Amongst all the excitement of the beginning of build season, the metal shop is a flurry of flying sparks, shavings, and big red balls. We have three shooter possibilities- the piston, the slingshot, and of course, the CATAPULT.
Bill, Devon, Dan, Deepa, and I are now on our second prototype. This one is bigger and better (and to scale for use on the actual chassis), and we are addressing all of the problems we encountered with the original wooden model. By using a 90° lever arm, we are able to maximize the length of the arm and therefore the torque. By upgrading to steel, we can use more tension without impairing the integrity of the joints. And we added a spring to the mass of surgical tubing to increase the force behind the ball.
If all goes well, we will have a 16 foot range by the end of tonight!—Maddie G.