I was involved in a discussion about the Maker movement a couple of weeks ago. In this discussion, I stated that everyone could be a Maker since the barrier for entry is effectively zero. You can make with whatever you have on hand. The other party pointed out that the most popular Maker activities involved technology, such as CNC milling, laser cutting, wood/metal work, or 3D printing. I conceded the point.

That got me thinking: why don’t we showcase simple projects more often? I don’t mean something simple for someone with a shop full of tools, but something that you can build at your desk. With that, the tiny trebuchet was born.

This project uses less than $10 worth of materials, requires no tools more complicated than a pair of scissors, and can be completed in an afternoon. I built my first prototype in two hours. It didn’t work, so I built another. The video above showcases the third revision. While there’s still plenty of room for improvement, I think it gets my point across: you can make something from, effectively, nothing.

Philosophy aside, trebuchets are really fun. If I worked in an office, I would never get tired of flinging paper clips and office supplies at my co-workers. Having said that, I’d probably get fired for being insufferably annoying. Oh well.