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Thank you...

Hello again, long-time no-see Instructables K'Nex community!

I figured I'd make one last forum topic as a sort of farewell. This community was pretty incredible to me and for me in my early years of high school.

Instructables was such a intuitive outlet for my free time years ago, and I wanna thank everybody who was there to tell me that my early K'Nex creations were trash. As sarcastic as that may sound, I mean it in all sincerity. Criticism is a good thing to learn from, and it has made me into the person I am today.

Thanks again everybody! I'm not eloquent enough to describe how much those 2 1/2 - 3 years meant (and mean) to me.

I've got one or two more things up my sleeve before I go though, so keep an eye out. In the meantime, check out this pre-view of my latest project.

Lastly, if you are into gaming (a bit of self promo here), I decided to do something that no one else has done before, start a gaming channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWayoCFvVX9cmLo78q2lo_w

If you see something you like, subscribe, yada yada yada, tell your friends, yada yada yada...

-The Red Book of Westmarch (I had no idea how much I missed typing that out at the end of every instructable)

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TheDunkis3 months ago

Oh golly, you're quitting too. I'm convinced K'nex gun building will be a lost art by 2018.

Yeah. The future of K'NEX guns looks pretty bleak. :(

Not only knex guns. All knex projects will probably start getting posted less and less until no one is posting knex anymore. Instructables could maybe get a few more people on knex with a knex contest, but I don't think it will happen soon.

Unfortunately, you are probably right.

Hopefully I am wrong.

Yeah, I hope so.

It is really sad. Do you think it's because K'nex guns have reached a natural ceiling in terms of performance, or due to other factors?

I think it's mostly inaccessibility and not enough exposure. I don't know how we grew to be as popular as we were, perhaps it was just easier to bump into the idea of K'nex weapons on Instructables previously? I'm not sure. I happened upon them by chance when searching up office launchers on YouTube. But whatever it was that made people learn about K'nex gunning, they were able to contribute because there was a lot to add yet. Like, really I wasn't all that good myself, but I was nonetheless able to come up with some novel concepts at the time. And we were able to keep this up for a time as the veterans kept getting better and better. But the veterans keep getting older and quitting. And we're not getting new members to replace them. I'm thinking there just aren't enough people hearing about K'ex gunning and the ones that do find it too difficult to make anything worthwhile. I otherwise believe there's a lot more we can accomplish, some novel, some practical, but we just haven't been being creative enough yet.

To that end, I've been thinking up a video guide series for introducing newbs to K'nex gunning by teaching them the basics quick and easy. I just haven't had the patience to actually start recording them. I'd like to make it a regular thing where I can pump out an episode a day or at least a week and I currently can't dedicate much time to that. After that, it's just a matter of throwing those videos out there and getting people interested.

I'll be honest, if someone had emailed me or reminded me that knex guns really exist during my hiatus I probably would have come back sooner. I might end up still building knex guns when I'm 20+ and in college, so long as I don't forget about it. I honestly never got bore of the things, and it's still exceedingly fun taken as an engineering challenge, but I've definitely lost all interest in non-fuctional guns and replicas. Although I'm not exactly much of a veteran in the way that TD, Kinetic, Red Book, Dark Owl, and say Oblivitus, I feel as though I've been around long enough to see how things have evolved. The glory days always seem to be thought of as in the past, but the community has stayed fairly steady when it comes to innovation (if not raw contribution) since 2013-2014. It may not be the same as things were in '08-'10, but I'd chalk that up to limits being reached in just a couple areas. As controversial as this may be, pin guns are effectively as good as they will get in terms of range, and things like the slamfire weapon of war (probably butchering the name) and Zip 3 are about as good as they will get. Hell, the TR8 and ZKAR are still considered near perfect war weapons. I think we need to start working on promoting new and evolving methods of propulsion. I might make an 'ible that has evolved from the one by DOP that keeps getting referred to. All reference materials talk about how to start building pin guns, with all sorts of ammo types and such alongside standard slingshots. The promotion of new concepts, maybe a slew of new contests for who can best bring a concept to realization, I think would really revitalize the community. Thoughts on any part of this *incredibly* long rambling?

I dislike that the TR8 and ZKAR are thought of as the pinnacle of pin weaponry because basically it stems from complacency. Like, the only prerequisite is that the gun fires a single projectile as far as it can and it repeats, and under those two criteria alone, yes, the ZKAR and TR8 are fine designs. But what about ammo capacity? What about the rate of fire? What about multiple projectiles increasing hit probability? The ergonomics? The piece efficiency? Suddenly there's so much more to work on, but basically we said "nah, too difficult, would become too complex." But I know that if you start with novelty for the sake of it and then work on optimizing it after the fact, eventually you get something that's practical as well. Slingshots are definitely not explored to their fullest. Heck, other methods of pin gun range optimization that don't involve a bolt handle and second pin, that'd be great.

But yeah, we could definitely use some things to drive innovation.

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