*important announcement* Sept 10th
I'm going to be showing off my prototypes at the TTAC3 anniversary game! Brian has graciously shared his event with me so I can bring my grenades to blow up people in his free game evening. You'll get a chance to be on either end of my newest invention.
You'll be free to ask questions and free to talk about my product (no non disclosure agreement), but I have to restrict detail photography of my prototypes. Action photos and videography is fine, but no close up pics please.
After posting in the Madbull thread, I've been asked several times what super special injection moulded product I was working on for Airsoft Innovations. I got to see my injection mould progress today for the first time so this project has become very real to me. For the past 6 weeks it's been a bit of an abstraction. Digital solid models sent off to a high class mould maker based on working prototypes have become much closer to an incarnation in hardened expensive steel.
I'm going to let the cat squeak out of the bag a bit:
I've developed a reusable grenade that is actually combat effective! I'm not going to release any pictures or details on how it works until patent filings have been acknowledged by USPTO, but they should be getting back to me in a couple weeks after which I might be releasing photos and videos of the prototypes in action.
Design and testing is complete and the injection moulds are just passed half finished. They're gorgeous, I visited my mould maker today and saw my product in gleaming copper. Some of the mould is made by machining copper electrodes which are used to erode their shape into hard steel. The really cool bit about this method is that you see the shape of your product in copper before it's used to erode a cavity shape into hard steel. I saw my grenade made in solid shining copper today.
Even after the mould is finished there's usually a few weeks of adjustment rework to be made. It's difficult to hit precise part dimensions in injection moulding. There is often a period of small adjustments made to a mould (bit of material removal here and there) to get parts to fit just right. Then I've got machined parts to make. I save this process to the end of the mould adjustment phase as it's easy to get close tolerances with CNC machining and adjustments in the CNC code are easy to make. I make test shots first to plan mould adjustments until the plastic bits work with each other, then fitment adjustments are made to the machined bits to fit the plastic parts. It's a long drawn process making stuff that works just right which is why I respect TM so much. Their plastic parts fit so well together with their metal bits I suspect they go for broke in mould adjustment, maybe even going as far as 2nd or 3rd generation tooling to make things fit just right. I can't afford multiple generations of moulds so I have to design stuff that allows for adjustment in the first generation mould.
Anyways onto specs for my grenade:
-blasts 180 bbs
-very even coverage (80% kill rate in a 15'x15' room on direct line of sight)
-very consistent delay factory set to 3s +/- 0.5s, no adjustment required
-completely reusable (replace gas, bbs)
-powered by propane (duh) or HFC134a (simple mode change involved)
-high power (blast velocity around 150fps, less with HFC134a)
-no blown off parts to recover, but you can lose the pin if you don't keep track of it
-lightweight build to reduce goggle knockoff hazard
-easy to maintain and clean
-fits standard military grenade pouches
I'm really excited about this product. I really changed the game in product trials. I booked an indoor airsoft arena for a private game and signed on about a dozen trustworthy players onto non disclosure agreements. Several prototypes were gamed to further refine my product. It's turned into a real game changer, I can't wait to see it in action on fields!
If you want to know more, you'll unfortunately have to wait. These are all the details I'm comfortable releasing. I do not want to publicly disclose my invention until various patent offices have acknowledged reception of my patent applications. This grenade is quite novel, it'll be patented in several countries.