The process to a Successful Battleship Cannon Joshua Dial

On August 31, 2016 we were introduced to our new project for the semester. Within this project we must design a fully functioning cannon. This cannon must have the ability to rotate, elevate, and shot a projectile a great distance. Today, our main goal was to begin discussing what our plan of action was. We decided that we will begin by figuring out how we are going to elevate and rotate our cannon. We began to brainstorm some ideas such as a microwave like design for rotating the cannon and a table for the base, but nothing was set in stone yet. Next class period, we continued brainstorming so we could have a clearer course of action for the days to come.

This class period consisted mainly of brainstorming ideas for the base of the cannon. We were mostly successful with planning and started out by identifying the main components of our design. The components we came up with were a lazy-susan inspired device for rotating across and a secure mechanism for the cannon. These two components manifested into numerous designs and we had to abandon a few ideas to narrow our potential designs to a manageable number. Despite this creative success, we were not completely successful in our decisiveness, because we ended up with two designs that were very different. The key difference between the ideas was the shape of the body with one having a box as the frame and the other having a table. This created a dilemma where he had to make a decision about which design to follow for the rest of our engineering process. The next step in our battleship process was to select which design to continue with and build upon it by implementing other features; Such as an elevation mechanism that would allow a change in angle of the cannon and thus produce a more proficient cannon use .

We decided that we would like to attempt to further plan our design for our base, as well as figure out what type of stabilizer for the base we would like to use in our final design. This early stage planning helped in the future when making our design cost effective but strong and stable so that it doesn’t bend or twist.

We went into discussion for the design of the base and came to a few conclusions, the most practical being a lazy-susan type device with an attached elevation system, though it was unclear what type of design we would like to go with. Although we were still unsure as to what complications may occur with this design, we wanted to choose a table with some type of lazy-susan type device on top, however the decision was still up to debate as we hadn't yet completely gone over the logistics of the design. Our next steps were to create the design for our stabilizer on Onshape and make a prototype out of cardboard to see how well it works. We then fixed it until it was perfect before making the full-scale model.

The more and more we brainstormed the more and more useful it became to draw our ideas. This was especially helpful as most ideas made sense before considering logistics and was very difficult to explain clearly throughout the group, greatly slowing our process.

We were able to finalize our elevation system mostly due to precisely drawn ideas slowly turning them into reality. With our current design, our cannon is able to rotate and elevate, but we were confused as to how we would keep the cannon elevated at a fixed position yet. We have thought of some ideas to fix this though, but none of them seem realistic and efficient. One of these was to have a rope attached to the top of the barrel that would run down to the back of the “lazy susan” where it could hook onto a fixed point that would fix the barrel at a specific degrees. The problem with this design is that this would only allow the cannon to elevate at fixed positions, but we want to have our cannon elevate at any postition. We then moved towards a two tower design that would have an (at the time) undecided shape that would be able to hold the cannon at a certain elevation, however we assumed this would most likely be inefficient.

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