type of materials used to mold and paint each toy.

Intended Impact on Consumer and Society

This N-Strike Rampage Blaster is intended to impact the activity level of children, and even parents alike. With a new form of activity given to the consumer of the Rampage Blaster, it will surely induce physical activity within the user and can be argued that it can be used as a form of exercise for children. The overall goal of the product should be to recreate an existing product to make it more durable, cheaper to produce, and more enjoyable to use.

Usage Profile:

Intended Use of Product

The Nerf-N-Strike Rampage Blaster is strictly intended for children. It provides endless hours of fun for children in a safe, productive way. It gives children a safe alternative to products like bb, airsoft and paintball guns. The Nerf-N-Strike Rampage Blaster provides endless amount of fun for children ages 6 and up.

Home or Professional Use

This product is designed for home use targeting children because it is relatively safe if treated with care. The soft darts also allow kids to entertain themselves all over the house while causing no damage to common household items. However, there are still ways that as the user grows older they can modify their guns to enhance performance and join leagues that are slowly beginning to pop up around the country, similar to the way paintball did.

NerfLeague.jpg
What Jobs does the Product Perform

This product performs task on both sides of the spectrum. The Nerf-N-Strike Rampage blaster keeps children busy for hours, while allowing adults to get whatever they need done without having to worry about the safety of their child. The only downfall of the gun is the possibility of the gun breaking sending small pieces elsewhere. Caution needs to be taken if the gun breaks because it can cause choking hazards for small children and pets. Also, darts should not be left around the house if the house has multiple pets because animals can chew on them and even choke. Although, these downfalls are rare precautions need to be taken to prevent any injuries.

Energy Profile:

What Types of Energy Used

For this gun, we believe that the entirety of all energy comes from spring energy. From what we can deduct, when the gun is fired, it is a large spring that is forcing the dart out of the barrel at a high velocity. We also assume that a spring is contained in the magazine which loads darts into the firing mechanism. We will expect to find more springs in other smaller locations for use such as returning the cocking mechanism back to its neutral position, and returning the trigger after it is compressed. We don’t anticipate any other forms of energy within the gun. It does not require batteries or charging, so there won’t be any electrical energy. It also doesn’t require pumping up air pressure to fire, so there won’t be any energy from that either. Since these are the only other two likely forms of energy to be used in a gun of this type, we will only expect to find spring energy.

How is the Energy Imported into the System(s)

The energy is imported into the gun by the user. The gun will require human power to compress the springs used to fire a dart. Without the input of a human user, the internal energy of the gun will remain dormant.

How are Different Types of Energies Transformed and Modified

The only different types energy within the gun based on our speculation, is potential and kinetic energy of the springs. When the gun is left untouched, there is a certain amount of potential energy built up in the springs. When the gun is cocked into firing position, the potential energy of the firing spring is increased massively. When the firing spring is released, it converts all of that built up potential energy into kinetic energy, and fires forward until stopping at its neutral position. The same type of cycle and energy conversion is used for the spring in the trigger and in the pump action arm. The spring in the magazine converts potential to kinetic in shorter bursts. When all darts are loaded in, the spring builds up a large amount of potential energy. As a dart is fired, the spring converts mechanical energy into kinetic energy until stopping when the firing mechanism has a dart in it. The difference from this spring is that the potential energy slowly decreases as it pushes more darts in because we believe it is one spring that pushes all darts in and slowly gets stretched out as another dart leaves the magazine.

SpringComperssion.jpg

Complexity Proifile:

The Nerf Rampage Blaster is significantly different from any other nerf gun due to its side mounted magazine barrel. While the barrel may function like a normal magazine with a different shape and orientation, it requires many more components on the inside of it to keep from jamming. By having the darts spin in a circle while they are loaded, Nerf needed to introduce a new way to hold the darts in place while still being able to efficiently and effectively load them into the firing chamber without jams. Their new design may consist of a significant new parts that would not be found in a regular magazine found on their other toys. While the magazine is constantly refreshing the supply of darts to the chamber, it also must be perfectly synchronized with the release and reload of each dart when the trigger is pulled and the gun is cocked. Among the inner componenets we can expect to find a significant amount of springs and interconnecting levers that form a chain of sorts throughout each part to make sure they all interact at precise moments in time with eachother.

