Introduction: Mini Siege Engines

Catapults - a classic and exciting engineering project that introduces students to fundamental ideas in physics and engineering like energy transformation, trajectory, and structural strength.

If you enjoy this project, then check out my books: Rubber Band Engineer and Duct Tape Engineer. || More engineering projects || Everything I make

Step 1: Materials

Please message me to report broken links. All of these materials are used in my other Instructables for kids, so your purchases can be used across multiple projects.

Step 2: Simple Catapult

To fire:

  • Load the projectile
  • Firmly hold down the front of the catapult
  • Pinch the cube under the basket and pull down, then release

Step 3: Leverpult

To fire:

  • Load the projectile
  • Hold down the base from inside the support structure
  • Firmly and quickly press on the lever. Do not strike the lever with a fist or other object or the hinge may break

Step 4: Slingshot

To fire:

  • Load the projectile
  • Firmly hold the front of the slingshot, or grasp the front of the slingshot as shown in the video
  • Pull back on the sling and release

Step 5: Advanced Ideas

A straightforward advancement of the Catapult project is to add two baskets instead of one.

A wacky design, dubbed the Confused Catapult, incorporates two catapult arms onto one frame. Making catapult arms of different lengths allows the user to enjoy a wider range of trajectory options.

Comments

author
noles made it! (author)2016-02-03

this is really cool

i wish it was buyable

author
olgamawougbe made it! (author)2015-11-13

Hi - could you please list the materials for the catapult? For some reason the materials list shows up like this on this page:

{"context":{"you-image":{},"spinner":{"jQuery110202310703694010483":521},"location":{"href":"https://www.instructables.com/editInstructable/publish/EF6GG4YH173P8OO","origin":"https://www.instructables.com","protocol":"http:","username":"","password":"","host":"www.instructables.com","hostname":"www.instructables.com","port":"","pathname":"/editInstructable/publish/EF6GG4YH173P8OO","search":"","hash":""},"jQuery110202310703694010483":1,"gtmHasClickListenerTag":true,"b":{"sizzle-1444572116521":{"parentNode":["9933 46",149]}},"h":{}},"selector":"#editor-Object-185"}

Thank you!

author
olgamawougbe made it! (author)2015-11-13

Hi - could you please list the materials for the catapult? For some reason the materials list shows up like this on this page:

{"context":{"you-image":{},"spinner":{"jQuery110202310703694010483":521},"location":{"href":"https://www.instructables.com/editInstructable/publish/EF6GG4YH173P8OO","origin":"https://www.instructables.com","protocol":"http:","username":"","password":"","host":"www.instructables.com","hostname":"www.instructables.com","port":"","pathname":"/editInstructable/publish/EF6GG4YH173P8OO","search":"","hash":""},"jQuery110202310703694010483":1,"gtmHasClickListenerTag":true,"b":{"sizzle-1444572116521":{"parentNode":["9933 46",149]}},"h":{}},"selector":"#editor-Object-185"}

Thank you!

author
LanceMakes made it! (author)2015-10-11

Thanks for asking - I've added a materials section

author
dantey8a made it! (author)2015-10-01

This is one of the things I have to do for a project that's due I think in 3 weeks, better get started.I think I'm gonna go with the slingshot my personal tool of mischief (^w^)

author
dantey8a made it! (author)dantey8a2015-10-01

where do I find the instructions for the slingshot?

author
Robzikshi made it! (author)2015-05-12

Love it

author
JenH1 made it! (author)2014-12-11

Awesome! the projectiles really fly far!

author
bdoorah made it! (author)2014-09-05

i love all your projects. It's really awesome.do you teach simple machicens in your projects? pleas give me a hint. i am trying to figure it out :-(

author
cskinner7 made it! (author)2014-07-02

Love all of these! Made them all in preparation for a class I am teaching. I figured out how to modify the Lever-pult into Torsion catapult by gluing regular cubes at the pivot point to your frame, and gluing drilled cubes below them. You can string a loop of nylon string through both holes (and the holes on the swing arm) and hold them with 1/2 craft sticks on both sides: Wind them up and you get a powerful torsion launch.

