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Lab Redesign Contest


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#1 Split

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 11:53 AM

Split's LAB Redesign Contest!

Didn't like the original Lever Action Blaster design? Think you can do better? This is your chance to prove it.

I will be running this contest to see who can design and build the best Lever Action Blaster revision.

To enter, you don't need to post a writeup, or even a thread. What you do need, is a a good set (at least 5) photos of the finished product, which detail the improvements and anything particularly important at it. A video is not only a suitable substitution for the photos; it's preferred.

The Design Goal
The goal of this project design was two-fold. Make a reproducible and customizable blaster that breaks away from the norm. We need to stop the +Bow (and, to a much lesser extent, the SNAP) from dominating the world of homemades!


Some ground rules:
  • The submitted project must be primed by a downward lever action, such as on the Rapid Fire Rifle or the original design.
  • The submitted project must be made entirely from scratch - no Nerf or pre-molded plastic parts. Ask about specific parts if you're not sure.
  • The submitted project must be spring powered, or a "springer."
  • The submitted project must be fully functional, and be able to accept 1/2" PVC barrels.
Judging Criteria:
I'm leaving these as open as possible, to avoid infringing on any of the radical changes. Radical redesigns are what I want to see.
  • How well you met the goal - ability to be customized, and whether is can be reproduced or not (Note: the latter is NOT a scale. I'm not judging this on how hard it would be to remake, just whether it can be or not. Go ahead and use that lathe if the design calls for it - you won't be penalized for it. Using a specific curtain rod part from your basement will kill you though.)
  • Innovation - Things never before seen
  • Problem Solving - How well the solution suits the problem. If the problem is a +bow cutting your face open, a cheek rest is a better solution than a relocated handle, which may inhibit other parts' integrity.
    Design quality
  • Design Quality - How well everything fit together from design to product. Did you have to cut some extra groove or drill some extra hole after you started assembling? That'd be bad. Good design avoids those things.
Prizes:
Currently, the prize is a stock, eye-rapingly Green Airtech 2000. This may change to any off the shelf blaster under $30, or just $30. We'll see as time goes on.

Final Remarks:
This contest will run for a month and a half. This is a pretty reasonable amount of time, as far as I'm concerned. I can churn out an original homemade in a day or two, while still logging some time on other projects.
As such, the deadline for submissions will be 12:00 PM (NOON) Eastern time on April 30th, 2010. Do NOT edit your post after this time. Any posts dated after this time will of course not be judged.

Please post all submissions to this thread.

With all that said, I'm anxiously looking forward to what you guys come up with. I got a lot of criticism to the original, and this contest only furthers the community looking into non-+bow design.

Edited by Split, 16 March 2010 - 11:58 AM.

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Teehee.

#2 CaptainSlug

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 12:13 PM

We need to stop the +Bow (and, to a much lesser extent, the SNAP) from dominating the world of homemades!

WUT?
I'm quite fond of rork's SNAPbow. Everyone should be making more of those.
Also, I'm working on a new homemade. I've just been too busy to put any time towards it.

Edited by CaptainSlug, 16 March 2010 - 12:13 PM.

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#3 Zorns Lemma

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 03:13 PM

[*]The submitted project must be primed by a downward lever action, such as on the Rapid Fire Rifle or the original design.


So no maximizer/maxshot/firstshot style priming?
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#4 Split

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 03:39 PM

Not this time. Or maybe the design could allow for the handle to be place on any side of the blaster. That'd get extra points for customizability and all that.
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#5 Soothsayer

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 05:47 PM

Totally. Reinventing the wheel is an awesome idea!
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yeah I'm that guy who made that cool thing with the cool paint.


#6 Blue

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 05:55 PM

Totally. Reinventing the wheel is an awesome idea!


Maybe the wheel would be the plunger tube and plunger head setup, but this is more like a car...
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#7 nate the great

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 06:00 PM

I'm going to run to the store to get the stuff and start this weekend! If you really think about there are so many ways to make a lever action gun.
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#8 Rogue Warrior

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 06:03 PM

I haven't been on this site in forever.

Will we be allowed to use magazines to hold the shells?

Will the "gucci-ness" be judged?


This is the greatest thread ever.

Edited by Rogue Warrior, 16 March 2010 - 06:07 PM.

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#9 Draconis

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 06:03 PM

Totally. Reinventing the wheel is an awesome idea!



I don't know that we could trust you with wheels... Maybe you should stick with your sweet mods instead of delving in to homemades?


Is there a particular plunger volume, diameter, length, or any other limiting factor?
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#10 Split

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 06:38 PM

Will we be allowed to use magazines to hold the shells?

Will the "gucci-ness" be judged?

Heh, I suspect you're taking the Rapid Fire Rifle analogy too literally. It doesn't need shells at all, but it does need to accept a 1/2" Pvc barrel.

