Introduction: How to Make: a 3 Part Paper Clip Catapult

Picture of How to Make: a 3 Part Paper Clip Catapult

 I was going around Kiteman's instructables and decided to make his rubber band-powered paper clip butterfly. I failed, then I just messed around with it. Placed a rubber band here and another paper clip there, then I got a catapult!

Please rate and comment! Thanks!

Step 1: Tools and Raw Materials

Picture of Tools and Raw Materials

 You will need lots of paper clips and pliers. The size of the paper clip doesn't matter. What does matter is that all the paper clips must be of the same size. I forgot to include rubber bands in the image, so remember you need rubber bands. 

Step 2: Making the Parts

Picture of Making the Parts

 You need to process 3 paper clips to get the parts. Just stow away the rubber bands for later. Bend the paper clips like the ones in the images. They have been color-coded for easy identification. 

Here's some sub-steps for you to follow.

Sub-step 1:
Straighten the paper clips.

Sub-step 2:
Shape the paper clips as in the next images.
Check out step 2 of this instructable if you're confused.

Step 3: Assembly

Picture of Assembly

 Take a good look at the images. When I say "crimp" in the images I mean crimp it with the pliers. There will be more sub-steps here, so pay close attention to the detail of the images. 

Sub-step 1:
Position the red and yellow clips like the 1st image.

Sub-step 2:
Crimp it as seen in image 2. 

Sub-step 3:
Grab the hook and eye part (blue paper clip) and crimp it into the other eye (red). See images 3 and 4.

Sub-step 4:
Attach the rubber band to the catapult by following images 5 onwards.

Step 4: Standard Ammo

Picture of Standard Ammo

 I have standardized different materials for ammo. They include paper, thumbtacks, and other paper clips. I have found varying results for the ammo. If you use paper clips on this, you'll find it to be short ranged, about 2 meters, and will spin in mid-air. Thumbtacks also spin in mid-air, but with more range, 3 meters, and a chance of a pin prick. Paper shells are very unpredictable. They tend to launch in high arcs, like mortars, and they also, sometimes, go straight up and back down. This may be due to actually needing to pull down the throwing arm carefully, and pre-firing the catapult, accidentally. I have managed to solve the problem with 2 solutions; they have to be used in tandem. It's in the images so go look more. 

Step 5: Some Difficulties

Picture of Some Difficulties

 Although the Mk2 shell is effective, I still can't rapidly fire shells at anything. Some of you people might be experiencing the same problems with firing paper shells, and I would like anyone with any useful suggestion regarding this please comment out those suggestions. Seriously, some of these shells are annoying when you try to load them.

Update: I have solved the "shell goes up then back down at owner" problem. Just bend the firing arm a bit downwards. 

Notice: For the meantime, use large paper shells instead of the small ones. It doesn't have a 4 meter range, but it's better than half a meter. Oh wait, some large ones do have 4 meter range, but it depends on the power of your catapult. 

 Here's some of, all of, my catapults. Yeah, I only have 3, since I only made 2 last night and 1 today. Considering how many of these things I can make with $1. Here, it's about 15 or more. I think I'm gonna earn some money building custom-made catapults. The trouble is you need an assembly line to pump out lots of these every hour. Well, that's how this is meant to be made; get some friends working on these things and make an assembly line! It won't be mass-produceable anymore if there's no assembly line won't it?

Step 6: Optional Modifications

Picture of Optional Modifications

 I found some things to do with my little catapult here. It involves bending some parts at the back part of it. I'll show it to you. This mod helps in loading it since, well, the thing won't move. This will be shown in image 2, meanwhile read the funny notes down there in image 1.

Well, that concludes this instructable.


an1153 (author)2011-10-13

awesome instructable man good job although the pics are a bit blurry

tigerboy (author)2010-05-16

Overhand knot?

nutsandbolts_64 (author)tigerboy2010-05-16

 No, I just googled it and it's not so.

pgd5000 (author)nutsandbolts_642011-05-08

Is it a slip knot?

nutsandbolts_64 (author)pgd50002011-05-08

Maybe, although slip knot is very general, I'll still put it up.

Tux0r (author)nutsandbolts_642011-05-09

No, Its a larks head knot

nutsandbolts_64 (author)Tux0r2011-05-09

And we have a winner!!! *crowd cheering in the distance*

an1153 (author)nutsandbolts_642011-10-13


nannyh97 (author)2011-04-17

i suggest taking higher res pics because i dunno whats going on?

nutsandbolts_64 (author)nannyh972011-04-18

I at least tried to take the photos with good focus, since I didn't have a camera at the time, and the camera I have now barely has good focus. That's why I linked to a step in another instructable which has far better photos than this. Just follow step 2 of the linked instructable.

nannyh97 (author)nutsandbolts_642011-04-18

ok, thanks

legendx (author)2010-10-07

sorry did not work

nutsandbolts_64 (author)legendx2010-10-07

sometimes, it just falls apart, but in your case... what is your case?

legendx (author)nutsandbolts_642010-10-07

the part didnt stick to each other
i dont know why

nutsandbolts_64 (author)legendx2010-10-09

It's either you didn't crimp it hard enough, or the paper clips you're using just doesn't have enough grip. Experiment and mod as you wish to get it right, or just send me a photo with good focus and get macro images of the joints so that I can check to see what's the problem.

RocketPenguin (author)2010-07-14

use those things u throw at the ground and POP! as amo

actually that won't be a bad idea for surprising someone when you set this up as a booby trap

greymatter21 (author)2010-06-01

needle nose* pliers lol

AH *corrects mistake* that's better

wow lolXD

greymatter21 (author)2010-06-01

how do u form tha paper into cones?

Drench a piece of paper in water then treat it like modeling clay.

Kiteman (author)2010-03-12

The butterfly became... a catapult?


nutsandbolts_64 (author)Kiteman2010-04-26

 I just came up with this sentence today: "The butterfly has undergone, metamorphosis?"

jhonjhon589 (author)2010-04-25

Dude this is a really cool instructabale

 appreciated. btw, your the only other person to comment on this. 

About This Instructable




Bio: I want to post something useful, after all these years on this site, *I want to post something useful*.
More by nutsandbolts_64:Documenting: Learning ShorthandHow to use SVNAdd an IRC Chatbox to your website!
Add instructable to: