Pumpkin Chunkin: Human Powered Class

Launching an 8 to 10 pound pumpkin as far as possible with the use of a machine

  1. Concept
  2. Solution
  3. Result
  • Concept

    Best Launching Design

    Best Launching Design

    The World Championship Punkin' Chunkin' is an annual event held in Delaware. The object of the event is to launch an 8 to 10 pound pumpkin as far as possible with the use of a machine. There are several classes of launchers to choose from (trebuchet, catapult, centrifugal, air cannon, etc...) all of which must adhere to a list of competition and class specific rules. Budget, size, weight, energy generation, transportation, and many other factors will influence our solution to this problem.

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  • Solution

    Floating Arm Trebuchet

    Floating Arm Trebuchet

    We have designed and analyzed a floating arm trebuchet that makes use of a 1000 pound counterweight. Initially conceived in Solidworks, we analyzed our frame for a worst case scenario in Staad Pro. After analysis, several extra supports were added to the initial wooden frame for stability. A 1/5th scale prototype was successfully built and tested which showed the dynamics of our system are viable and reliable. The idea is that the counterweight and throwing arm move in two separate linear motions that are guided by tracks.

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  • Result

    Coming Soon

    Coming Soon

    Unfortunately, the annual event held in Delaware was canceled one month before the competition was slated to begin. Rowan University does a similar event, however their's is based on accuracy, not distance, which is what we designed for. We scaled back our design to use about a 100 pound counterweight while retaining frame dimensions. At the Rowan University Punkin' Chunk, our trebuchet successfully launched twice, with great accuracy, striking in nearly identical spots. On the fourth shot, the launch arm broke and could not be repaired on site. We still intend to shoot for distance the week of Thanksgiving break, and our results will be provided here when we successfully launch for distance.

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