Fet 1 Trebuchet You are going to create a trebuchet and launch projectiles with it. Background

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FET 4.1


You are going to create a trebuchet and launch projectiles with it.


A trebuchet is a siege weapon used primarily in the middle ages. It uses a lever and a counterweight to gain mechanical advantage to launch a projectile. You are going to build your own trebuchet from materials you “purchase” from RebelTech Hardware. Other than the criteria/constraints below, the design is very much up to you.

Design Notebook

  • You will record everything you do in your design notebook. You may create it by hand, in Word, or both.

  • It should contain a section for each phase of the design process. The information in the notebook must be organized and placed into the appropriate sections.

  • The notebook text must in your words – no copy/paste, no word-for-word retyping.

  • Drawings must be drawn by you from scratch, either electronically or by hand. You may use drawings or plans from the web, but you must redraw them.

  • Notebook contents:

  • Project name and team members’ names.

  • Description of the project.

  • Detailed description and history of a trebuchet – what it is, what it was used for, who used it and when, etc.

  • Definition and description of the mechanical advantage of a lever and how to calculate it.

  • All criteria and constraints.

  • Simple sketches of 3 possible designs. Should include all parts and the overall dimensions (L/W/H) of the assembled trebuchet (you don’t need dimensions of each individual part on these).

  • Evidence of discussion related to the 3 designs, including advantages and disadvantages of each one.

  • Identification of the design you pick (can be one of the 3 or a combination), reasons why you chose it, and reasons why you didn’t choose the others.

  • DETAILED drawings of your chosen design. You should at least include separate drawings of: 1) the side view of the trebuchet; 2) the top view of the trebuchet; 3) the trigger mechanism; 4) the sling. Include all parts, the dimensions of all parts, and the overall dimension. These should be neat, professional-looking, and detailed enough that another team could look at your drawings and build it.

  • Detailed calculation of the mechanical advantage of your designed trebuchet’s throwing arm.

  • DETAILED step-by-step instructions on how to build your trebuchet. You can do this as you build it.

  • A test plan that includes a description of each test you do, your expected results, and the actual results.

  • Description of any changes you had to make to your trebuchet during or after testing.

  • Results of your final official testing, including distance and accuracy measurements and any adjustments you make between launches.

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