MadSci Network: Engineering

Re: What would be an efficient way to construct a ping pong launcher?

Date: Tue Feb 5 16:52:08 2008
Posted By: David and John Free, Post-doc/Fellow, MFA, MFA
Area of science: Engineering
ID: 1197142157.Eg

Hi Jeffrey

Well If I were you Id use a spring. We compress it to the bottom of the 
launcher tube. Here it is held by a simple trigger. We release this 
trigger to fire the ball.

Ping pong balls are very big for their weight. So air resistance is very 
important and makes calculation what you will hit very difficult. Start 
with the tube inclined at 50 degrees from the horizontal and do some 
With a table-tennis bat you can hit the ball 5 meters. So your spring 
will have to give the ball that much speed.
If you are trying this out-of-doors, any wind will make results highly 


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