Mini Siege Engines

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About: I'm a writer, maker, and educator who's on a mission to better the world through hands-on engineering projects. Check out my work: LanceMakes.com

Intro: Mini Siege Engines

Catapults - a classic and exciting engineering project that introduces students to fundamental ideas in physics and engineering like energy transformation, trajectory, and structural strength.

Like this project? Check out my book: The STEAM Handbook, which has 18 innovative project ideas!

More engineering projects || Everything I make

Step 1: Materials

Please message me to report broken links. All of these materials are used in my other Instructables for kids, so your purchases can be used across multiple projects.

Step 2: Simple Catapult

To fire:

  • Load the projectile
  • Firmly hold down the front of the catapult
  • Pinch the cube under the basket and pull down, then release

Step 3: Leverpult

To fire:

  • Load the projectile
  • Hold down the base from inside the support structure
  • Firmly and quickly press on the lever. Do not strike the lever with a fist or other object or the hinge may break

Step 4: Slingshot

To fire:

  • Load the projectile
  • Firmly hold the front of the slingshot, or grasp the front of the slingshot as shown in the video
  • Pull back on the sling and release

Step 5: Advanced Ideas

A straightforward advancement of the Catapult project is to add two baskets instead of one.

A wacky design, dubbed the Confused Catapult, incorporates two catapult arms onto one frame. Making catapult arms of different lengths allows the user to enjoy a wider range of trajectory options.

Education Contest

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Education Contest

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    29 Discussions

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    noles

    2 years ago

    this is really cool

    i wish it was buyable

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    olgamawougbe

    2 years ago

    Hi - could you please list the materials for the catapult? For some reason the materials list shows up like this on this page:

    {"context":{"you-image":{},"spinner":{"jQuery110202310703694010483":521},"location":{"href":"https://www.instructables.com/editInstructable/publish/EF6GG4YH173P8OO","origin":"https://www.instructables.com","protocol":"http:","username":"","password":"","host":"www.instructables.com","hostname":"www.instructables.com","port":"","pathname":"/editInstructable/publish/EF6GG4YH173P8OO","search":"","hash":""},"jQuery110202310703694010483":1,"gtmHasClickListenerTag":true,"b":{"sizzle-1444572116521":{"parentNode":["9933 46",149]}},"h":{}},"selector":"#editor-Object-185"}

    Thank you!

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    olgamawougbe

    2 years ago

    Hi - could you please list the materials for the catapult? For some reason the materials list shows up like this on this page:

    {"context":{"you-image":{},"spinner":{"jQuery110202310703694010483":521},"location":{"href":"https://www.instructables.com/editInstructable/publish/EF6GG4YH173P8OO","origin":"https://www.instructables.com","protocol":"http:","username":"","password":"","host":"www.instructables.com","hostname":"www.instructables.com","port":"","pathname":"/editInstructable/publish/EF6GG4YH173P8OO","search":"","hash":""},"jQuery110202310703694010483":1,"gtmHasClickListenerTag":true,"b":{"sizzle-1444572116521":{"parentNode":["9933 46",149]}},"h":{}},"selector":"#editor-Object-185"}

    Thank you!

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    LanceMakes

    3 years ago

    Thanks for asking - I've added a materials section

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    dantey8a

    3 years ago

    This is one of the things I have to do for a project that's due I think in 3 weeks, better get started.I think I'm gonna go with the slingshot my personal tool of mischief (^w^)

    1 reply
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    dantey8adantey8a

    Reply 3 years ago

    where do I find the instructions for the slingshot?

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    JenH1

    3 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome! the projectiles really fly far!

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    bdoorah

    4 years ago on Introduction

    i love all your projects. It's really awesome.do you teach simple machicens in your projects? pleas give me a hint. i am trying to figure it out :-(

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    cskinner7

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Love all of these! Made them all in preparation for a class I am teaching. I figured out how to modify the Lever-pult into Torsion catapult by gluing regular cubes at the pivot point to your frame, and gluing drilled cubes below them. You can string a loop of nylon string through both holes (and the holes on the swing arm) and hold them with 1/2 craft sticks on both sides: Wind them up and you get a powerful torsion launch.

    Also working on gravity swinging catapult and a trebuchet based on your framework. Pictures to come.

    1 reply
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    LanceMakescskinner7

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Hey, glad to hear that you've made good use of these lessons. I'd love to see some pictures of how you redesigned!

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    kurtwied

    4 years ago on Introduction

    all your projects are awesome!!:) i'm going to show my friends. where do you get the cubes you use? do you get them in large or small amounts?

    1 reply
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    LanceMakeskurtwied

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you! You can buy the cubes here:

    http://www.americanwoodcrafterssupply.com/catalog/?blocks&show=category&productCategoryID=6005&productCategoryIDs=6005

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    kevmcd

    5 years ago

    Quite simply splendid!

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    yapoyo

    6 years ago on Introduction

    I like this very much. How can I make this without the craft cubes? Are they really necessary?

    1 reply
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    LanceMakesyapoyo

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    The cubes aren't necessary - I use them because it's what I use in all of my projects. I don't know what you have access to, so if I were you I'd rummage around my home for materials or visit a craft or hardware store. Good luck!

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    ynze

    6 years ago on Introduction

    And again congrats for being a winner in the Education Contest! Great project!