This is the Team PB Ball Drop page; Team PB won the Ball Drop.
The Design Process
After receiving our materials, which included a rubber band, duct tape, a paper bag, a plastic bag, a paper sign, a foam tube, two skewers, and a tennis ball, our first idea was to use the rubber band to launch the tennis ball. The idea of a simple sligshot, possibly aided by a ramp or track made of the sign or skewers, came up. We also contemplated automated throwing arm and shot-gun ideas. Momentarily, we contemplated making a balloon-motor out of the plastic bag, a bat out of the foam tube, and glider from the plastic bag. Another main idea that we discussed was creating a zipeline out of tape and any other necessary materials. Though enchanting, we circled back to the idea of using the rubber band to project the ball forward. Upon the process of construction, we discussed various sling-shot methods, including setting the skewers into a base of foam with duct tape and launching the ball with the skewers as a ramp.
The construction of our launching device started with finalizing our brainstorming. Our first course of action was to narrow down our list of options to the truly viable ideas. As such, we whittled down the list to only two ideas, a zipline and a piston-like launcher, as our final designs. However, we could not decide between either idea, so eventually decided to split our resources in half and attempt to make both devices and use the superior device for the contest. After some testing, we discovered that the zipline (constructed from duct tape, string, the paper bag, and the cardboard duct tape roll) would hypothetically travel the farthest distance unless the launcher could be modified using more resources that were unfortunately unavailable to us.Therefore we finalized the zipline idea and tried testing out immediately after construction. However, we encountered some difficulties testing out the zipline properly on that same day because of the wind so two of our group members volunteered to test it on another day where there was less environmental interference. These tests were ultimately successful, and that success has garnered victory! TEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM P.B.!
The zipline was made of the duct tape we received. We cut the duct tape into fourths in order to increase the length of the zipline and then folded each fourth in half with the sticky side on the inside. The fourths were taped together with the remaining duct tape. The device carrying the tennis ball consisted of the cardboard roll that the tape had originally been rolled around, a piece of string that was looped and knotted around the roll, and a brown paper bag, which was attached to the other end of the string, that contained the tennis ball. The tape roll was then placed through the line of tape to form our zipline.