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: www.MadeForSTEAM.com

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

Be sure to check out Made for STEAM, an amazing collection of hands-on projects for kids!

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.

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    31 Discussions

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    Plague Entertainment

    Question 22 days ago on Step 4

    Hi, I know I'm late but I need help for my slingshot, it isn't able to shoot, I think it's because it's to close or something please help.

    Siege.png
    1 more answer
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    noles

    2 years ago

    this is really cool

    i wish it was buyable

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    olgamawougbe

    3 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

    3 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^)

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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

    5 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 5 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?