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April / May 2010
Create a golf ball cannon PDF Print E-mail

Create a golf ball cannonPneumatics often masquerades as poor man’s hydraulics. But even quite low pressures, 10 bar and below, can produce substantial force and are widely used in industry. Happily, I discovered the 48 mm internal diameter of 50 mm PVC pipe is almost exactly equal to the 47.7 mm diameter of a golf ball. Add a little bit of compressed air and hey presto!—a golf ball cannon. Caution – this is NOT a toy, as the energy behind the golf ball is significant and could cause injury.

My life in wood PDF Print E-mail
Written by TONY POTTER   

Wooden ToysThe first thing you notice when you walk into Lance White’s spick-and-span home in the Auckland suburb of Pakuranga is the wonderful smell of wood. It comes from the coffee table, which he made, and the wooden toys sitting on it, which he also made. The toys—and Lance refers to them as just that, they are to be played with—give off a wonderful aroma of, well, wood.

RepRap machine makes itself PDF Print E-mail
Written by VIK OLLIVER   

RepRap 3D PrinterImagine, if you will, a machine about the size of a large desktop printer. You feed it a spool of plastic, not unlike weed-eater line. It plugs into your computer or cellphone and prints objects, the designs of which you download free from the Internet. It uses plastic instead of ink, building 3D shapes up to about the size of a Waikato six-pack. Far-fetched and pricey stuff, you might think. This is the RepRap printer that reproduces itself.

Make a model sheetmetal roller PDF Print E-mail
Written by GARY FARQUHAR   

Make a model sheetmetal rollerI needed to roll some metal for the model project that I am working on and I had recently lost my access to a metal-rolling machine. The best answer was to make my own sheet-metal roller. There are two main design configurations:
1. You can have the driving rollers on top of each other and a rear, single roller as the adjusting one;
2. You can have two bottom  rollers which are the driving rollers placed in the same plane and a top roller as the adjustable one.

Make your own dirtsurfer PDF Print E-mail
Written by IAN WATSON   

DirtsurferThis article on building a dirtsurfer is to inform readers about what is happening in secondary schools with students studying the relatively recent subject of Technology.
I trust it will give prospective employers an idea of what to expect from successful technology students.
A dirtsurfer is an inline board using bicycle wheels, powered by gravity like skateboards and steered by the rider leaning to either side. The steering mechanism is the front wheel which is held on steel arm and pivots 15 degrees to either side.

Build a big bamboo canoe PDF Print E-mail
Written by TERRY SNOW   

Big Banboo CanoeA youth group built a big bamboo canoe and learnt a lot in the process, designing the boat, working to pay for the bamboo (as they didn’t have the $800 cost in their budget), splitting the bamboo and bending the ribs and spending all their summer holidays putting it together and tying twine knots.
They varnished the bamboo frame and the floor boards; covered it in canvas and painted it to shrink and waterproof it. The bamboo canoe beat all the other rafts in the annual race for which it was set.