Biomechanics and Catapults

Last week I had a blast teaching 13 students from the Field Museum’s Digital Learning Department the basics of the 3D modeling program SketchUp. With the help of the Museum’s Fabrication Department and their two ShopBots, the students began designing and modeling catapults after only a couple hours of training.

Catapult  10561746_10152129498952273_5227711713399092135_nimage22

Creating catapults is part of a two week summer program about Biomechanics from the Machine Inside Exhibit that is currently at the Field Museum. I had the chance to take a look at the exhibit before the class began, and it’s great! One of the best I’ve seen. It combines both physics and biology and has some fantastic examples of biomimicry. Biiomimicry is also part of our curriculum at DukeTIP . More on that coming soon.

screen-shot-2014-07-17-at-3-03-07-pm    screen-shot-2014-07-17-at-3-00-02-pm image48    image46 image44    image47 The catapults are being cut using a CNC mill this week and will be launched this Friday. You can check on their progress on their Facebook page or their WordPress page. For launch day, the students will continue to use their new SkecthUp skills to create 3D printed projectiles.


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