As for appearance (I hope that's what you mean, though cost isn't a factor), it's not explicitly judged, but it falls a bit into functionality (jagged metal into your hand won't have you using it much) and design quality (no excess cuts and all that).

As for Drac's question, I have no limiting factors like that. When I designed the LAB, I didn't aim for it to get ridiculous ranges, but it's always fun to take advantage of the mechanical advantage of the lever, so it had a beefy spring anyway.
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Teehee.

#11 Stud Muffins

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 08:35 PM

Alright, time to earn some forum cred! I need to go to the local plastics shop!

This will be the post my submission will go into.
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#12 TantumBull

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 08:56 PM

As for appearance (I hope that's what you mean, though cost isn't a factor), it's not explicitly judged, but it falls a bit into functionality (jagged metal into your hand won't have you using it much) and design quality (no excess cuts and all that).

So, just to clarify, cuts made with a dremel (later cleaned of course) would be fine? I don't have access to teh scrollsawz, but I feel like this would be fun to enter in.

Also, at the beginning you said best revisions to the LAB. Would it be okay to create a totally new LAB-esque gun that fits your criteria or are you specifically looking for revisions to the original design?

Edited by TantumBull, 16 March 2010 - 08:58 PM.

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#13 Split

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 09:16 PM

As for appearance (I hope that's what you mean, though cost isn't a factor), it's not explicitly judged, but it falls a bit into functionality (jagged metal into your hand won't have you using it much) and design quality (no excess cuts and all that).

So, just to clarify, cuts made with a dremel (later cleaned of course) would be fine? I don't have access to teh scrollsawz, but I feel like this would be fun to enter in.

Also, at the beginning you said best revisions to the LAB. Would it be okay to create a totally new LAB-esque gun that fits your criteria or are you specifically looking for revisions to the original design?

Yep and yep. Cleaned up dremel cuts are how I started out actually. Totally acceptable in my book. And LAB-esque is also fine. In fact, anything that fits within the guidelines (which are subject to change slightly, though unlikely at all) is acceptable.
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#14 Split

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 01:17 PM

Just a small bump to make sure everyone remembers this thing is still going on.
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Teehee.

#15 archangel24

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 08:29 PM

Is it okay if I use a spring from a Nerf gun (stock spring)?
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#16 louiec3

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 06:47 PM

Well it never hurts to be first. At least I think...

Here is my submission.
It is about 3in longer than a +bow without the stock.
The first picture is just an overview of the gun, the second is of it cocked.
Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

To help with the judging.

-All the parts I used were purchased from Ace hardware, or McMaster.com.
-I used the bolt rather than the channel since it not only is simpler, it allows for a stronger priming handle. Also, the aluminum pieces are not seen often in the nerfing world, in my experience, and add durability, and class to the gun.
-The only real problem that occured in building this was how to make the trigger behind the catch, and the sliding trigger works fantastically. The handle was another minor problem, and I went with the L+L handle because it fit like a dream in the gun, and It was already designed, so why fix what isn't broke.
-Everything works, and fits together nicely. All holes were figured in when I designed the gun, and nothing was made that wasn't planned.
-As for customization, this gun has the ability to have a longer/wide plunger tube with minor changes to the catch, and plunger rest pieces. Also the priming handle is open for different handles.

Edited by louiec3, 29 April 2010 - 09:12 PM.

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#17 k9turrent

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 07:56 PM

Danm Louie, you're on a roll
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That's about it. And thanks Angela who helped me with these pictures.. It looks huge in her hands.


HOLY CRAP!

FU ALL

#18 Split

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 02:04 PM

I like it, but I have a few questions.

1) Why did you go with the +bow handle?

2) Is there anything (e.g. an extension spring) that returns the priming handle?

3) After you prime and fire the blaster, what is keeping the plunger rod from turning? Is that even a problem? It would seem so, since you need the rod that the lever pulls on to be horizontal to get re-primed.
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#19 louiec3

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 04:46 PM

Split- 1) I went with the L+L handle because with the spacers from the original it fits perfectly in the gap between the aluminum plates. Also, I suck at designing handles.

2) There is no spring returning the priming handle because when I designed it I intended for it to be used with 2 hands, so you just hold it in the forward position while firing.

