Engineers Build World’s Largest NERF Gun
Erin Green posted on July 01, 2016 |
Engineers sure do know how to have fun—especially when oversized foam ballistics are involved.

“People have these NERF dart wars at work sometimes, so in an effort to keep people from picking on me, I decided to create the world’s largest functional NERF gun.”

So begins a YouTube video from Mark Rober, a mechanical engineer and former employee of NASA who worked on the Curiosity Rover. Ordinarily, we might not need to say more, but as the resident NERF dart warrior in the office, I’m intrigued.

Let’s check it out:

Building a Big NERF Gun

Rober teamed up with Ryan and David of Eclectical Engineering to create a massively oversized replica of a handheld NERF gun. The gun’s shell is 3D-printed, while the chambers are made from off-the-shelf ABS pipes.

The gun uses a 3,000-psi paintball tank to release compressed air into the firing tank when the user pushes the trigger forward. 

Rober and his team firing the gargantuan NERF gun. (Image courtesy of Mark Rober.)

Rober and his team firing the gargantuan NERF gun. (Image courtesy of Mark Rober.)

When the user pulls the trigger back, the compressed air rushes into the main cylinder and in a moment of true juvenile humor, fires an oversized dart made from a pool noodle capped by a toilet plunger toward the target.

The firing tank used in the gun is regulated for 80 psi, so the user could get about 20 shots out of the same paintball tank. When combined with the gun’s rotating chamber, this could very realistically mean a barrage of plunger-darts coming your way at roughly 40 mph.

Really, what coworker wouldn’t be cowed by that?


The Future of Gigantic Toy Weapons?

The fun part came when Rober and his team put the gun to the test. They demonstrated its capabilities by first shooting the normal, toy-sized version at several targets (including a battle with Rober’s niece and nephews) and then showing it up with the monster edition.

After putting the traditional NERF darts to the test, the team decided to have some fun by 3D printing a more aerodynamic projectile—and look out, office politics. The gun managed to shoot that projectile 130 ft.

Rober and his cohorts then decided that their creation needed a few adjustments to make it even better, so you can check out the future campaign of the world’s largest NERF gun against some unfortunate watermelons here.

Now I need to build one of these for my next NERF office war.

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