P1T5 Battleship project By: Aisha

Background

Our team worked on a project for a couple months, working together to create a cannon using materials such as PVC pipes and a program online called OnShape so we could test out our cannon with the class in a game of "BattleShip" where we had to launch a tennis ball from our cannon between an angle of 15° - 75° elevation range at possible target locations for points. The air cannon we built had a goal of consisting an adjustable pressure, elevation, a way for it to rotate and be controlled by an Arduino. The air cannon was mounted on a base from a design that we created using wood and a CNC bot to print out the materials.

The following picture marks the start of our project, the BSD Battleship Cannon. We wanted to start planning how we wanted our design to look and be made. We wanted a clean and simple design. We wanted the design to be practical and wanted to use the least amount of materials as possible at the end.Our first step was to make the stabilizer for the canon. To do this we used OnShape, which is an online software where we can design our parts for the cannon.

Design Sketches

Materials

  • 10’ @ 2" PVC
  • 1’ @ 1" PVC
  • 2 @ 1" Threaded Adapters (male thread, female slip)
  • 1 @ 2" Cap
  • 2 @ 2" Coupler
  • 2 @ 2":1" bushing
  • 2 @ 1" Dia 90-Degree PVC Elbow
  • Epoxy/Construction Adhesive/Goop
  • Teflon Tape
  • PVC Cement & Primer
  • 1/2" Plywood
  • Old Bicycle Tube
  • Miscelaneous Hardwar

From then on.. our journey continued

This picture represents some of our initial measurement ideas. We had used trigonometry to calculate the different angles we wanted.
We began sketching out more designs we wanted for our stabilizer. We were hoping to have an original design, something to support the cannon and help with the elevation of the canon and something for the rotation. Again we want the design for these to be simple, yet functional.
We had different ideas for how we wanted our design to look.We planned on starting to map out our different part designs onto OnShape. We knew that we needed some type of design for the base of the cannon, something to help with the elevation of the canon and something for the rotation. Again we wanted the design for these to be simple, yet functional.
We printed out a prototype for our stabilizer with the 3D printer and decided that we wanted the size of the cannon to be a bit bigger in size because it was a bit small. We had to decide whether or not the stabilizer would be enough to withstand our cannon and decided that it would be enough.
We needed to have some kind of support system so that the stabilizer didn't slide around too much. We planned to add two or three for more support between the pipes, and a bridge between each stabilizer piece for maximum support. We planned to make the cannon lay horizontally versus vertically so that it'd be more stable. The design would hold the two sides of the PVC piping down.
This was our original intent on our elevation range on how we wanted our cannon to elevate at different angles. We decided that this idea would not work as we simply designed something that displayed different angle measurements but would not be easy to attach to our cannon. We decided on another design for an angle elevation which was to attach a material we brought home(a tin can) to the bottom of the base of our cannon.
After designing what we wanted our design to be, we began to build the cannon itself. We had to prime PVC pipes and we also planned to complete the connector that could connect to the air tank and parallel to the sprinkler valve. We screwed in two adapters into the sprinkler valve so that they were tightly together and prime/cemented the inside of the adapter and outside of the PVC pipe and connected them, repeating it with the other PVC pipe. We finished adding the bike valve and finally finished putting all the canon pieces together.
We had to cut the PVC pipes in half. For the 2" PVC pipe, we had to cut the PVC pipe into 1 at 3', 1 at 4'. The other PVC pipe, the 1" pipe, we had to cut it into 2, one at 1.5" and 2 at 3".
We had to cut the bike tube valve off, and had to leave about ¾” of the tube around the valve. We had to measure the diameter of the bike tube valve and the determine the drill bit size we needed to drill a hole that was 2 inches from the end of the tank so that the pump fits in the hole.
In October, we were introduced to Arduinos. Arduino is a small, portable computer that’s designed to build digital devices and objects that can control/sense objects. It can take inputs like reading from a light sensor or the push a button and interpret that information to control outputs like a blinking LED motor. It basically takes technology and relates it to the real world. Our goal was to develop a circuit using coding knowledge and Arudino to control the firing of the cannon. We attempted at coding our circuit in order to control the sprinkler valve, a status light, an LED countdown, a sound before we launched the tennis ball, and a monitor status, however; we did not finish and were not successful because we ran into confusion with wiring errors and the coding was difficult to complete. We ended up having our cannon built without it being controlled by coding.
The final sketch of our designs when we were printing out our materials
After we finished priming all our pieces and built our cannon, we were ready to print out our design.
Printing our materials
Caleb is in the midst of cleaning up the mess from printing out our materials.
Chris is using the saw to sand one of the stabilizers we printed out. We used the different materials in order to make sure that our materials were fit for putting together because we ran into an error when we printed out our materials. We found that once the materials printed out, the measurements and sizes were all off. Some pieces were too big and some pieces were too small. We figured this was due to the fact of miscalculations when determine the different pieces for our cannon. We decided that sanding the pieces was useful in bringing our cannon together and to use the materials we printed out without wasting anymore materials.
Once we sanded all our materials, we were now ready to build our cannon. We had many different pieces printed out and figured out that our design was bigger than we expected which was due to miscalculations; however, we decided that this was not going to stop us in our design process. We began building our base anyway and it ended up working.
We decided upon making a box with an absent front and top face, and most of the bottom face. The cannon will fit into the box, and an assortment of “sticks”, for lack of a better word, can hold it up in different positions and allow its angles to be changeable (so different launch trajectories can be achieved). All the effort was put into finding this idea and refining it so we did not begin to lay it out in a visible and/or physical way (except on paper).
Once we sanded all our materials, we were now ready to build our cannon. We had many different pieces printed out and figured out that our design was bigger than we expected which was due to miscalculations; however, we decided that this was not going to stop us in our design process. We began building our base anyway and it ended up working.
The measurements we did must’ve been slightly off because we had to do a lot of cutting down, shaving down, and sanding of the pieces because they didn’t all fit how we wanted them to.
We finished sanding and cutting, We were able to assemble the box with little to no problems, although one of the pieces of the base did snap. We were able to push through and fix it by taking two small pieces of wood, creating a wall and applying glue in between to make the piece sturdy again, with the help of a few clamps.
We drew two lines across the board so we could find the center of the board and screw in the middle of it in order to create our rotational axis as part of the rubric for the battleship and have an ability for our cannon to move around.
This was our final shot of our cannon.
The cannon that is. The cannon is ready to test, even though our designs were last minute, we pulled through with a pretty sturdy design.
We began launching our cannon at 3 different angles at 75 PSU. The angles that we launched the tennis ball at were
As our angles were higher, our distances were farther away from the cannon. The PSI stayed concise throughout our three rounds. For round 4, we did not make the target at all. We were pretty close throughout the trials but did not manage to actually hit the target.
As we launched the tennis balls using our cannon, the distances were not as precise as we'd hoped it would be. The wind is a factor that we could take account for. The higher the angle we had, the farther the distance the tennis ball launched and landed at. Our distances were all pretty consistent with every trial which was a positive outcome for us. Our distances went pretty far as we launched the tennis ball with our cannon. We decided that we should use the lowest angles because the ball went the farthest distance.
For the first 3 rounds, our angle at 75 degrees had a higher distance than the angle at 24 degrees. At the last round, we did not reach a very high distance for angle 24. This could be due to the high wind factor occurring as we launched our tennis ball; however, we didn't do as worse as we expected not including the last round. We decided that the lowest angle was the best approach if we wanted to go a higher distance because of our prior trials.

