Craft Stick Catapult!

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Introduction: Craft Stick Catapult!

About: Hi there! Hopefully these guides can help inspire you to tinker, be curious, play, contribute, and learn. If you're here for pandemic-related PPE and want more, check out our Something Labs website at somethin…

The craft stick castle isn't going to invade itself! With a quick craft stick catapult, you'll be launching pom-poms over pipe cleaner parapets in no time. Whether you're using it to learn about levers simple machines, or want to join in a 2,400 year history of launching projectiles, the craft stick catapult can be your new favorite toy.

  • What: Craft Stick Catapult
  • Concepts: levers, simple machines, projectiles
  • Time: ~ 3 minutes for your first
  • Cost: ~ $0.05
  • Materials:
    • 6 rubber bands
    • 7 craft sticks
    • catapult basket (bottle cap, plastic egg, etc)
    • pom-poms or other projectiles
  • Tools:
    • hot glue gun

Let's launch!

Step 1: Prep Thy Fulcrum

Slap five craft sticks together, and rubber band them at both ends, wrapping the rubber bands until tight. You can add more or take some away later to test different build designs.

Step 2: Attach Thy Flinger

Take your two remaining craft sticks, and rubber band them at one end. Wedge the fulcrum in the middle so they splay apart. You can change the lever length of your catapult by moving your fulcrum to different positions. This is great for learning about leverage.

Step 3: Secureth in Place

Use two rubber bands to make an "X" around the entire flinger and fulcrum. Leave it loose enough so that you can change the lever length when you want to.

Step 4: Attach Thy Basket and Launch!

Be it plastic egg, bottle cap, clay, or folded paper, hot glue it to the end of the flinger. Load it up with some projectiles, pull back, aim (not at humans or animals), and fire away!

After you fling a few pom-poms around, try making some targets out of paper or cups, and adjust the fulcrum height and lever length to play with different designs.

Which lever length works the best? How does it change the flight path of the pom-pom?

Have fun, and keep exploring!

1 Person Made This Project!

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14 Discussions

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jonahhc25
jonahhc25

1 year ago

can you make the 2 big popsicle sticks that launch the stuff be a clothes pin?

0
EpicMario99
EpicMario99

5 years ago on Introduction

I'm probably just really bad at life, but how do you get the rubber bands to stay on the sticks for the fulcrum? No matter what I try, it just falls apart.

0
The Oakland Toy Lab
The Oakland Toy Lab

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Hey EpicMario99!

No problem, and it takes some wiggling. Tell me which step you're having trouble with, and I'll try to help!

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danamrox
danamrox

5 years ago on Introduction

love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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SaliA1
SaliA1

5 years ago on Introduction

I like it.... I will make it for my kids.... Nice Summer to Nice craft

0
salmanfarsi
salmanfarsi

5 years ago

خیلی خلاقانه است.

0
Jobar007
Jobar007

5 years ago on Introduction

It looks like it is mostly shooting vertically. If you angle the cup when attaching it, does it make a difference in the direction the projectile travels? Perhaps a higher angle of the spring arm is needed to get a more horizontal flight path?

0
The Oakland Toy Lab
The Oakland Toy Lab

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Hey JoBar,

That is a mighty good point, at the current angle it has a pretty steep arc (maybe 60 degree launch angle?) I think your second thought helps out the most, of adjusting the spring arm angle by adding more popsicle sticks to the fulcrum. It's fun to adjust both that, and the length of the spring arm position on the fulcrum.

It's also fun that we get to discuss all this about a toy catapult. Thank you for the wonderful comment as always!

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deepta
deepta

5 years ago on Introduction

thank you for this! summer fun ideas are always needed.

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Sunglowart
Sunglowart

5 years ago

Easy and super cool