Instructables

Tennis Ball Launcher

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Picture of Tennis Ball Launcher

A friend of mine has bad arthritis in his wrists and cannot easily throw a tennis ball for his puppy to fetch. They both enjoy the game but the current models of tennis ball throwers aren't easy on his wrist and those that are aren't very effective. My goal was to build something he could easily fire but still get appreciable distance from.

Please keep safety in mind and don't sue me. This device can be dangerous. It involves powerful elastics being used to accelerate projectiles quickly. Never point this at a living creature or valuables. Don't load this with anything that will intentionally cause damage. Don't combine any of the previous warnings to make a super destructive device. Seriously, you'll put an eye out.

On a lighter note this will exercise a dog because it launches tennis balls approximately 100ft as shown in the video.

Enough background.

 
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Step 1: Design

Picture of Design
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The design was a toss up between one with exposed bungee cords and a 2x4 for a frame and one with bungee cords contained in PVC which simultaneously acted as the frame. Since safety is always important the version which kept the bungees contained was chosen.

These were sketches I drew to present to my friend. He was impressed by both.

mlslrsn2 months ago
You have restored my faith in humanity not only is this a REALLY good instructable and a cool project, but it also has a very sweet backstory. You deserved my votes as well as thousands of more yet to come hopefully.
24Eng (author)  mlslrsn2 months ago

I'm so glad you liked it. Who doesn't love a story with puppies?

cool its a nice instructable

rfgrievous2 months ago

cool but I wonder if it could launch anything else perhaps water balloons this device probably has all sorts of various launching uses very very cool

paul dito2 months ago

Excellent documentation! One of the best instructables I've seen yet. Animated gifs are a serious bonus. Good job!

24Eng (author) 2 months ago

I recently measured the draw weight and it came to 55lbs or 22.5kg.

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24Eng (author) 2 months ago

Thank you. Since I did daily blogs about the build I took lots and lots of pictures. There is definitely a kick but it's soft unlike a gun which accelerates a bullet very quickly.

craftclarity2 months ago

Nicely documented build! Looks it has rather the kick....!