The most amazing machine ever built by man! The Ping Pong Launcher is made out of everyday, cheap materials and is super easy to build!
Step 1: Gather Materials
The following were used in making this project. You may need extra parts depending on what materials you have.
- Tape Measure
- Sand paper
- Allen Wrench
- Power supply
- Straight and curved PVC pipe
- Two motors
- Two wheels that can attach to the motors
- Multiple planks of wood
- Flat piece of wood
- 3d printer
- Ping pong balls
- Power Drill
Step 2: Prepare Holes for the Motor
The first step of the process was to make holes tight enough for the motors to not wiggle around in. To do this, we used a power drill with a circular drill bit on it to make the holes. Before you do this, find the diameter of the motor first and then cut the hole. A lot of sanding may be required to get the hole big enough. Try not to get the hole too big, however, because the motor will fall out.
Step 3: Bolting the Motors In
After the holes have been drilled, it is time to make sure they are secured. If you get your hole tight enough, this step may not be necessary. In our case, we used an Allen Wrench and bolts to keep the motors secure.
Step 4: The Hard Part
The next step in the process was not planned on happening. We had taken our motors completely off the gearbox in order to reduced weight. If you do the same, you may have to 3d print a part to replace part of the gearbox. We measured the diameter of the part sticking out of the motor as well as the height of the hole in the wheel and the width of that hexagon. After we got the measurements, we went on OnShape to build a 3d model. The diameter of the hole in the 3d print was made to fit very tightly. The same was true for the width of the hexagon. A hammer was used to mash the 3d print into the hold of the wheel. Make sure this is as tight as it can get because you don't want the wheel flying off.
Step 5: Assembling the Wheel
After the 3d print has been created, mash them into the wheels. That's all for this step.
Step 6: Putting the Frame Together
After the wheels have been secured, they have to be attached to the frame. During this step, it is advised to measure the distance between the wheels is the size of the ping pong balls or slightly smaller. Screw the planks in to the bottom plank so that they are the proper distance away. Make sure the wheels are aligned and not off center. This is a good time to test the wheels out. If there is too much distance between the wheels, you can sand some off of the bottom (this is before they are screwed in) and some of the top to keep the height equal. This step may require a lot of tinkering and small changes to get the ball to fly how you want it to.
Step 7: More Testing
This step requires a power supply. We used a pretty intricate system of cables in order to get the motors spinning. Our power supply had two different sets, so each motor was individual powered. The cables were connected with alligator clips and then attached to the power supply. Refer to the pictures for a more detailed look at how they were connected.
Step 8: Attaching the Top Piece
A flat piece of wood was drilled into the two vertical planks. A hole was cut using a similar method to the holes for the motors. Make sure to measure where the hole needs to be depending on the size of your PVC pipe and the angle is comes to the wheels at.
Step 9: Securing the Pipe
The next step in the process is to secure the pipe so that the ping pong balls are loaded into the wheels correctly. A piece of wood was glued to the pip with strong glue and then the piece of wood was screwed in to the top piece of wood. Make sure the end of the PVC pipe is pointed in the right direction and is the correct distance away from the wheels.
Step 10: A Little Something Extra
The last step of the process was just something we did to make the project a little cooler. We attached the launcher onto a Roomba so that we can change the direction the launcher shoots without having to manually move it. All we did was attach the bottom to the Roomba with a bunch of zip-ties.