Refine the design!

Just a sneaky shot of Louis hard at work refining the new 3D printed sidearm!




Back into the respirator for me… chemicals are not safe! We used Positiv 20, a photosensitve lacquer,, to create a smooth coat of protection. This protection had to be activated with UV light (in our case a UV nail varnish curer) but only in the areas where we wanted pcb tracks to go. Using a standard inkjet printout of our circuit board we were able to activate only the tracks. The inactive laquer was then removed using developing fluid and we were left with an impressivelly accurate trace of our circuitry. The rest of the copper had to be removed so that only the tracks remained conductive, so Ferric Chloride was used to dissolve the metal and leave the lacquer protected areas. Result: DIY etched pcbs!


Economy of scale and costing breakdown

Hi all, so here is the costing breakdown of our fledgling product and the projected RRP:


Electronics and mechanical parts – £30 – ARM-based microcontroller easily sourced

Materials – £20 – mainly ABS

Manufacturing – £10 – use of automated manufacturing techniques reduces cost

Rifle Enclosure

Electronics and mechanical – £20 – Enclosure is simpler and driven by the sidearm

Materials – £30 – larger form factor

Manufacturing – £10 – despite larger size techniques are scalable

Including all of the aforementioned costs, with man-hours thrown in, we project the whole assembly will be available at a pricepoint of £70, with economy of scale bringing down a large percentage of the electronics costs and alternative materials sources, such as PLA. A percentage of the design uses development boards with more I/O than is required, allowing us to move toward discrete, custom-made elecronics without any excess in order to further reduce costs.

We’ll update you as manufacturing continues, but watch this space!

– Louis

Successful initial testing!

The very first long range test was completed today using the previously shown aparatus and the new target box:


The box comes complete with an LCD showing who shot you and two different sensors: one for analogue IR intensity and one for digital data receival. With the Lens assembly, the maximum range that data could be transmitted to the target box was approximatly 50m – by increasing the number of IR diodes, the power of the transmission should increase enough to multiply the range by a large factor. Although this range was acheived, the accuracy required was insane! Bright sunlight was not an issue to data transmission – although, that is in the UK.

Work into Optics

Work has begun into the main principle of our design: the long range IR transmission. Various tests are being done into the maximum ranges that data can be transmitted, both indoors and outdoors. Using a variety of lenses of different focal lengths and a series of IR sensors, both analogue and digital, we hope to develop very helpful information that could lead to drastic changes to the product. Fingers crossed!

Below are some pictures of the transmitter assembly used for testing the IR transmission.