Intro: The Simplest Powerful Pencil Launcher
This "launcher" is similar to blow pipes except that you don't need to blow. It is very simple - all it needs is a PVC pipe and a balloon.
The projectile can be a pencil or a stick or even an arrow. I just chose to launch pencils. Though it is simple, make no mistake about it - it's not for children. It's a powerful instrument and avail caution while using it.
Just by a simple pull and release, the pencil can be shot to more than 10 feet!! So it is quite powerful.
Step 1: The PVC Pipe
You can use any pipe depending on what you have access to. As far as length and diameter are concerned, its not rocket science.
If the pipe is short the pencil will lose lesser energy by friction but as length increases the direction of the pencil's movement is more controlled.
The balloon as well, pick one so that you can just wrap one end of the pipe with it.
Step 2: Finishing
Tape the balloon strongly to the pipe.
Paint the pipe if you wish but that's it! The launcher is complete!!!!
All the videos in this instructable were taken inside my home. I thought its better to take these videos inside, because one can see the pencil in a much better way.
Try it out and you will certainly be amazed at how far the pencil can reach in an open ground.
Step 3: Usage
Put the pencil down the "barrel".
Pull the balloon and release. The pencil should shoot out!
Make sure most part of the pencil is inside the stretched part of the balloon. But leave at least some part of the pencil within the pipe. This will direct the pencil to come straight through the pipe.
At a slightly more 'up-ish' angle:
Step 4: Have Fun!
You can even have your own version of darts and archery mixed with this launcher. Or even use it to launch model rockets straight up. In the video below, the ceiling is about 15 feet high from the launcher. But look at the force with which the pencil hits the ceiling (watch the top left corner of the video).
The problem is the faster I launch the pencil the harder it is to capture it on my ordinary camera (obvious from the above video). So, in the next video I use the same launcher to propel a paper plane at obviously lesser power.
It's all about how you use it and more importantly how much fun you have in doing so!