Failure Log:

8/31/16: it was difficult to come up with a design that we could all decide on. We were not very organized and there was a strong chance that the group would be dissolved and changed. We were also slightly unsure as to what the objectives were; we knew the basic premise of our task at hand, but it was relatively new to us and we needed to adjust to the mission’s content. With a better idea of what the team would look like, and a more clear idea of what to do, we would hopefully be better suited for the class. Relative to what we did come up with, our design was lacking some finess. It’s plain and simple like we wanted but we are afraid that it will not complete the task.

9/6/16: We printed our initial stabilizer design but the size was too small and didn't fit the cannon. We had done miscalculations so we had to fix the measurements on Onshape, then reprint the prototype to test it with the cannon. We needed to make changes to the design of our stabilizer pieces. We were afraid that the ends of them could snap off or bend if they don’t fit properly onto the PVC pipes.

9/19/16: We planned to make the gauges and see how they fit onto the PVC piping because we knew that the diameter of the pipe is 2” and that to make a circle that will fit snug it needs to be a measurement only slightly greater than 2”. We decided not to do that because so many pieces were already made by others, we used the circle cut outs and looked to see which ones fit so that we could use those measurements within our design for the stabilizer. We had tested these gauges and decided that the circle that had a measurement of 2.365” fit well for our stabilizer design.

10/10/16: Arduino was introduced and throughout the process, we had difficulty in creating a coding to control our cannon. We did not have knowledge in as much coding and it was difficult to figure out how to do it even after completing the different Arduino performance tasks.

11/22/16: We planned to get our stabilizer printed out and to identify the different angles that we wished to have for our cannon to launch from. We were not successful as we did not produce our stabilizer on this day. The stabilizer pieces had caused us a great deal of struggle as we had not been able to get good fits onto the PVC piping due to inaccurate measurements. The stabilizer was not created as there was still speculation as to whether or not the stability was satisfactory. We had the idea of printing two of the same pieces and glueing together to make it one thick piece for the stabilizer. We calculated the near minimum amount of wood to produce a stable stabilizer, and then printed it out and the different angles we wanted by using trig and mathematical calculations.

12/7/16: We had to finalize an idea for the base. We were not successful as we could not determine a completely acceptable idea, and obviously if that was not done, we could not proceed to our secondary goal. The idea we came up with was not wood sufficient like we had hoped it to be. The main things we found ourselves looking for were simplicity, material efficiency, sturdiness, and effectiveness, which this design had failed to meet those goals. We decided upon making a box with an absent front and top face, and most of the bottom face. The cannon would fit into the box, and an assortment of “sticks”would hold it up in different positions and allow its angles to be changeable (so different launch trajectories can be achieved). All the effort was put into finding this idea.

12/19/16: We realized that our design for the rotation would not work because the canon and the box would basically be balancing on top of a skinny and flimsy stick. This would not only cause the box to fall over but cause the rotation device to cave in as well. We decided to bring in a tin can, drill it onto the bottom of our base and apply a screw into it so that it could rotate.

Final Reflection

Overall, at the end, the project was an overall success. It was very interesting to learn about the concepts of building a cannon and testing it out with tennis balls and aiming it at a specific target. It was very helpful to work together as a team and learn how to use o shape to have our ideas come together in reality. It was very difficult to measure exactly how we wanted our cannon support to be and how we wanted it to look because we had never had any prior experience into this but it ended up being pretty successful in the end even though we had many failures and unexpected turns such as having our support bigger than we had hoped for. For next time, I would definitely make sure to double check our calculations and measurements and also build a prototype to be certain that a design will work out and will be the right size.

Peer Review

Peer Review

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.