This DIY project uses lower than $10 worth of supplies, mostly household items, requires no tools more sophisticated than a pair of scissors, and could be built in a couple of hours at max. It can fire small paper missiles etc. Bill Livolsi, from makerzine.com, constructed his first prototype in two hours. It didn’t work, so he constructed another one. The video above showcases his third attempt for the benefit of the viewers. Although there is a lot of room for improvement in this simple design, he believes it will get his point across: “you can make something from, effectively, nothing.”
Some nuts or washers (for weight), wooden sticks (less than $6), scissors, glue, toothpick, thread or string and some paper. Here you go:
A bit of history
Trebuchets, a kind of siege weapons, that we mostly see (in movies?) are “counterweight trebuchet”, which uses a counterweight to swing its arm. They first appeared in the 12th century AD in both Muslim and Christian lands around the Mediterranean and made its way to China via Mongol conquests in the 13th century. The first trebuchets actually were ‘traction trebuchet’ thought to be invented by the Chinese in the 4th century AD. Instead of a counterweight to fire the projectile, the traction trebuchet had many ropes which people pulled together to swing the arm!
Trebuchets are really fun. We hope you try this project and never get tired of flinging papers across. If possible, do record it or take pictures and send them to us so we can feature them on this page 🙂