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How Can I Improve My Catapult? Answered

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So I built a mangonel (torsion catapult) for science olympiad, and it must launch a foam ball up to 15 meters. But, its struggling to reach 10 meters. I was wondering how I can make it launch further, whether changing the tension of the torsion bundle, different rope, or even structural changes. I will gladly accept any and all suggestions.

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TriclawBest Answer (author)2014-10-14

move the stop to the back side not the face and cut a grove to sink the arm into the base. give the arm more room to travel and should make the 15 no problem

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rickharris (author)2014-10-15

This is not going to sound like much of an improvement but trust me - Do the other things AND put it on free turning wheels.

This makes a considerable difference. I will leave it to you to find out why.

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I actually laser cut acrylic rings this afternoon, and I plan on using those for washers so that I can turn the handles a few more revolutions.

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mpilchfamily (author)2014-10-14

More tension on the torsion bundle is a start and using a natural fiber cord for the bundle would be better. You want a material with vary little streatching to it.

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I'm currently using nylon (the picture was a prototype). So what organic material would work better?

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Any natural fiber rope like hemp.

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steveastrouk (author)2014-10-14