Workshop Wars Mini-Challenge : LUSENET : Junkyard Wars : One Thread

We held a mini-challenge during our lunch hour at work last week. The task was released on the previous Friday afternoon and the competition was Monday at noon. We've titled our contest "Workshop Wars" since the material was to be raided out of our workshops & garages. We also set a limit of $15 to be spent at the hardware store, if necessary.

The challenge was to build a dart launcher capable of launching a dart at a standard height dartboard. We had three types of entries: compressed air, catapult, and rubber band sling shot. The winning entry was a compressed air stationary cannon. The total distance off-center for 6 shots at the bullseye was 3.5 inches. Nearly every shot from this machine was in the same location, within fractions. The second place team also used compressed air, but the contraption was a hand-held bazooka arrangement, which created inaccuracies in aiming. What this launcher lacked in accuracy, it made up in power and distance. With a cylinder pressure of approx. 200 psig, the bazooka was capable of driving a dart up to the hilt into 3/4" plywood at a distance of 80 feet.

We have another challenge scheduled for next month. Can't wait!

-- Eric Eichler (, January 16, 2001

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