Build the Launcher

To build our launching platform we'll need a couple large pieces of scrap cardboard. A pen and ruler can be helpful for marking where you want to cut.

If you don't have an X-acto knife or similar, the 3D printed handle pictured in this guide can be found on Thingiverse and pairs well with standard utility knife blades to make an excellent hobby knife.

Be careful using a hobby knife, they are sharp! Have someone help you if you need help.

Trace the outline for your handle on a large section of cardboard.

 

Cut around the outside using scissors. A knife is useful for cutting out the inner portions.

 

Cut out two copies. This will ensure the handle is substantial enough to mount everything else on.

 

Glue both sides together. A glue stick, white glue or hot glue will work in this situation.

 

Press hard for 15 seconds, wait for glue to take hold.

Cut out a "runway", about 3 inches wide and long enough to extend 2 inches past the end of your handle. 

Also cut out two "guide rails". These should about 1 inch tall and a couple inches shorter than the length of the handle.

WARNING! BURN HAZARD! Hot glue is very sticky and it's easy to accidentally burn your fingertips. Be careful when using it.

Glue runway to handle.

 

Leave excess length hanging off front end.

 

Center rails on runway, use hot glue to stick in place.

 

Guide rails should be about 1/2" - 3/4" apart.

 

 

Once you have a nice looking cardboard launch platform we can move on to electrifying it.

This guide was first published on Aug 27, 2018. It was last updated on Aug 27, 2018. This page (Build the Launcher) was last updated on Dec 02, 2019.