Picture of Launch It: The Paper Catapult.
Give all your classmates or co-workers copies of the template - declare war over lunchtime...

Step 1: Materials and tools

Picture of Materials and tools
This is a cut-out-and-make Instructable.

You need a copy of the template (I work to A4), a cocktail stick, scissors and a glue-stick to make each catapult (though sticky tape may be useful for battle-field repairs). A cutting mat is a lot of help if your work bench is a s rough as mine (my mat is marked in 1cm squares, which gives you an idea of the sheer size of this great weapon).

New for 2009, at no extra cost! A redrawn PDF file of the template is now attached to this step!

The ammunition can be anything that will fit in the catapult's bucket - paper balls, the rubbers off pencils. I shot Tic Tacs at my class - if they caught them before they hit the floor, they ate them.


A pad of paper towel or modelling clay will stop you skewering yourself when you poke the necessary holes in the paper.

Full personal safety precautions can be seen in the video in step five.
Catapult template.pdf(596x842) 60 KB
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Kiteman (author) 4 years ago
Paper Catapult merchandise is now available!

Rainbows and Cupcakes made it!1 year ago

As a very bored Chemistry undergraduate, this was really fun to make!

Kiteman (author)  Rainbows and Cupcakes1 year ago

What, in class??

Did you shoot the lecturer?

almogsade1 made it!1 year ago

cool project, thanks you.

Kiteman (author)  almogsade11 year ago

That's cool, thanks for posting a picture!

almogsade1 made it!1 year ago

cool project, thanks you.

almogsade1 made it!1 year ago

cool project, thanks you.

this is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kiteman (author)  T.K. Chumper2 years ago
Thank you.
chubawabu3 years ago
Another amazing instructable by Kiteman, well done.
smpash3 years ago
by cocktail stick you mean tooth pick right?
Kiteman (author)  smpash3 years ago
No, I mean cocktail stick.

It's the sort of thing they stick olives on in drinks. In the UK, they're sold in boxes of a hundred for a few pennies at supermarkets.

However, if you have a toothpick, and it's long enough, by all means use it.
smpash Kiteman3 years ago
well in the us they are the same thing thanks though
JimKelleher4 years ago
This is a great project. However, my son and I soon tired of of launching bits of crumpled paper at each other. That's when I realized the bucket was the perfect size for a 'kibble' (nugget of dried dog food). The kibble was such a great projectile that we needed to change our launching position so that we could fire down the hallway. Needless to say, Molly (the family dog) loves this project the most.

A couple of comments about my build. Here in the US I printed it out at 95% onto card stock, 35 lb paper instead of 20 lb copier paper.
I 'score' my crease lines with a single heavy pass with a ball point pen and a steel ruler as a guide.
I rough cut the pieces with a pair of scissors and finished them off with a sharp utility knife, steel ruler and a plastic cutting board.
I used a white school glue applied to the tabs with a small paint brush.
I folded most of the creases with the lines inside to make a cleaner model. Except for the throwing arm, needed the Instructables.com writing on the outside.

Kiteman (author)  JimKelleher4 years ago
That sounds excellent, practically engineering!
reddevved4 years ago
I don't know why but I can see the pdf template and I am not a Pro Member. Could be a glitch or I am just that awesome(like you).
Kiteman (author)  reddevved4 years ago
No, it's because I uploaded the PDF as if it was an image, specifically so that non-pro members can get at it.

It's the PDF of the full project that is restricted to pro members.
Oh I thought I was just glitched.
sgriffin44 years ago
I can't download the PDF because I'm not a registered member :/
Kiteman (author)  sgriffin44 years ago
If you look at the last step, I attached the template as if it were an image - click where it says "Catapult template.pdf", and you can download it just fine.
TheKnotTier4 years ago
a_person5 years ago
for astetic reasons one of the instructables logos is backwards on the throwing arm
lunius a_person4 years ago
I noticed that too... It bugged me throughout the building process...

Kiteman, I'm going to put a mod on my catapult and perhaps make an 'ible for it, but I will point out that it is merely a mod, and that your genius is the cause for this amazing work of art :D
Being on instructables for a few years now, I have looked at this project so many times. But never got around to making one for myself.

Today my physics teacher took the suggestion of making these in class. He had the whole class making their own catapult so we could learn more about projectiles.

Thank you so much Kiteman! and thank you instructables!
Kiteman (author)  Houdinipeter4 years ago
That's cool, thanks for telling me.
hintss5 years ago
I made 2, and an openSCAD model. the openscad should be 3d printable. not sure if it fits in the build envelope of a makerbot, but it should fit on a reprap also, great catapult, 2 built, 2 ready to be built oh, and I trimmed the toothpick so it dedn't stick out
Kiteman (author)  hintss5 years ago
3d printable???

Are you telling me that somebody can print this thing out in one, constructed piece now??

That is so abso-awesomely-lutely cool!

As soon as somebody does this, please post up a photo, maybe even a video of it in action??
hintss Kiteman5 years ago
haven't you heard of the makerbot? (makerbot.com) I don't have a 3d printer, but I put the files on thingiverse, and someone promised to build it. also, the updated files are on thingiverse, at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3899 and its 1base, 1 arm, and add your own toothpick. not sure if the arm fits on the makerbot build platform, though...
Kiteman (author)  hintss5 years ago
I've heard of them, but never used them.
hintss hintss5 years ago
I put them up on thingiverse
Quenbo5 years ago
On the computer made template the wide top and bottom flaps are joined with a solid line (telling me to cut it off) just thought i'd say :D so far so good for me thanks for the instructions
Kiteman (author)  Quenbo5 years ago
Ah.. oops!

Thanks for that.  Unfortunately, I have a new computer, and did not re-install the, er, borrowed software I used to draw those templates.  I'll just have to rely on observant users like yourself.
You pirate software?

Kiteman (author)  Lithium Rain5 years ago
Not exactly - school licences allow for home copies for staff to prepare wok at home.  I borrowed one of the CorelDraw licences because I used to use it to prepare worksheets.

When school stopped using Corel, I couldn't renew my home license to install a copy on my new PC.
use inkscape it is basicly free coreldraw/adobe illustrator for free
Kiteman (author)  a_person5 years ago
Cool, thanks.
glad i could help a master instructables-er
Kiteman (author)  a_person5 years ago
That's what makes this such a cool community!
Ya really!
Ah, I see.

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