Former NASA Engineer Builds World's Largest Nerf Gun
The world's largest Nerf gun has been designed and built by a former NASA engineer. The gun is a massive version of the N-Strike Maverick from Nerf, a favorite among enthusiasts of the toys.
Mark Rober produces a web series called Eclectical Engineering, in which the massive Nerf gun is featured.
Darts for the giant toy are constructed from pool noodles, tipped by toilet plunger cups. This makeshift armament flies from the gun at velocities up to 40 miles per hour (mph). The armaments are powered by air, stored in a paintball tank at 3,000 pound-force per square inch (psi) prior to release. While darts from most Nerf guns are likely to stick to a pane of glass at which it is shot, these upscaled versions are more likely to shatter a window. The handle was created on a 3D printer.
Rober built the giant toy with a pair of friends, who also work as engineers in more traditional fields. When darts are modified to maximize distance, the foam-encased toilet plungers can travel as far as 300 feet.
Designers of the foam-laden weapon provide instructions to readers to their blog, explaining how to build their own giant Nerf gun.
"The air pressure of the PVC components can be in excess of 100 psi and objects leaving the cannon barrel can travel at extremely high speeds. Some very basic safety practices should be heeded: never look down the barrel of a loaded OR pressurized cannon. Never load it with sharp or extremely dense objects. Never snitch on us for telling you how to make this thing," the Eclectical Engineering Blog reads.
The air source is manufactured from the handle and paintball tank, together with a regulator, brass pipes, a valve and adapter. Air flow is controlled via a series of adapters constructed from PVC and brass, while other parts of the gun are made from wood, plastics and various metals. Only small household tools, such as a drill, vise grips and a jigsaw are needed for the construction of the weapon.
During the course of history, engineers have strived to design a weapon which would cause their enemies to surrender out of fear rather than engage in battle. Although a Nerf gun the size of a large dog may not make armies tremble in fear, Rober tells the press his family quickly surrendered at the start of a Nerf gun battle when he unveiled his creation.
In a description accompanying a YouTube video showing the overgrown toy gun in action, Rober writes he built the gun to "defend my honor."