Tuesday, June 9, 2015

We are still on the “castle theme” at home, and I thought that this would be a good time to pull a project that was on my “to do” list for a long time and to make a catapult. My husband got interested in the matter of catapults, and put together this Lego catapult in about 10 minutes. I will explain the principle in this post, so you and your kids can build your own too.
Build a Lego Catapult

Parts of the Catapult

Any catapult has some principal pieces – a throwing arm, a mechanism that will provide power to a throwing arm, and a “catapult lock” to hold a throwing arm in place. Obviously, a throwing art will need to move, so my husband used a few special Lego pieces to construct an axle for this catapult
Our throwing art was built with several thin 2x16 plates. It’s important to have several of those plates overlapping to add stability, otherwise your Lego piece might snap. Also, leave a gap for a rubber band between plates, this is what will give your catapult its power. Here is an upside-down view of a throwing arm.
Catapult Throwing Arm
Our hooks were specialty pieces, but you could just use studs to keep the rubber band in place. Hooks and caps, however, made it look a little prettier. You might want to experiment with the height of your catapult and position of your rubber band to ensure that the throwing arm has enough launch power to go straight up when launched.
Finally, you could just use your finger to hold the catapult down and then release it, but the catapult lock is a more “elegant” solution for this problem. My husband used a hinge piece that came with one of the sets to make his catapult lock.

Boy-Girl Catapults

My husband also showed Smarty how to make a very simple “seesaw” catapult and we all had good time having a war with foam 3D shapes. Smarty couldn’t wait for her best friend to come over for a playdate to build some catapults with him. Both of them decided that their catapults need to be decorated. It was too funny to see “boy catapult” vs. “girl catapult”.Lego-Building
Boy catapult actually had a moving arm even though it had a tendency to fall off… It also had a driving wheel (but no wheels), and a computer monitor.
Boy Catapult
Smarty’s “girl catapult” had to have flowers and a lot of other decorative components including a pirate hat. I am sure enemies would flee in horror seeing her catapult on the battle field.Girl Catapult

3D Printer Catapult

Talking about catapults also prompted my husband to design a tiny Lego sized catapult and print it on our 3D Printer. Now he is working on a bigger Playmobil-size model that will also have wheels. It will be an awesome addition to our DIY Castle for Playmobil characters!
3D Printer Catapult

Your Turn

How to Build a Lego Catapult
Did you build a catapult with your kids yet? What kind?

More Catapults for Kids?

Also check out this round up from Fun-a-Day to be inspired!

More Lego on Planet Smarty Pants

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maryanne @ mama smiles said...

I love the boy vs girl catapults!

What kind of 3D printer do you have? Are you happy with it? That is on our wishlist to own, someday.

Ticia said...

We had a kit for building our different catapults. The best one was from the Renaissance Festival......

And the boy v. girl catapults are hilarious. I'm sure there would be similar results here.

Erin @ Nourishing My Scholar said...

This is so awesome! My son loves legos and catapults!