Do you want to swing from skyscraper to skyscraper with your very own web shooters? Well, you will probably have to hold off on that thought for another 100 years.
In the mean while, we can make this mock web shooter. It's a wrist mounted coil gun that can harpoon and retrieve objects. The web shooter is able to reel in objects from over 12 feet away.
No electronics experience is required. You won't have to solder a bunch of capacitors to build this mechanism! I have taken a look at other ways to build a similar device. I guarantee you that this is the easiest method. Almost every method requires you to build a complex circuit with tons of electrical components. NOT HERE! While that would be a great lesson, I want this project to be fun, easy, and (most importantly) cheap to make.
Build Time: Two Hours
Build Cost: $20 (I already had most of the parts. I tried to use things that people generally already have at home.)
You can build this mechanism by continuing with this text or watching the video instructions on the next page. I hope that you find either adequate.
**I'm going to shamelessly interrupt this Instructable. If you like this project please vote for it in the Heroes and Villains Contest!**
Step 1: How It Works
By energising a small coil, we are able to launch metal objects several feet away.
Our coil gun design features a coil and a metal dart. The metal dart is tied to a spool of thread. The spool of thread is connected to a motor. Triggering the coil launches the dart in the air. The gear motor can retrieve the dart and whatever the dart has impaled.
Step 2: Parts List
An Electric Stapler.
An electric stapler contains all of the major electronic components that we need for this project. We do not even need to modify the circuitry in any way for our purposes! Electric staplers generally retail for $20, but I found mine in a recycling bin. SCORE!
- Small DC Motor (I'm using a gm9 motor but you can use any similar motor that you like)
- 9V Battery
- Spool of Thread
- Foam Board
- Electrical Tape (For Aesthetics Only)
- 12 V Lead Acid Battery
- Power Inverter
- Backpack to put both objects in
The electric stapler will connect to a power outlet. If you want to make your web shooter portable, you will need a 12 V Battery and an AC/DC power inverter. If your happy with a web shooter that plugs into a wall, you don't need these objects. I picked up my power inverter off of Kijiji for $20. This is the only thing that I had to buy while making my project.
Step 3: Take Apart Stapler
Take apart the stapler.
All that's needed is the coil, pcb, and power chord.
Ensure the electronics remain intact.
Step 4: Test Out the Coil
Inspect the PCB.
Locate the push button or infrared trigger switch.
Power the PCB.
When the switch is pressed, the coil will turn on for a brief moment. Any metallic object within the coil's vicinity will be launched in the opposing direction.
So try it out! Place a nail, dart, or some other metal projectile within the coil and fire.
I am using a dart as the harpoon of my web shooter because it is excellent at impaling things. If you find a better bullet during your testing, feel free to use it.
Step 5: Cut Out Foam Pieces
In the pdf, you'll find a scaled cut out template and an instruction manual.
We'll use this template to make the base of our web shooter.
Download and print the pdf. Glue the sheet to a foam board.
Cut out the pieces with a knife.
**I've added my CAD files in case that helps anyone. I expect that some people would rather 3D print their web shooter. I did all of my cad in Autodesk Inventor.**
Step 6: Make Base
Assemble the pieces as seen in the pdf's explosion diagram. Use glue to secure the foam pieces.
Step 7: Add Electronics to Glove
Place electrical tape over the PCB. Then, glaze the electrical tape with glue.
Insert the PCB in the glove.
To make the PCB fit, I had to cut a slot in the palm of the glove. I then covered the hole with red electrical tape. At the position where the push button is, I placed a small square of green electrical tape.
Step 8: Attach Glove to Base
Glue the bottom of the base to the wrist of the glove.
Step 9: Mount Spool on Motor
I inserted a small screw in the motor to lengthen the axle.
I then wrapped tape around the axle until the spool could just fit over the tape.
I glazed the tape with glue and slid the spool over it. At this point, I don't have any thread on the spool.
Step 10: Wrap Spool With Spring
I drilled a 1/8 hole in the spool. I screwed a small screw in the hole. I tied my string to the thread, as well.
I wrapped several meters of string around the spool.
Step 11: Attach Motor Mount
Make a hole for the pivot piece and secure it with a nut and bolt.
Step 12: Mount Motor to Pivot Piece
Glue the motor to the foam piece.
Step 13: Make Harpoon
Tie string to needle.
Insert the needle into the tail of the dart. You might need to trim the needle to make it fit.
Secure the needle with glue and epoxy.
Step 14: Attach Battery
Poke two holes at the bottom of the base. Secure the battery using the holes and elastics. Connect a battery snap connector to the 9v battery.
Solder the battery connector to the motor. Put a push button between the motor and battery.
Glue the push button in place.
Step 15: Aesthetics
I wrapped my web shooter with blue and red electrical tape to give it a better look.
Feel free to style your web shooter any way that you like.
Step 16: Test It Out!
Well give it a try!
Point your web shooter at a target, ensure your motor is oriented in the right position, and fire.
Rotate your motor and press the push button to reel your harpoon back.
While reeling back, you can use the hard stop to lock your motor in place.
Step 17: Make It Portable
Plug your web shooter into the power inverter.
Connect the power inverter to your 12 V Lead Acid Battery.
Turn your power inverter on.
Stuff all of the electronics inside of a backpack.
Swing the bag around your arms, and your ready to shoot webs anywhere.
Step 18: Future
I'm pretty happy with the web shooter design, but there are a few things I want to improve.
I plan on replacing the string with a stronger material. If you have any ideas, let me know.
I really want to retrieve a pop can with the web shooter. But, I don't see that happening any time soon.
I used a really old motor to power my winch. It had this very annoying whine. I plan on replacing the motor ASAP.
I have taken a look at other ways to build a coil gun/web shooter. This method seems like the easiest way to me. But, I am interested in other ways to make this device.
I would love to see any web shooters that you happen to produce.