Mass Driver

The mass driver.

The Challenge: To design a device which can hurl a ball of clay and a piece of paper at a target located along the centerline of a table, in competition with a similar device at the other end of the table.

Technical Approach: Machined and assembled a device out of red oak which could be aimed very accurately and was adjustable to accommodate the difference in weight between clay and paper.

Selected Design Features: Clay or paper was placed in a carriage that slid along a dovetailed track. Propulsion power was derived from several rubber bands, and the carriage was released by pulling on a pin. Aiming was accomplished by setting the pan and tilt angles of the track, while the amount of power was regulated by allowing a predetermined amount of slack in a stopping string