MagazineBehind.jpg

Material Profile:

Clearly Visible Materials

With the Nerf N-Strike Rampage Blaster, the materials that are clearly present to the naked eye would have to be as follows. First of all, the body of the gun is formed from molded plastic to give the product its shape. There are also visible screws that are used to hold either side of the body of the gun together to one another.

Present But Not Visible Materials

The materials that we intend to come across when we do the dissection are as follows. We intend upon finding many springs inside the system. There will be springs inside of the magazine used to load the darts into the firing chamber. There will also be a larger spring that is in charge of holding the potential energy for the system that is used to propel the dart forward as well as another to reset both the trigger and the firing pump after each shot. We also intend to come across many plastic levers and such that connect the trigger to the firing ram as well as connecting many of the other inner components. There will also be many more small screws inside the product used to keep everything in place and aligned correctly when the product is in use.

RampageSide.jpg

Interaction Profile:

How does the User Interface with the Product

There are few ways for the user to efficiently and effectively interact with this product. The barrel must face away from the user as with any sort of toy gun and must be held upright to keep the aim in sync with the given line of sight. Shooting from multiple positions behind cover is also an effective way of using the Rampage Blaster in real life combat scenarios.

How Intuitive are the Interfaces

The basic usage of the toy is not hard to understand. After holding the toy in your hand for a matter of moments it would not take long to notice what buttons perform what functions or that pulling the trigger after cocking the forward grip would shoot a dart.

How Easy is the Product to use

The age limit that is put into place for the product (6+) not only shows the product may be hazardous for children under six, but can also show that the toy has a small learning curve when it comes to firing darts and reloading each magazine.

Regulariy of Maintenance

With this specific model, little to no maintenance is required to keep this product performing smoothly. Problems may appear if the spring is tampered with that fires the darts, or a piece of plastic breaks off of the outside of the toy, but other than that, the Rampage Blaster is relatively easy to maintain.

NerfShoot.jpg

Product Alternative Profile:

There are many alternative products to the Nerf-N-Strike Rampage Blaster. Within the Nerf industry, there are many different varieties in guns. The guns range from sniper rifles to shotguns, single fire to automatic and so on. These products range in price from 10 dollars to 150 dollars. All sorts of different accessories and attachments can be added on to each gun to make yours unique from your friends. Other alternatives to this product include the Hail Fire which is a larger Nerf gun, and can run from anywhere between $40-$50. This toy allows the user to shoot fully automatic with a rotating magazine holster that can hold up to 5 magazines at once. The only downside to this gun is that it runs on batteries so has a larger cost in the long run, and the size may be overwhelming for younger children. The Nerf Retaliator is one of the most similar guns to the Rampage in the new N-strike Series. By having the same slam-fire actions that you are cabable with while shooting the Rampage, the only noticeable different between the two toys are the magazine placements. The Rampage has a side mounted drum magazine while the Retaliator has an undermounted banana clip which is considered to be the "standard" magazine arrangement. The Retaliator can be purchased for $30. Between these other Nerf guns and the Rampage, the only really noticeable similarity is how far the darts fire. No matter how much "power" they give the individual guns the darts still all have the same coefficient of drag, weight, and size thus having the same maximum velocity when the guns are fired. Aside from the firing distance though, the entirety of each gun is unique. The methods of firing, reloading, and even how it is held and operated variaes in remarkable ways. One of the biggest factors though is the price. Each gun varies from one another by about $10 with the Hail Fire being the most expensive, followed closely by the Rampage, and the Retaliator Respectively.

Retaliator
NerfRetaliator.jpg
Hail Fire
NerfHailfire.jpg

References

Product Development
User Profile
Material Profile
User Interaction Profile
Product Alternative Profile