Make a Poweful Railgun!

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Introduction: Make a Poweful Railgun!

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Step 1: Obtain Parts

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Step 2: Assemble the Enclosure

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Step 3: Make the Bank

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Step 4: Make the Charger

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Step 5:

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    154 Comments

    Hello I'm doing a project for school and I was wondering if there's any videos that show it getting build for that I could get a better idea of the layout and I was wondering what safety precautions would be sensible to do before getting started.

    10 replies

    it depends on your skill, i know this is probably way past time but i think this may help. this project is obviously done at your own risk. but if you want to build one you just have to get a few things straightened out, you need the voltage and amperage to power this which is probably a project of its own if you don't have access to the power supply beefy enough to handle it. second you need the proper frame and rails. the rails are ideally tempered aluminum or copper. (i've tried using copper and it tends to start warping and getting melted after 5 or so shots and have to be adjusted after that.) and if you have access to 3D printer(s) it would be ideal to print parts of the frame to avoid arcing and potential for shocking yourself or bystanders if they are near you or the device. Third you need the correct projectile and capacitors. 600 volts is quite a bit over kill and 300 is also a little much as it sometimes tends to arc through the firing mechanism and possible the rails depending of the size of the gap between them (when i built mine i used two servos from rc cars, one to put the aluminum bolt into firing position and a second beefier one to actually fling it fast enough into the rails then have the rails take over from there.) and then there's the bolt I've tried steel .308 bullets copper and then i ended up milling them using the shop in my school out of aluminum about 1/4 of an inch in diameter at the fattest but still "bulet" shaped. And to all the people saying it's impossible for a high schooler to build these... well i built mine when i was thirteen with little to no help from others except my uncle loaning me $75 bucks to buy three of the caps. if you are really determined use as much scrap and salvaged parts as you can it keeps cost way down and the parts you have to buy at a minimum, i will attach pictures of the rifle when i dig it out of my families storage shed sometime this month or so.

    So I got ahold of sixteen 400v 150uf capacitors, I plan to use a "hot rail" design like the one here. Should I go ahead and purchase a couple more farads worth of capacitors? Also, I have designed a circuit to charge from 120v ac using a transformer (I will rewrap an old microwave transformer with 12:40 turns), and four diodes to rectify the current. My problem is that I am not sure what gauge wire I need to have for the transformer and what the diodes need to be rated for. I know that I at least need them to be rated for 400v, but I am unsure of what amperages this will put through the different components of my circuit. I have heard of putting a limiting resistor on the charging circuit to reduce the amperage, but I am not sure what to use if I do. I only know enough right now to do something stupid, so pointers from anyone who better understands circuits would be much appreciated.

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    I bet this a dumb question but couldn't you use a wall socket?

    Hey, I am a highs school student and u made a rail gun as an engineering project, I used a wall socket but was then connected to a step-up transformer that I got out of a microwave

    Please respond as soon as possible!!!!

    No. Do NOT do this project. Find something simpler, cheaper, and safer. In order to build this you have to know what you are doing. Which means you have to know a lot about electricity, safety, and engineering. It is expensive and would take a while for a high schooler to build. It is also extremely dangerous. It is several thousand volts which can easily kill you. This is more a project for someone in college who understands this stuff. And no, you cannot use a wall socket. House circuits are normally around 140 volts, which is not nearly enough to power this.

    It's not the voltage that will kill you it's the amps

    its obvious you dont know much about electricity, as its the amperage of a current thats lethal

    What grade are you in cause if you under 9th grade level d ok not do this at school it can harn children really bad and even fatal

    is it possible to make it holdable, for example, a plastic box, if so, how thick should the plastic be?

    1 reply

    yes, but your going to have to put in some work for it to fit into something portable

    sorry im not sure how to ask questions on this site but it seems to be the place with people in the know.

    i have several thousand dollars and a few months on my hands. i want a railgun. i dont mean the weak ones everyone else has. i want one that

    rivals a rifle in speed and could do some seriious damage. could anyone point me to what parts to order from online?

    or any tips to wiring and assembly? i have friends with cnc equipment and plenty of spare metal so it's not an issue, i just need some basic instructions

    on how to get started and what speeds would be possible. if i have to incoporate a backpack too that's fine. i just want to put solid proof out there

    that it's possible with todays tech. thank you.

    1 reply

    Man I hope you guys don't want to do stupid things with it, I know in the US there is more freedom for this kind of things but in France if you build one and use it even in your property law enforcement won't be happy, this thing is awesome but I would be too scared of it blowing in my face lol

    The link in step 4 is spoilt just for your information.

    Hi
    Is the capacitors in series or parallel
    Thanks would really like to know

    1 reply

    Parallel. In parallel the capacitence just adds up, in series that go in to 1/(1/capacitence)

    Cool, but it seems like almost all of your energy is going into creating plasma, and not actually accelerating your projectile - it may be better to have a lower voltage, no?

    I plan to make a smaller hand held one using the small 350 volt, 330 uF capacitors. I like this idea though. Have you experimentedwith lower voltages?

    1 reply

    Also, lower voltage = higher ohms = power loss to heat, so that's swapped logic. (That's why longer electric runs use higher voltages)
    I agree with the plasma though; you can see energy being dispersed in directions other than forward. Hard to say how much is friction, and how much is electrical heat.. could try with a more conductive and/or more heat resistant material.. and I would think a longer, thinner projectile would accelerate more easily. (Maybe even with a point at the nose)