Pneumatic Catapult?

I currently have a slip gear dual-ball catapult that works fairly well, but I am considering trying to build a pneumatic catapult. I’ve considered it for a while, but I thought I’d get some more opinions about the idea. Is it worth getting rid of the two extra motors? Would it have a wide enough range of motion? Would the PSI be great enough to push down the tension needed for a consistent shot? Would it be easier to program? Any opinions, positive or negative about the idea, are greatly appreciated.

The ~300mL worth of tanks that you are allowed at 100psi is about 200J worth of energy. This is about the output of 10 seconds of two V5 motors at 11W each. If you just need raw power for charging a catapult, motors are going to be the way to go. Pneumatics would be more useful for things that need to happen quickly, linearly, or infrequently.

Do you suppose if the power, rather that using the pistons to hold the catapult down, had no rubber bands and used the filling of the air in the pistons to push the catapult to fire. Would the power of the filling pistons (x2 or x4 Pistons) would be great enough to be equivalent to a slip gear with rubber bands?

You might be able to get a couple of OK shots. You will run into problems with inconsistency as the pressure in the tanks drops, though.

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Oh, true. So do you think it would be very unlikely to have a consistent shot with the pistons pushing the catapult down with rubber bands pulling upward or do you think the pistons wouldn’t give enough force consistently?

I wouldn’t recommend a pneumatic catapult, but if you want to give it a shot, go for it. I suggest using the pistons to pull the catapult down, and use rubber bands to fire it as then your shots will be consistent.

How many shots do you suppose you could get out of one or two air reservoirs before either A. There isn’t enough air left to push it down. Or B. The shots become inconsistent?

well, the shots should always be consistent if you use bands to pull the catapult back up, buut, it would probably run out of air really quickly

I like the out-of-the-box thinking. You’d want to put the piston on the outside of the catapult. That is, not underneath it. This would allow for more leverage, depending on exact placement.

While I do agree with @Xenon27 , I would like to see pneumatics succcessfully used in a shooter this season. Even if it’s just an off-season build.

I think a pneumatic puncher would probably be easier, If you really want to make a pneumatic launcher

You might like these threads.

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