3)Nothing keeps the plunger rod from turning. It isn't a problem because the bolt is long enough to catch on the priming handle if it does turn, and if it is turned a bit the priming handle will correct it when you prime the gun.
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#20 Draconis

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 04:47 PM

After viewing the video, it looks like adding rollers on the post through the plunger rod might help it prime easier.
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#21 Darth Freyr

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 10:26 PM

Okay, here we go. My version of the LAB is a little different. Before you ask, I don't know what the materials cost for just it is because I bought stuff for several blasters on McMaster. Here is a shot of the whole thing.
Posted Image
As you can probably tell, I also "used" a +bow handle. The LAB mounts with 10-32 or 10-24 screws. There is an 1/8" gap on both sides though.
Posted Image
The catch is pretty simple, just a normal plate.
Posted Image
It is fired with the lever. Just pull it up after you prime the blaster. Here is a good picture of the whole thing while primed with the lever forward.
Posted Image
The blaster shoots fairly well. I used for a few rounds today (along with my +bow) and it was very effective. It makes a nice second shot with good range. I still need to find a good setup for barrels though.
Some more background in before the deadline: My design was intended to add another shot to my +bow for rushing, both defending against and performing them. It served this purpose well. When I used it, it just had a 12" breech, but I plan to use some sort of breeched shotgun or whatnot. What I feel is innovative about it is the use of the +bow mounting holes and using the lever as the trigger. I think that pretty much sums up the criteria.
There are also several more pictures in the Photobucket album and I can take more on request.

Edited by Darth Freyr, 29 April 2010 - 11:50 AM.

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#22 Coal Ten

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 06:14 PM

Here's my submission: Dual Lab
The pictures are thumbnails.

Posted Image
An overall view of the gun, the plunger tube is 1.5" PVC.

Posted Image
Side view

Posted Image
A close up of my catch. Some of the threaded rods are 1/4" and the others 5/16". A rubber band holds the catch piece into the catch when primed.

Posted Image
The bushings accept 1/2" PVC

Posted Image
A view of the priming handle (steel plate with 3/8" fbr along the edge and covered with duct tape.

Posted Image
Primed, you can see the rubber band that returns the priming handle to the forward position after it is primed.

Posted Image
A close-up of the catch in use and how the trigger fits into it. For some reason one of the plunger rods looks bent in this picture, it's not.

Posted Image
A bottom view of the gun.


This gun has two shots, each with a plunger draw of ~3", plunger i.d. of ~1.66", and half of a [k26] spring. The priming handle is very comfortable and is also used as the gun's handle. The rubber band returns the lever to a proper location for holding after the gun is primed. This gun is very easy to prime, and from the looks of Split's video, it is easier to prime than his LAB, which was one of my goals.

Having two standard (+bow -esque) catches right next to each other was giving me problems, because there is no good way to attach the two catches together. Because of this, the catches would fold outward when priming, and inward after you let go of the priming lever.
Looking sort of like this:
- - Gun at rest
\ / When Priming
/ \ When the gun is primed, but the priming lever is returned to the starting position
The lines represent the individual catches, and this view is a first person view, looking down at the catches when holding the gun. A priming rod would go through each of the lines
To solve this problem, I made one catch for both plungers consisting of steel rods which support the gun and keeps the catch(es) in their proper place.

Both shots are fired at the same time from this gun. All places where the gun is held are sanded down for a very smooth touch, and is very comfortable. The zip ties are placed so that I can easily attach an object to the gun, such as a piece of PVC to be used as a fore grip, another gun, or other similar things.

Edited by Coal Ten, 29 April 2010 - 03:53 PM.

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#23 Split

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 11:09 AM

And with that, there are about 24 hours left in the competition. This would be a good time to submit those last minute entries.

I want to note that it would be beneficial to you to outline some things about your project that appeal to the judging criteria. For instance, specify what is innovative and what problems you solved and how, etc. Otherwise, I'm left guessing at exactly what you were trying to do and its pros and cons. I'm fine with that, but it probably won't work out as well for you.

That applies to entries already submitted, but remember not to edit your post after the contest end date or it won't be judged.
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#24 k9turrent

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 11:17 AM

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Customization:
-The foregrip, lever and Pistol grip all are simple enough to replace with any design that could be wanted.
-Stock could be add

Innovation:
-Wooden lever-action
-The Gun primes on the return stroke.
-Gun has to be actively held in the prime position (Important for Safety reasons)
-Built in Rear loading breech
-"pulley" System with lever allows minimum force actually required to operated the gun

Problem Solving:
-Didn't like to have the Plunger Rod Sticking out, Covered in it a shroud.
-Wanted to have the force to decrease as the handle return to closed position, Made sure the Cable ran over the pivot

Design Quality:
-Measured Twice, cut once, No major errors


Pros:
-Cheap to make
-Minimal tools needed
-Built in breech
-All parts are customizable

Cons:
-Larger than other entries
-Two-hand operation
-Must actively be held in primed position

Edited by k9turrent, 30 April 2010 - 11:49 AM.

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QUOTE View Post

That's about it. And thanks Angela who helped me with these pictures.. It looks huge in her hands.


HOLY CRAP!

FU ALL

#25 Split

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 11:36 AM

Interesting. Anyway, the contest is over. Sorry k9, but I'm not including your submission. There was no benefit to being the last entry anyway, so there was no reason to not have entered back when you had plenty of time. I'll get the results posted up over the weekend.
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Teehee.


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