As I've said many times before on this website, I learn best through having a project. A project forces me to consider all of the imperfect realities of the world and how to solve them in the context of whatever skill I am learning.
This project was born out of a need to learn how to use Solidworks. I was taking Introduction to Engineering Practice at my university, which dedicated a whole part of the class to engineering graphics and solids modelling. Sketches in Solidworks were driving me crazy. I therefore determined that I needed to design something with Solidworks in order to learn it best. But what to design?
As it turns out, my campus has a Nerf club that organizes a Humans Versus Zombies event once a semester. I had also heard that some students design their own Nerf blasters for the event. The only rules for the designs are 1) they must have a 1/4" orange tip, 2) they must use projectiles with soft heads, and 3) they must fire said projectiles at speeds under 130 feet per second.
I therefore decided to design a Nerf blaster. From the research I did, I knew I wanted to design the Nerf blaster around parts that were typically used to upgrade Nerf blasters. So, I promptly bought a 6 kilogram spring for a Firestrike and some Adventure Force darts and began to design.
It only took about 20 hours to design.
Here are some early parts I printed to test dart sizing, spring power, and ergonomics:
Admittedly, the ergonomics aren't so great on this blaster. Notice how the grip is at a weird angle. I chose 5 degrees. I later realized that standard pistol grips are at either 18 or 22 degrees. I will keep that in mind with later blasters.
I don't have any pictures of the internals, but you can always download the Solidworks files off the Downloads page.
The Mark-1 Sparrow had a total of 7 3d-printed components in it. I was able to reduce it to 6 in the MK-2 version.
I had to put the tape on the front because I forgot to make the barrel tip orange.
Finally, here's my HvZ loadout. Yeah, using a single-shot pistol as a primary wasn't such a great idea. I got 3 zambies before being tagged, though.
Lesson learned, Rate of Fire and ammo capacity are the most important things in HvZ. Well, and socks.
Stay tuned for the next Nerf blaster... it features an ammo stowage and loading system like nothing the world has ever seen!
It'll also take more than 60 days to 3d-print :(
This page was published 1/1/2022
This page was last edited 1/1/2022