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Old August 21st, 2007, 23:51   #1
MadMax
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Some people have been asking what AI is up to...

*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.

http://www.airsoftcanada.com/showthread.php?t=43615

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.
/end

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.
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Last edited by MadMax; September 10th, 2007 at 21:04..
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Old August 21st, 2007, 23:58   #2
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*jaw-dropping action*

Although, now that I remembered your thread a while back asking about grenades, we probably should've expected it.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 00:08   #3
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Can you tell us if they are Pineapples, Lemon or M67's ??
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 00:09   #4
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Sweet can't wait! Hope to hear soon about those
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 00:17   #5
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oh man, i cant wait to see how they turn out. i definatly be interested in replaceing my current "grenades" (tennis balls with bang written on them)
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 00:20   #6
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$$?
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 00:24   #7
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Can you tell us if they are Pineapples, Lemon or M67's ??
Does it matter? it goes boom! :P
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 00:31   #8
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$$?
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 00:39   #9
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These are all the details I'm comfortable releasing
I think if he wanted to include it, he might of. Thats if hes even broken it down to a set price range yet.

Anywhoo, I think its great what you've got going man. That AI adaptor was really inventive and with this its just another step in a good direction. Can't wait to see what it looks like, how it performs etc etc.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 00:49   #10
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Sounds very interesting, I can't wait to see these things. I've got a few of the Escort grenades but with how much they cost I've been very reluctant to throw them in the feild.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 01:02   #11
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I can't wait. Nothing says "I love you" like a well built grenade.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 01:10   #12
MadMax
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Unfortunately it's going to be the most expensive grenade on the market. I have the disadvantage of higher costs of manufacturing here and my product is quite feature rich. It'll be a bit more expensive than the Deepfire grenade at around $65, but it'll be the most combat effective grenade on the market by a good margin. It even outperforms most pyro grenades in terms of bb distribution and ease of deployment, not to mention safety issues.

I considered making my grenade less feature rich and more economical for outdoor hucking, but I found that outdoor performance was generally poor. The problem I face is that bbs do not penetrate tall grass well. If I made the grenade powerful enough to blast through grass, it'd be too dangerous indoors where there's no ground grass to punch through. With that in mind I moved to making the product perform excellently instead of cheap enough to lose. It was a tough decision, but the safety issue of making a grenade penetrate grass yet not dangerous without grass was impossible to resolve.

It's not really that difficult to imagine. Take your AEG and lay it sideways and blast through dense grass. You won't be able to get much of a shot range with even a 400fps rifle. Imagine making a grenade that blasted 180bbs 400fps into a room at close range. One of my safety requirements was making my grenade dive safe. I had the fun task of repeatedly laying myself onto my own grenades taking half the bb load in the belly (the other half come out in directions not pointing at me). Hurts like a bitch getting 90 pellets in one zone, but no broken skin.

I also face the spectre of a user leaving a charged grenade in a car trunk during the summer. Trunk temperatures can get as high as 75C which cranks propane up to a whopping 500psi! That kind of pressure regime is dangerously high so I include two resettable safety features (one redundancy) to prevent a grenade from discharging at 500psi.

My grenade is going to be easy to maintain. All of the parts are designed to be hard wearing and easy to replace. I even use some easily attainable parts. The most heavily worn oring is the same oring type used in AEG pistons. I haven't worn one out in lifecycle tests yet, but if you manage to damage yours, you can get your grenade working if you have a spare AEG oring. The pull pin (only easily lost bit) can be replaced by a bent piece of hangar wire. The hardened wire pins I'll supply last longer, but you don't have to wait for a replacement pin. You can easily fashion a standby replacement from a hangar while your replacement is in the mail (or even not bother with replacing it with an AI pin). The design is quite robust. While failures are quite infrequent, the few that can occur are easily fixed with "limp along" fixes that are not very frustrating. Nothing worse than having a cool piece of kit out of commission while you wait a week for a spare part.

I worked my ass off designing this thing to be excellent. I've already started pursuing improvements, but my finances are exhausted now. I have to launch before I run out of dough to make my launch. Just like when I launched my V1 adaptor. I worked on it until I had to launch it on my credit card. Can't do that now since it's already maxed...
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 01:19   #13
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One of my safety requirements was making my grenade dive safe. I had the fun task of repeatedly laying myself onto my own grenades taking half the bb load in the belly (the other half come out in directions not pointing at me). Hurts like a bitch getting 90 pellets in one zone, but no broken skin.
That answers most of my questions. Good to know that someone else can safely be a hero and save my ass.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 01:30   #14
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All I can say is

I've seen it felt it and used it... it is everything an airsoft grenade should be and more.

I can't wait till the thing comes to market... I'll be first in line to buy half a dozen.

for CQB.... it is the one thing that has been absent from our training.. and in fact one of the most effective tools for clearing structures.

In the tests in both proof of concept and prototype the AI grenade surpassed all of the criteria I consider necessary for an effective grenade.

Loud report, explosive distribution of BBs, Easily deployed, Quickly reloaded, and with a 100% reliable delay.... and a "grenady" shape.

AI has hit the mark with this ... and everyone will want a brace of them regardless of the cost.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 01:38   #15
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I'll be down for one.
How does it fare with small chucks and tosses?
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