Monday, January 15, 2018

The Surprising Engineering Behind Nerf Guns

Engineering is all around us, even in the least likely of places. Take toys, for example. Even toys for grown-ups, who have been known to launch volleys of foam darts across rec rooms and office spaces when it suits them. We all had Nerf guns when we were kids, right? And they can be a hard thing to grow out of because they're just so much fun. And getting into a Nerf war with friends and co-workers is a surprisingly good bonding method. 

Regardless of how old we are, when we pick up a Nerf gun, few of us realize that there's actually a lot of engineering behind it. As toys go, it takes a surprising amount of thought to create so much fun.

Everybody knows Nerf guns fire with compressed air. But how do Nerf guns like this only fire one dart at a time?

It doesn't seem to matter which barrel is loaded – it only fires one dart at a time. There must be some engineering at work!

The patent points out that the gun fires its darts by "cascading a blast of compressed air."

Basically, when you cock the gun, you load it with compressed air. When the darts are loaded, the air has to pass a series of O-rings and valves when it fires. The air can't reach the second valve until the first one has been cleared.

Of course, there's a way around it if you want to fire all three darts at once.

If you load the darts part-way, air will be able to get to all three chambers, so all the darts can fire at once – although they won't travel as fast or as far. 

Check out the full explanation below!


Author: verified_user