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Trebuchet vs Catapult

The trebuchet originated in the medieval ages in china in the early 4th century B.C and then came to Europe in the 6th century AD. The trebuchet lasted in the battlefields of Europe for almost 10 centuries. It was used as siege weapon in the battlefield. It was an effective weapon because it could hurl huge boulders of rock or fireballs at the enemy at great distances and causing maximum damage. The trebuchet involved a lot of mathematical calculations ad effort to build. Huge trebuchet hurling massive projectiles at the enemy ensured victory for the armies using it. The early trebuchets were made mainly out of wood. One can say that the trebuchet is like a catapult. It indeed is except that the catapult and the trebuchet work on two different natural forces. The catapults were extremely efficient and effective devices of war. They had a reach of about 500 yards and were extremely accurate, especially at a close range. However, they could only launch arrows and were incapable of launching bigger objects at the enemy at a farther distance. The catapult launches projectiles with the help of the built up tension in the strings, on the hand, the trebuchet hurls projectile using gravity, counter weight and centrifugal forces. The trebuchet is essentially a simple lever with a heavy counterweight on one end of the pivoting lever. The trebuchet uses the natural forces of gravity acting on the heavy counterweight to creating a terrific throwing power. The centrifugal forces play a key role in the launching of the projectiles.

Trebuchet blueprints

The sling in the other end of the lever enhances the centrifugal force acting on the projectile, thus obtaining greater distance. The sling pulls the harness containing the projectile skywards, creating an arc path, which launches the projectile skywards. The use of the natural forces helped in creating a awesome force of launching materials without any help of an additional fuel or explosives. This engineering marvel is still found today. It has come from the battlefields to the backyards of many people. The trebuchet today, is a source of fun for many. It is a great learning experience and one can build it for fun. Building a trebuchet is not a complicated process and you do not need any special materials to construct a trebuchet. There are many different designs of trebuchets. Each of them have their own advantages and drawbacks. The most effective trebuchet would be the one that consists of the long pivoting lever with the help of the heavy counterweight swinging down from a high end sending the projectiles skywards. If you have any trebuchet building plans, then there are many trebuchet blueprints available in the internet. One can refer the numerous trebuchet plans and select the appropriate design to suit our needs. the first thing one should do after selecting the appropriate trebuchet plan, is deciding on the size of the trebuchet you would like to construct. If you want to launch bigger projectiles to greater distances, then the size of the trebuchet will have to be bigger.


The bigger the trebuchet, the farther you can hurl the projectiles. Another thing you will have to consider is if you would like to use any premade trebuchet kits or designs that will make your job easier. Using the premade kits would be an excellent option for beginners. A trebuchet can be constructed from simple materials like wood. The suitable measurement for constructing a small trebuchet would be around 1”x2” pine for all the pieces used for construction. A bigger model, about 10ft would require something more 2”x4” of measurement. After sorting out the measurement, you will need to fix the sling. A sling can be made from any cloth. The cloth needs to be attached to both ends to the length of the string. Finding a suitable counterweight is also not difficult. Anything heavy to create enough centrifugal force would do the job. A box of rocks or metal should be fine. Once you have completed these tasks, the trigger and mechanism will require some attention. The release pin is one of the most complicated part of building a trebuchet. The release pin must be angled in an appropriate manner to ensure the sling releases in an angle close to 45 degrees. Attaining the correct angle will help in achieving greater precision and distance.

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