Matthias Wandel publishes on YouTube and a blog about building a rapid firing motorized machine catapult out of Lego. The latest design shoots plastic baby food caps at a rate of about once per second. It uses a rack and pinion mechanism to tension the catapult, then pulls back the mechanism and loads a cap before releasing.
I had the idea of building a better motorized repeating shooter out of Lego. Searching for “lego machine gun”, I came across a lot of models of machine guns, but at best these shot rubber bands. The closest to what I could find was this video, but, ironically, that machine gun was one I designed and published in 2001, the very design I wanted to improve on!
A catapult would be a more effective way of throwing something fast (lever advantage), so I started with designing a catapult mechanism.
I wanted to make it so the catapult arm would have as little encumbrance to swinging as possible, which meant the whole pull back mechanism should be decoupled from the catapult when it’s released to fire.
Are you a LEGO fan? Let us know in the comments below.
8-6-2021 (August 6, 2021) is the Snakiest day of the year and it’s also this year’s CircuitPython Day! The day highlights all things CircuitPython and Python on Hardware. See you there!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.