Battleship Cannon Process Sierra Milhoan P1T5
We were given a project to create an air pressure cannon to launch small tennis balls at targets out in a field at set distances like a real life version of the game "Battleship". Our goals before launching were to build an Arduino firing circuit, a cannon stabilizer and base as well as the cannon itself for the final goal of being able to fire the PVC cannon at different angles and heights to hit targets in a field.
Before we started the design process for the actual cannon, we spent some time learning the circuit system of Arduino. The Arduino is a small circuit board that you can connect wires and lights and other devices to in order to learn the basics of coding. We spent time building circuits to learn the technology of Arduino to be able to build a firing circuit that could in theory be used with our air cannon.
The start of our design process was to design a stabilizer for the cannon pipes to keep them from moving when the cannon fired.
Once we designed the stabilizer we had to print out prototypes until we made it correctly proportionate to the cannon.
Shortly after all of the teams had built their stabilizers, we all set to work on building the actual cannons. We were given instructions on how to make this to avoid any malfunctions, but we had to cut pipes and put the pieces together ourselves.
Next we had to design the base for our cannons. This involved a way to change the angle of the cannon vertically and its direction horizontally. This was our first design idea for a way to move the cannon horizontally, however we found the bottom half unnecessary and outside consideration suggested the single wooden piece would not be enough to rotate our whole cannon and base.
This was our fist idea on how to change the cannons angle vertically. We decided in the end that making all of these pieces would use up too much wood if we were to make them the size we wanted.
In the end, we decided to scrap those ideas and made the drawing of this design, which we would then cut out. We shortened the sides of this box to allow us to use less wood to cut this out. We also received suggestions on how to make our design more efficient by, for example, cutting the top right piece down to its shown size because the rest of its original square shape was no longer needed.
We used the shopbot to cut out the pieces we designed into two pieces of 3' by 4' plywood.
The next step was to connect the pieces together. some we build with notches on their ends to easily fit into place. When we reviewed our cannons at the end of the project we agreed with a feedback point that the base width of our cannon could have been smaller and still fit the same purpose.
Then we used a nail gun to connect a bottom to our base that would connect to our horizontal moving device and support the cannon, this was a last minuet add on as we were not sure what we were doing exactly for moving our cannon horizontally or how it would connect.
To connect the horizontal movement device to the base of our cannon we needed to drill a hole in the base to place a large screw through.
In order for the screw to go all the way through the base and the horizontal stabilizer, we needed to drill a hole through the latter as well. (The horizontal movement piece was a piece of circular wood fit onto a container that the base could rest on and spin around on).
To stop the cannon from moving backwards when it was fired, we chiseled a slot into a piece of wood at the back of the base and added a slot to our vertical angle changer where the cannon would rest.
Once we had everything put together, our final canon and base were moved into the field for testing.
We tested the cannon with 75 PSI of air and three different angles (75, 24, and 46 degrees) to fins how far it would shoot. Then we tested the cannons accuracy by launching it aimed towards a tarp.
Our data analyzed in a graph shows that the ball launched farthest at 75 degrees to 144 feet and that the ball went the shortest distance when launched from a 46 degree angle to 81 feet.
If given the opportunity to do this project again there are a couple things I would do differently. I would work to make a smaller design because the size of our base was overall unnecessary. I would also make sure to have all of the measurements needed double checked to fit the size of the design and its purpose.
Great Work Team!