Build your own mini catapult with magnets
A 3D printed mini catapult
Online since: 11/11/2021, Number of visits: 13524
Most people can only stay focused for one hour at a time, after which they should take a short break. My 3D printed mini catapult with magnets is perfect for that! Instead of playing office basketball as depicted in Hollywood films, I play with my desk catapult and the head of a LEGO® figure. To build the 6 cm mini catapult, I printed the individual parts on my 3D printer. With these catapult instructions, you can build your own small catapult:
The mini catapult consists of nine individual parts and two magnets. First, I drew the components of the catapult using my program for the 3D printer. To build your own mini catapult, you may download the blueprints here for free: .stl-file (360 KB).
Next, I printed the parts of the small catapult on the 3D printer and slightly filed the edges down where necessary. To assemble the catapult, you will also need the following materials:
I attached the small pot magnet below the catapult arm with the help of a lighter. I pushed the small plastic part that looks like a circle with a rod through the countersunk hole in the pot magnet. Using the lighter flame, I melted the plastic and pressed it onto a piece of smooth metal for a few seconds. This flattens the plastic, and it now holds the magnet in place without any added weight.
Note from the supermagnete team: Magnets are susceptible to heat. Therefore, be careful not to get too close to the magnet with the flame. Don’t hold the flame to the plastic for more than two seconds. As long as the flame doesn’t touch the magnet, the adhesive force should not be affected. Please also keep in mind that melting plastic releases toxic fumes that you should not inhale.
Now assemble the remaining parts of the little catapult.
To finish and for the catapult arm to be operational, I placed the disc magnet in front of me on the table and put the cavity in the bottom of the mini catapult over it. A magnetic field is created between the disc magnet and the pot magnet whereby they attract each other. This gives the mini catapult the necessary tension and momentum to shoot the LEGO® head. Now the catapult is ready for action.
Tip: If the magnets do not attract each other, you have put the disc magnet under the little catapult the wrong way round.
The bucket is of sufficient size to hold the head. Unfortunately, one of your LEGO® lads now has to run around headless. Place the head on the catapult arm and, using one finger, pull it back. Then aim and fire. A homemade mini basketball hoop makes a good target, or use a sturdy container. Take a look at the video below to see how well I did playing with the magnet catapult.
By the way: Those of you who would rather have a large catapult will have a lot of fun with my large magnetic catapult. You can find the video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pzhl_53Ikig
If the video for the mini catapult is not displayed, you can also watch the video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1ZYhNygfUw