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Homework Help: How do you make an eraser launcher using pill container?

  1. Feb 4, 2010 #1
    I want to launch an eraser through the air and it should land inside a garbage can 10 meters away from the launch site and it will be laying at a 30 degree angle to the ground.

    i need to use a combustion chamber made out of a container (max 65 mL), i need to use fuel, a sparker , an eraser from the end of a pencil, a barrel to put the eraser at the end, and the launcher should be mounted at an angle.

    a) How should i make this launcher?

    b) What is the best way to make this eraser launcher so that is projects with great force?

    c) Should i use a small container like a pill container?

    d) What are some safety precautions i should take when launching this?

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2010 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Sounds like a school project. Why don't you tell us your ideas and the tradeoffs of doing it different ways...
  4. Feb 4, 2010 #3
    using the gas produced (CO2) from putting an alka- seltzer tablet in water . I can experiment with different sized containers to get the maximum pressure that will blow off the top . Then making a small hole that will fit the eraser will blow it out with force.
    wear protective glasses for your eyes.
    but this doesn't use the sparker idea doesn't use a sparker and i need to.
    How should i do it?
  5. Feb 4, 2010 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    Good! My son did a Science Fair project based on the Alka Seltzer launcher -- fun stuff.

    I find it hard to believe that a requirement for your school project is to use pyrotechnics (things that require an ignition source to cause the expansion). Extremely hard to believe, especially since they go so far as to ask about safety consideratioins.

    The method you mentioned is a good way to do it. Another might be to use the small CO2 containers that are used in paintball guns. you could rig up some way to discharge a measured amount of the CO@ per shot (research how paintball guns do it.

    Stay away from the fire and boom stuff.
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