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Paintball/Anti fogging lens


QUESTION: After years of careful consideration of various silicon adherence coatings, superhydrophobic and oiliophobic technologies and molecular nano fibrous structures that repel certain polyethyl glycerides, I have developed something that no one in history has yet matched.  I have created, for the game of paintball, after hundreds of hours of meticulous designing and research, a suit of invulnerability.  
    According to my calculations, whenever a paintball breaks and paint splashes against the suit, the paint repellent coating on the suit should allow the paint to fall off of the suit, leaving not even a molecule behind.  I could get shot hundreds of times per minute, and not a single millimeter of paint would adhere.  All of it will disperse from the suit, because of its own kinetic energy, likely into a cloud of invisible mist.  
      Someone could shoot the wearer from point blank range, hundreds of times, and would not see a single stain appear on the fabric of the suit.  They would see the paintball approach the suit, and just disappear into a cloud of deflected mist upon impact.  Because this suit deflects paintball paint without the use of thick padding, the suit would, at first glance, be completely inconspicuous.  Even the mask and visor could be made paint resistant, without obstructing vision, because of the coating's translucence.

    According to the internationally accepted rules of the sport of Paintball, one is typically out if the ball breaks and leaves a visible mark, or if they run out of ammunition.  My suit, at least technically, obeys such rules.  

      My questions are as follows:  Do you think that this suit is too advanced to use fairly?  Do you think that there are certain types of games (woodsball, speedball, big games, mil sim, etc.)  in which this suit would be allowed?  Would you personally be intimidated by such a player, would you want to be allied with them, would you want them on your team?  Do you find this to be an interesting concept, considering that no one has ever done this, until now?

Please note that this suit is the result of years of research and development, and if it sounds far fetched or exotic, or fake, it is certainly real, and very unique.  I am proud to have had the gratuitous fortune of being the lone man to have built such a miraculous technological specimen.

ANSWER: Actually, the standard rules for paintball internationally require a mark to show a hit. The hit (marked) player is out of that game. (And running out of paintballs does not mean a player is out of the game.)

Airsoft games generally use non-marking projectiles. Players rely on other players' honesty. They feel a projectile hit, they call themselves out of the game. How would the suit let these players know when they are hit?

Scenario paintball games could design special roles for a game character (wearing such a suit) to be "invincible" or have "special powers". (Fyi, the "special powers" role is not new to scenario games. In the 1980s we played in recreational and scenario games that included a "zombie" type of player who could be shot a lot but never had to leave the game.)

A suit preventing a person from feeling the paintball's impact would be welcomed by referees, reporters, videographers, etc. A goggle system that never got dirty or fogged would make the designer very wealthy.

You asked about fairness and intimidation. Think about being on the field, facing a opponent who does not feel the sting of a hit and is never marked. How is he called out/when does he have to leave the game? Why bother to shoot paint at him? Players without suits would feel the hits and have to leave the game when marked. Sound good if you have such a suit on? What about if you don't and your opponent(s) does?

People have experimented very extensively since paintball started, trying to design an inexpensive suit to protect from a ball's sting but show the mark of a hit. Ideally it would stay very cool in hot weather and warm in cold. It would include full head protection and no-fog for any lens.

Suggest researching similar suit designs for law enforcement and military use.

Keep us updated.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: A few days ago I told you of a "paintball Iron Man " suit that I was developing, and you most magnanimously proposed the idea of applying such technologies towards fog-proof paintball goggles.  I have prepped a plan for just that.  Using a clear adhesive spray, I could coat the inside of the lens of the mask.  While still wet, I would then airbrush on silica aerogel dust, and the adhesive would harden about an hour later, trapping the aerogel dust onto the lens in a translucent scratch proof coating.  (Aerogel powder/ dust is superhydrophobic, and water just rolls off of it.)

  In theory, the microscopic water droplets that would accumulate, ones which fog up the mask, would bead up and roll off of the silica aerogel surface.  The mask would never, ever, fog up, under any circumstances.  

  You said that one could potentially sell these masks and make a fortune.  It is with such consideration of the capitalistic spirit that I tell you of my intent.  I figure that, because aerogel powder is such a broad, raw material, I will infringe on no patents any more than using sand to build a sand castle would violate the law.  The adhesive, as well, could be purchased from any number of manufacturers.  Both of these precautions will certainly curtail and bypass any copyright infringement associated with using other people's products in one's own.

 What are your suggestions for pitching such an idea towards any potential manufacturers?  Maybe this is out of your expertise.

   What kind of market for such an invention is there?

      Courteously, Jacob

Jacob, can you or have you produced prototypes that work as you describe, and do not diminish/affect negatively the characteristics of the protective lens (which must meet an ASTM standard for paintball use)?

Also, the use of translucent rather than transparent sounds as if the lens would no longer provide the visibility of the existing transparent lens. What is the status on that?

First, prototypes. How soon?

It's not out of my expertise to work toward manufacturing. Look forward to hearing further from you.

What state are you in?



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Jessica Sparks


Questions about the paintball sport itself, from recreational ball through speedball and competition play; how to play the game, from basic to advanced tactics; paintball equipment; how to start a paintball field or store; and about the business of paintball.


Have written for/edited Action Pursuit Games magazine, Paintball magazine, and many other magazines, newsletters, web sites, newspaper articles, videos, video scripts, and books. Expert; consultant.

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