Launch mini paper airplanes from your desk, without ever winding up your arm. Perfect for office shenanigans or other indoor fun!
By using common electrical components we can make our own electric paper airplane launcher!
You might even discover you have many of the parts required already laying around, especially if you have any old toys with small DC motors.
Check out the launcher in action:
Pretty neat, right?Enough talk, let's launch some airplanes!
Step 1: Tools + materials
Step 2: Wiring diagram
The neat thing about these toy DC motors is that if you reverse the polarity they spin the other direction. Using this concept we can wire each motor up inversely to each other and create a opposing rotations, allowing a pinch-point to be formed by the rotors when placed next to each other. Then, by attaching rubber grommets to the rotor heads, we can use that pinch-point as a method to fling our paper airplane.
A switch was added to allow the motors to be user controlled.
Use care when wiring and don't short circuit your motors (like I did), or your batteries (which I also did).
Step 3: Make openings in hobby box
Your hobby box will be different, experiment with positions to find a nice compact solution.
For clean edges I used a rotary tool, but a hacksaw or sharp hobby knife would also work. These tools are dangerious, so be safe when cutting and wear appropriate safety equipment.
Step 4: Stuff components
Use hot glue to hold everything in place, ensuring that the motor heads are clearly exposed.
Next, place the rubber grommets on each head, once installed the grommets should be lightly touching or have a slight gap between them. If the grommets have too much friction the motors won't turn and if the gap is too large your airplanes won't get any traction. Fine tune as necessary to ensure smooth, unhindered operation.
Step 5: Add guide rails
With the guide rails installed you're all done, put some fresh batteries in your launcher and test it out!
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