BSD Battleship Project By: Taylor fenimore

The purpose of this project is to design a cannon that will fire tennis balls, towards a target in a consistent manner, at different angles of rotation and elevation. The cannon must have a base to allow the rotations and elevations and must also have a stabilizer to keep the cannon secure. Another requirement is that we must program an arduino circuit board, that will fire the cannon at a push of a button.

This project had it's ups and downs, there was no lack of hard work and we really did get something out of it.

On the left is our first sketch, we took the requirements and began taking every aspect and molding it together. The idea looked okay, but there is always room for improvement, especially in the early development phases. While talking with Mr. Twilley about our design, he helped us realize that if the cannon is positioned higher above the ground the results would be less consistent. So he told us to look up the howitzer. As we did we noticed that the cannon was set closer to the ground with a lower, more stable, center of gravity. The second thing we noticed were the legs that protruded from each corner. This provided inspiration for our second design, seen in the second picture.

The picture above shows our first design for the stabilizer, we used the demo cannon to obtain measurements. To create this we used a box generator to cut a normal 3-D, jigsaw looking box that we would assemble. We would also remove two of the four sides so we could create our own cuffs that would attach to the actual cannon, using the dimensions of the grooves in the original box, through Onshape. This design reduced instability immensely but it still allowed a decent amount of wiggle room for the cannon. It needed to be innovated.

In order to accomplish things that needed improvement we would work on getting an initial design during class, but on Wednesdays I would take the opportunity to stay after to redesign from 4:30-6:30/9:30 depending on the schedule. One of the things that came out of this was our final stabilizer design, seen below. After messing with a few dimensions on Onshape, we doubled the original stabilizer but it was not enough. So in the end we doubled it again to cover more ground.

Creating the actual cannon, while slightly time absorbing, was by far the easiest part of the project. First we gathered all of our materials, made a few cuts and attachments (as seen in the furthest picture to the left), following this, on day 2 of the cannon construction, we attached the rest of the parts, excluding the cap, we drilled a hole and put in the "knob" to insert the air into. (seen in the middle-left picture) On day three we fit our stabilizer on and attached the cap (Seen in both right pictures).

Next came the more difficult work, designing and cutting the base. This process took a lot of time in class and out of class to complete, so I will briefly discuss each part of the process to quicken things up, by excluding some of the pointless Onshape sketches and just showing each product.

The pictures to the left are our sketch for the first part of the base. On the second picture there is a clear hole cut half way down, the third picture shows four relatively circular objects. These objects when put together form a gear to rotate the cannon with, notches are made at 0 degrees, 45 degrees west, 45 degrees right, 90 degrees left and 90 degrees right. The right two, have the same diameter, and are stacked on top of each other so they can be placed on the center object, with a slightly larger diameter. After being glued together, the three objects now made one, are placed freely in the dip in the base, while the last part lay to the side. This can be seen in the last picture.

Before putting on the top part of the gear, we made a copy of the first half of the previous sketch, but when the design is extruded we cut the hole all the way through (seen in images 1&2). After cutting out the second base we glued and nailed it together and finally the gear head was attached above the level of the second base and on top of the other gear parts (image 3) Following we put up a few tiny pieces of wood and a pin holder, to hold up what would come next and keep the rotation from moving when it shouldn't.

Separately, we created the third base and the arches. The base included holes that would allow the arches to be fixed in a position where they were immobile. Also on the base are two prongs designed to be connected by a dowel that will support extensions used to hold the cannon at a certain angle. The arches included a single hole at the top of each one, this hole was used to place a dowel through one end inside the cannon and out the other end.

Here we have our three main components used in the completion of the project.

After attaching base two with base three, we realized that we would need extra support on the prongs so they wouldn't break from holding the weight of the cannon. To solve this with little time to waste, we attached a spare piece of wood under the prongs, so that it would be level with the base.

Finding the center so we can drill a hole for the extension's dowels
Attempting to find the distance for 0 degrees
Rough idea of extensions vs. actual extensions

I'm not going to even try to sugar coat it. Arduino Sucked. While it was necessary, the arduino became the most tedious part of this assignment by far. There was no in depth explanation as to why circuits were laid out the way they were, we had to discover it for ourselves, which is understandable, but it was still a struggle. I don't even want to get started on explaining the code...

preparing for the shots
These are the results that came from firing... Pretty consitent

After all the hard work it was worth it... Even the arduino.

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