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Who said making a Trebuchet has to be an all day project? This version took less than 2 hours to build and the results are great. The tennis ball flew 30′, which is fairly impressive. You should be able to get even better results some slight modifications.

The purpose of this project was to design and create a working model trebuchet – capable of launching tennis balls – and manufactured from scrap materials in as short a time as possible.

With that in mind, it’s not going to be a beautiful, efficient or durable machine, but hopefully it will still work…

How to Make a Trebuchet in 2 hours

Marc de Vinck

I’m currently working full time as the Dexter F. Baker Professor of Practice in Creativity in the Masters of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship Program at Lehigh University. I’m also an avid product designer, kit maker, author, father, tinkerer, and member of the MAKE Technical Advisory board.


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Comments

  1. Aud1073cH says:

    Trebs are cool!

    There are lots of adjustments to play with.

    You can change where the pivot point is on the swing arm – the long end should be three to four and a half times as long as the short end. (1/4 to 1/5 from one end of the beam)
    -my tongue depressor trebuchet has the pivot 1/4 from one end.

    The counterweight should be about 100 times as heavy as the missile. (not less than 80 times the mass) so another brick may help.

    the length of the sling and angle of the release pin can be adjusted to find the perfect 45 degree angle of release.

    My tongue depressor treb is a little smaller, and fires a 1oz. mouse ball, and reaches 35ft, so I bet you can get more distance with that tennis ball. I built a counterweight basket, so I can add/remove lead fishing weights to get the perfect counterweight.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/aud1073ch/tags/trebuchet/

    there are two good simulators out there to look for to help with calculations: Atreb and FAT/F2K

    1. Marc de Vinck says:

      @Aud1073cH

      Thanks for all the great information! Readers like you make really make a difference. Thanks again!

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