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Homework Help: Egg Drop Project Parachutes

  1. Oct 27, 2007 #1
    I know there are already many threads on this topic but i could not find any that relate directly to my guidelines. I have to drop an egg from a height of about 40 ft., and i can only use cardboard and tape to protect it. The more it weighs, the lower my grade is, and the egg must be visible before the drop. Parachutes and helicopters are not allowed either: the egg must be freefalling.

    [I have tried several ideas, including a series of rings with the egg suspended in the middle, but none have even suceeded from past 13 ft. Any ideas?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 27, 2007 #2
    Cardboard and tape? Man, that's harsh. When I did it we got to use anything we wanted. Only graded on weight and time it took to fall (I think...). Ha, I remember my group just stuffed bubble-wrap in some styrofoam and that was enough.

    And 40ft? Wow.

    First of all, define "parachute". Anything that would slow the fall, or a specific parachute that looks like what people use?

    If you can I'd make a really fluffy ball of scotch tape with an opening for the egg. The fluffy ball will ensure that you have a huge volume, hence surface area, so that it will slow the fall. Also, scotch tape doesn't weight that much.
  4. Oct 27, 2007 #3
    yea unfortunately in this case parachute includes anything that will slow the fall nd scotch tapes not a bad idea but my teacher ahs 2 be able to see the egg well enough to put a mark on it with a sharpie
  5. Oct 27, 2007 #4
    Yeah, you'd make an opening that you'd stuff with more scotch tape when you put the egg in.

    But if the ball of tape is big enough, it will slow the fall. Would that count as a parachute?
  6. Oct 27, 2007 #5
    no, that would be fine
  7. Oct 27, 2007 #6
    Then there you go, a giant fluff ball of scotch tape. You have to make sure it's fluffy, though, not all lumped into a ball, because that won't help at all.

    And by giant, I mean it will probably be like 5 feet in diameter. It's scotch tape. Not exactly intended for cushioning.

    You might also want to put all of that into a cardboard box, so that the box takes the brunt of the force and transfers it around the egg, and the tape just cushions the egg inside the box.
  8. Oct 27, 2007 #7
    yea but the ball idea mite not be approved because he has 2 be able to touch the egg w/ the marker after it is in the design. And it has to be able to be taken out and redropped 3 times.
  9. Oct 28, 2007 #8
    Figure out a way to translate the vertical momentum into angular momentum.

    Like have an arm with a hat sticking out so that it points up when you drop it (or goes that way when it's dropped some other way) and then another arm sticking out that hits the ground before anything else, causing the thing to spin.

    Alternately, get some really fluffy tape. Something that is covered in fur is preferable.
  10. Oct 28, 2007 #9
    Dude, I think I got it.

    Check this: (attachment)

    So it's like a tripod on the bottom, or 4 legs if you want.

    The top has a hat on it of sorts so that when you drop it, the whole thing positions itself correctly.

    Then under the tripod shape there is a "sack" containing the egg and liberal amounts of tape for cushioning. Make sure to strip the glue from the tape first, so that it doesn't stick.

    If the hat part isn't legal, then put more legs on it in such a way that the brunt of the force is transfered through the legs, not into the sack.

    Attached Files:

    • Egg.JPG
      File size:
      8.9 KB
  11. Oct 28, 2007 #10
    You can take a small carboard box cut a hole in it make sure the eggs is secure, but first use lots of tape place inside the box and wrap around the box, use electrical tape that is usally soft.
  12. Oct 28, 2007 #11
    The legs idea sounds like it may work but i have to try to stay away from using tape as cushioning because it adds a lot of weight, and it makes the egg unable to be seen, which isnt allowed.
  13. Oct 28, 2007 #12
    I like this one :approve: but there are some things you might want to know, like the weight of the egg, and the force it can stand without breaking.

    Anyways, I thought that if the egg could be reliably dropped into a steep sided cardboard funnel, designed not to knock it sideways much, but just to land on a pneumatic carrier piston. If the egg does not hit the sides of the funnel at all, or your aim is good, or the carrier piston is just plain large enough diameter, then don't bother with the funnel bit.

    The piston is made of taped up cardboard, and plunges through a tube also made of cardboard, with enough gap around the sides (or maybe a hole through) to de-celerate the egg in your home-made cardboard gas strut. Test it out with stones to get it right before dropping an egg.

    You need to capture this egg, and control its motion. Put a final zig-zag of cardboard strip in the bottom of the tube like a spring to ensure a no-shock landing, and take care the zigzags are not so large they lock up in the tube.

    Please post your figuring of a arrival speed.
    Hmm.. OK then, maybe it was not all such a good plan. :blushing:
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2007
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