Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Project #8 - Catapult Range Finished

This project was remade from the first prototype and it was ready for my Cambridge workshop on the 13th, it's just taken me an additional 2 weeks to actually write about it. The principle is very much the same, I have fully enclosed the range with perspex to make it better at keeping the ammo in the range but also added a few other features.

This time I ran the strings over the top of the board. It was easier than worrying about routing the string past the braces on the underside of the board but also it allows the kids to see a greater connection between the levers and the targets. In Cambridge nobody asked what the levers were for so I guess it served it's purpose. The levers are now vertically mounted so that gravity pulls them down again, this makes the string slack while resting and the targets more likely to fall over. The targets themselves are now bolted to the base board rather than glued, this makes them nigh on impossible to break off with catapult shot. 

While in operation balls were getting stuck behind parts and we were having to remove the framework to get a hand in there and free parts up, I removed most of the natural ledges to limit this from happening and now balls only get stuck behind the targets. I made the rear third of the perspex screen an access panel. It can be lifted high enough to get a hand under and the balls can be moved as appropriate.

When not in use the catapult range is largely empty space, there is a big volume that could be minimised for transport and storage. The rear wall and lid can be removed, the two perspex side walls are hinged so they can be folded into the range. All the targets go flat so they aren't in the way. The whole range can be stored vertically and carried under one arm which should make it easy to get in and out of maker faires. Come and try it for yourself at the upcoming Derby Mini Maker Faire