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Pumpkin Chunk'n Contest

It's on. My friend and I are going to build a chunker. We've got some ideas. I know that many of the people on this board are engineers & such. You wanna help and we want your help.

Ok, so we've come up with some ideas for the device:

1. Air Power

It's a trebuchet device but instead of using counter weights we are going to use air pressure. We're going to build 1 or more pressure cylinders to push the arm. This is the easier of the two.

2. Electrics

This will be the same as above but with a powerful solenoid to do the pushing. If this is the case the Elecro stuff will be designed by a friend (Masters MIT & PHD CMU in elecro stuff). This may have the advantage of being more powerful but MUCH more costly and complicated.


Design:

The Trebuchet device will be in an offset “T” shape. The main bar will be designed so that it balances out with an 8-10 pound pumpkin on the end. The MAX length we want to go is 10’ for ease of transportation. If we can build an extendable design then we might go longer. The bottom of the T will be offset to allow for power vs. speed. We’re trying to build it so that the cylinders don’t have to move much to create the speed at the end of the device. That way we limit movement once the cycle is complete and it’s easier to slow down safely. We’re also thinking a mechanism to make the release angle adjustable and also a spring system to slow it down nicely.

Any/all ideas are welcome. I didn’t quite cover everything but I figure you guys are smart enough to find a better way of doing it anyhow.
know[/B] that many of the people on this board are engineers & such. You wanna help and we want your help.

Ok, so we've come up with some ideas for the device:

1. Air Power

It's a trebuchet device but instead of using counter weights we are going to use air pressure. We're going to build 1 or more pressure cylinders to push the arm. This is the easier of the two.

2. Electrics

This will be the same as above but with a powerful solenoid to do the pushing. If this is the case the Elecro stuff will be designed by a friend (Masters MIT & PHD CMU in elecro stuff). This may have the advantage of being more powerful but MUCH more costly and complicated.


Design:

The Trebuchet device will be in an offset “T” shape. The main bar will be designed so that it balances out with an 8-10 pound pumpkin on the end. The MAX length we want to go is 10’ for ease of transportation. If we can build an extendable design then we might go longer. The bottom of the T will be offset to allow for power vs. speed. We’re trying to build it so that the cylinders don’t have to move much to create the speed at the end of the device. That way we limit movement once the cycle is complete and it’s easier to slow down safely. We’re also thinking a mechanism to make the release angle adjustable and also a spring system to slow it down nicely.
 
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