Also working on gravity swinging catapult and a trebuchet based on your framework. Pictures to come.

author
LanceMakes made it! (author)LanceMakes2014-07-03

Hey, glad to hear that you've made good use of these lessons. I'd love to see some pictures of how you redesigned!

author
kurtwied made it! (author)2013-11-27

all your projects are awesome!!:) i'm going to show my friends. where do you get the cubes you use? do you get them in large or small amounts?

author
LanceMakes made it! (author)LanceMakes2013-11-27

Thank you! You can buy the cubes here:

http://www.americanwoodcrafterssupply.com/catalog/?blocks&show=category&productCategoryID=6005&productCategoryIDs=6005

author
PoisonDartFrog made it! (author)2013-03-29

To get corks, do you just save them from bottles or do you by them en masse from somewhere?

author
kurtwied made it! (author)kurtwied2013-11-27

i buy them at hobby lobby.

author
kurtwied made it! (author)2013-11-27

this is awesome!

author
kevmcd made it! (author)2013-05-19

Quite simply splendid!

author
yapoyo made it! (author)2012-09-07

I like this very much. How can I make this without the craft cubes? Are they really necessary?

author
LanceMakes made it! (author)LanceMakes2012-09-07

The cubes aren't necessary - I use them because it's what I use in all of my projects. I don't know what you have access to, so if I were you I'd rummage around my home for materials or visit a craft or hardware store. Good luck!

author
ynze made it! (author)2012-06-21

And again congrats for being a winner in the Education Contest! Great project!

author
LanceMakes made it! (author)LanceMakes2012-06-21

Thanks! I am so psyched!!

author
poofrabbit made it! (author)2012-05-25

Congratulations on being a winner in the Big and Small contest!

author
LanceMakes made it! (author)LanceMakes2012-05-25

Why thank you - you're quite gracious. I've seen your positive feedback all over the site. Keep it up, and good luck in future contests :)

author
poofrabbit made it! (author)poofrabbit2012-05-25

Awe you are so kind! I was excited to read you are in talks with instructables to sell a kit of one or more of your instructables! I think that is wonderful!! Your partner in education, poofrabbit

author
person% made it! (author)2012-05-25

nice!

i used to enjoy making shooting thingies, i once made a thing similar to the skewer shooter, but it was aluminum (from cans) and it used a thick red rubber band and it can shoot sticks and pencils as well, but it wasn't as strong. i used to sell them as well. they don't reload very quickly and is not very accurate, so i use it close range. i also made a lot of similar shooters, one of then is a sliding one for extra power, and one that is about 2-3 centimetres long for hiding it from teachers.

i still think that the ones i just said do too much damage and gets me into a lot of trouble, so now i making paper wasp shooters.

author
rimar2000 made it! (author)2012-05-01

Very fun for kids!

author
snoo made it! (author)2012-05-01

this will be great for food fights!!!!!!!

author
batonas made it! (author)2012-04-30

I love all your project, they are simple, afordable for anyone and great for children physic education, way more fun than reading a boreing book.
Keep up the good work.
P.S. you could sell diy sets for these project I think people would be glad to buy it.

author
LanceMakes made it! (author)LanceMakes2012-04-30

Wow, thanks for the kind words :) I've been talking with the Instructables HQ about selling the rubberband helicopters as kits - hopefully we'll see them in the store soon!

About This Instructable

136,132views

274favorites

License:

Bio: I'm a writer, maker, and educator. For free lesson plans and teaching materials, check out LanceMakes.com.
More by LanceMakes:Motorized Flying PropellerRechargeable Rocket LauncherDuct Tape & PVC Crossbow
Add instructable to: