DESIGNING A BETTER ARCHERY BOW
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Peter Childs, Stephen Green, Ashley Hall, Aran Dasan
Author: Ledsome, Colin
Institution: IED, United Kingdom
Section: Design and Engineering Education Practices
Archery has existed for at least 64,000 years. The design of the bow has evolved slowly over that time, but developments in materials and manufacturing methods since the Second World War have allowed rapid changes in this ancient technology. Bows and arrows seem to be a simple concept, but the details are far more complex than they appear. Most of the historic development has been carried out by craftsmen bowyers and fletchers (bow and arrow makers) on a trial and error basis producing several basic bow types in different parts of the world for different reasons. Today we can apply modern engineering and research methods to investigate the subtle details of this technology and suggest a path to future design developments. PhD research has shown some potential for development but more is needed. Archery can be used to introduce a number of aspects of technology to students and can provide the basis for design and test projects. We still can learn from this ancient technology.