2015 Assignment (25%)

Submission: Hardcopy

You may work alone or with a partner. If working with

a partner, both will be awarded the same mark.

Dr Kevin Hayward

School of Engineering

1

Assignment

Simulate the motion of a ping pong ball being launched from a lego

catapult arm.

2

You will need to complete the following:

• Calculate the projectile motion of a ping pong ball

(with drag).

• Calculate the motion of a catapult arm with a fixed

(i.e. non-pivoting) mass.

• Calculate the motion of a catapult arm with a freely

pivoting mass.

• Compare your results to a constructed lego device

(Lab 2)

• Investigate the effects of altering the following:

• Mass

• Length of arm

• Location of the arm pivot

• Launch angle

• Using previous calculation and study design a lego

arm to launch the ping pong ball as far as possible,

providing predictions of the achieved flight

distance.

Assignment

Simulate the motion of a ping pong ball being launched from a lego

catapult arm.

3

Some simplifying assumptions will be made:

• The base of the pivot is fixed (i.e. no wheels, and

enough weight to hold it down)

• Only use the weight of the control “brick”,

Investigate the effect of mass using the

calculations only.

• The launch is assumed to happen without any

breeze affecting it.

Assignment

Simulate the motion of a ping pong ball being launched from a lego

catapult arm.

4

Some things you may want to consider:

Lab 2 will be made available for you to take

measurements, you may want to determine the

following:

• Mass / Density properties of the lego

• Geometry of the lego

• Dimensions / mass of the ball

• Video footage of arm in action

• Investigate different combinations of design

parameters.

Assignment

Simulate the motion of a ping pong ball being launched from a lego

catapult arm.

5

Some things you almost certainly will need in your

report:

• Calculations of inertia

• Plots of location of important points on the arm

(i.e. COG locations) throughout the motion

• Consideration of coordinate systems

• Full working and reasoning

• Neat presentation and organisation

Other good ideas include:

• Animation of your design (this can be quite simple)

• Decent diagrams and graphs

Assignment

Simulate the motion of a ping pong ball being launched from a lego

catapult arm.

6

Some things you almost certainly will need in your

report:

• Calculations of inertia

• Plots of location of important points on the arm

(i.e. COG locations) throughout the motion

• Consideration of coordinate systems

• Full working and reasoning

• Neat presentation and organisation

Other good ideas include:

• Animation of your design (this can be quite simple)

• Decent diagrams and graphs

Hints

Break the project up into smaller more attainable steps.

Research the problem. This has been done before. But be wary

some of the solutions found online are incorrect, or over-simplified.

State your assumptions and simplifications with decent justification.

Plan your time for Lab 2

Work continuously, this is too big an assignment to do in the last

evening. A poor report will be marked accordingly

This is an engineering report. It should contain no waffle, but should

fully describe calculations so other people can verify your work (in

this case your lecturer).

This is not a simple maths problem, there is no immediate correct

answer. This is more of an optimisation problem.

7

Submission: Hardcopy

You may work alone or with a partner. If working with

a partner, both will be awarded the same mark.

Dr Kevin Hayward

School of Engineering

1

Assignment

Simulate the motion of a ping pong ball being launched from a lego

catapult arm.

2

You will need to complete the following:

• Calculate the projectile motion of a ping pong ball

(with drag).

• Calculate the motion of a catapult arm with a fixed

(i.e. non-pivoting) mass.

• Calculate the motion of a catapult arm with a freely

pivoting mass.

• Compare your results to a constructed lego device

(Lab 2)

• Investigate the effects of altering the following:

• Mass

• Length of arm

• Location of the arm pivot

• Launch angle

• Using previous calculation and study design a lego

arm to launch the ping pong ball as far as possible,

providing predictions of the achieved flight

distance.

Assignment

Simulate the motion of a ping pong ball being launched from a lego

catapult arm.

3

Some simplifying assumptions will be made:

• The base of the pivot is fixed (i.e. no wheels, and

enough weight to hold it down)

• Only use the weight of the control “brick”,

Investigate the effect of mass using the

calculations only.

• The launch is assumed to happen without any

breeze affecting it.

Assignment

Simulate the motion of a ping pong ball being launched from a lego

catapult arm.

4

Some things you may want to consider:

Lab 2 will be made available for you to take

measurements, you may want to determine the

following:

• Mass / Density properties of the lego

• Geometry of the lego

• Dimensions / mass of the ball

• Video footage of arm in action

• Investigate different combinations of design

parameters.

Assignment

Simulate the motion of a ping pong ball being launched from a lego

catapult arm.

5

Some things you almost certainly will need in your

report:

• Calculations of inertia

• Plots of location of important points on the arm

(i.e. COG locations) throughout the motion

• Consideration of coordinate systems

• Full working and reasoning

• Neat presentation and organisation

Other good ideas include:

• Animation of your design (this can be quite simple)

• Decent diagrams and graphs

Assignment

Simulate the motion of a ping pong ball being launched from a lego

catapult arm.

6

Some things you almost certainly will need in your

report:

• Calculations of inertia

• Plots of location of important points on the arm

(i.e. COG locations) throughout the motion

• Consideration of coordinate systems

• Full working and reasoning

• Neat presentation and organisation

Other good ideas include:

• Animation of your design (this can be quite simple)

• Decent diagrams and graphs

Hints

Break the project up into smaller more attainable steps.

Research the problem. This has been done before. But be wary

some of the solutions found online are incorrect, or over-simplified.

State your assumptions and simplifications with decent justification.

Plan your time for Lab 2

Work continuously, this is too big an assignment to do in the last

evening. A poor report will be marked accordingly

This is an engineering report. It should contain no waffle, but should

fully describe calculations so other people can verify your work (in

this case your lecturer).

This is not a simple maths problem, there is no immediate correct

answer. This is more of an optimisation problem.

7

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