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Creation of the Ping Pong Launcher.

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Justin Liu

on 23 March 2014

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Transcript of Creation of the Ping Pong Launcher.

Creation of the Ping Pong Launcher.
The First Step
My Idea
With all this gained knowledge, i was able to brainstorm many ideas on how to create an efficient and accurate ping pong launcher. After much thought the idea had popped into my mind. It will consist of a PVC pipe that will have a custom made piston at the end attached to a rubber band. This contraption will have a base with two wooden supports that are adjustable to change the angle. The custom made piston is attached to one end of the PVC pipe to create a base for the ping pong ball but also to supply different strengths when pulled back. The strength created by the piston comes from the distance that the elastic is pulled from the PVC pipe by the piston.
How to Make it?
Now that i have figured out my idea, next comes the concept of creation. In order to create this contraption, materials will be needed, costs must be taken into account, great amounts of testing will occur and adjustments to the prototype will take place. As well schematics must be made to gather a general sense of how this project will come together. There will be errors along the way but errors that can be fixed. All of these elements are needed to create the perfect ping pong launcher.
Materials Needed:
Wooden planks(2x4)/sheets
PVC Pipe
Rubber Band
Custom Made Piston (not necessarily wooden)
Wooden Base
My Schematic Diagram
In order to to create my ping pong launcher, i began to research variables such as the types of elasticity and the weight of a ping pong ball. As well, i had researched various designs of ping pong launchers that others had created to help form my idea of an ideal launcher. Some launchers that i had researched were the catapult launcher such as one that can be viewed on Khan Academy, slingshot launchers, and various others on google. To my surprise, many of these launchers were not powered by elasticity but gave me the idea of designs that would provide consistent results, good durability and fair shooting speed.
Works Cited
"All About Ping Pong Balls - Table Tennis Master." All About Ping Pong Balls - Table Tennis Master. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Jan. 2014.

Khan, Salman. "Ping Pong Ball Launcher Introduction." Khan Academy. N.p., Sept. 2006. Web. 02 Jan. 2014.

Khan, Salman. "Update and Modify Your Ping Pong Ball Launcher." YouTube. YouTube, 29 Sept. 2012. Web. 02 Jan. 2014.

Whiteoakart. "Types of Mechanical Springs." Instructables.com. Autodesk Inc., 2013. Web. 02 Jan. 2014.
Test Data
Prototype 1
Prototype 2
* Many of these materials are accessible due to personal family reasons therefore cost will be kept to a minimum.
By: Justin Liu
* Launcher cannot exceed the parameters 17x9x8.5 Inches
Types of Launchers
Elastic Slingshot Launcher
This Slingshot launcher shows how simple a ping pong launcher can be made and how effectively it can be used. It is a great design that allows ping pongs to be launched at fairly fast and consistent speeds. The only flaws are its durability, the materials are flimsy and can be easily broken, as well the trajectory angle cannot be changed therefore there is only one set angle while the elastic is held back giving only one set distance.
PVC Launcher
The PVC launcher is a great design because it allows for great consistency and power. Unlike the others, the ping pong ball is confined in an area allowing for great accuracy when shot. The only problem with this launcher is that elasticity is not the source of its power. Though accurate, the reloading time may be quite large due to the PVC length and also possibly dangerous.
Catapult Launcher
For this launcher, it is all around well built. It has great reload time, good durability and changeable accuracy. The only possible problem is human error, because there are so many elastics, many problems can occur while trying to operate this launcher.
Mouse Trap Launcher
The Mouse trap launcher is a very easy and affordable way to make a launcher. The mouse trap has great power and can shoot a ping pong ball well over 8 meters. Though it has great strength, it cannot control that strength therefore the distance cannot be altered. Without a base and a changeable angle, this launcher is very inaccurate and not trustable.
*Diagram Not to Scale
Student #: 069954022
Course Code: SPH4U1
Teacher: Ms,Ting
Test Data
Test | Power | Distance
1 Full 4 meters
2 Medium 2 meters
3 Strong 3 meters
Though the launcher had some accuracy, the power was lacking, as
a solution, the compression spring must be replaced and some alignment had to take place
Test Data
Test | Power | Angle | Distance | Elastics
1 2nd Notch 30 Degrees 2 meters 1 elastic
2 6th Notch 30 Degrees 4 meters 1 elastic
3 4th Notch 30 Degrees 6 meters 2 elastic
4 4th Notch 30 Degrees 8 meters 3 elastic
Thanks to all the adjustments, the ping pong launcher is now much more accurate, there is a significant increase of power allowing the ping pong to reach 8 meters and has a more consistent and faster reload rate. Though 45 degrees is the optimal angle, the restrictions of the launcher size allowed only a maximum of 30 degrees.

From what i learnt in prototype one, i have created a lock mechanism to control the power, two angle blocks to adjust the angle, feet to increase the height, and glued parts to improve accuracy.
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