"Re-inventing The Wheel" Answered
Say hello to Mr.T. He is old, simple, and there is really nothing special about him. However, Mr.T is a sneaky little feller. He likes putting on clever disguises like iron sights and stocks and even removable magazines to make people think that he is special. But he isn't. He's been around for years now, and for some reason, can't accept that his time is done. As a community, we are going to get rid of Mr.T.
I hope you found that funny, but more importantly, I hope that you took it seriously. No, I am not talking about the guy who played Clubber Lang in the third rocky. I am talking about the K'nex gun that has been built and posted thousands of times, and makes the rest of the Instructables community hate K'nex gun builders. At this point, pretty much any search done on this site will result in at least one K'nex gun. What is worse? They are all the same. The "T" format is the most simple, most redundant approach to building a K'nex aside from the now heavily discriminated block trigger guns. They involve three things:
1. A vertical magazine
2. A firing ram
3. A trigger
Any gun that requires only these three components to operate is, in my opinion, pointless. Despite cosmetic features such as stocks and iron sights, all "T" format guns are exactly the same. Yes, they do work, and some of them even work very well, but at this point, improvement will only occur with change, not with repetition.
Compared to a few years ago, this K'nex community is dwindling on the edge of a cliff. Many people have lost interest because nothing new was being made, so they just quit. I do not support this decision, but I cannot blame them either. Like many of the other "veterans" on this site, I have been on and off, but have never officially quit. Sometimes one just needs to think.
Hopefully by now, I have made it clear: not another Mr.T should be posted ever again. They are great guns for those learning the ropes. That is about it. There are so many other options out there. Horizontal magazines, pump systems, lever systems, bolt systems, and so many more. Make up your own system! Combine different systems! There are millions, maybe billions of different ways to put a thousand K'nex together, so why limit yourself. You are all builders, which means that you see things in your head before you make it. But sometimes these ideas come to us in inopportune times, so what do you do? Write it down. Even if your drawing skills are as pathetic as mine, just scribble it out so you can make sense of it, and then refine it later with a ruler. Then get to work on it.
So, here are the steps you can take to advance this community:
1. Stop posting Mr.T!!! He can be a good teacher, but that is about all.
2. Be different! My goal when I entered this community was to make guns that nobody has ever made. No two of my guns are similar, nor are my guns like any others out there. You have millions of options. Make use of them!
3. If you have an idea, write it down! Even if it seems absurd, I guarantee that it, even if it only be small parts of it, will improve your building skill.
I really hope this has made you want to make something different. Not much more I can say. Just go do it.
Oblivitus and TheDunkis have started building a database of different gun elements and different ways of approaching them. Check it out and feel free to contribute!