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Students Cap Class With Catapult Designs, Testing

Pennsylvania College of Technology students Christopher W. Laukhuff, of Lititz, and Brian J. Borror, of Dover, foreground, prepare their ballista for its test launch.Pennsylvania College of Technology students enrolled in the computer aided product design major wrapped up their fall semester with a high-flying hands-on project.

The students, all enrolled in the Design and Production Drawings course, spent the last four classes in the fall semester designing and building catapults, trebuchets and similar medieval-style throwing devices.

Grouped in teams, students used their CAD skills to design the projects within a 4-foot-by-4-foot-by-4-foot footprint, create a bill of materials, calculate their devices’ expected throwing distance, assemble the machines and test the accuracy of their calculations.

The best-designed of the seven devices threw a ball 85 feet across a snowy campus field.

“The students had a great time with it,” said Dave Probst, assistant professor of drafting and computer aided design. Students hope to rebuild larger versions of some of their designs in the spring semester.

To learn more about computer aided product design majors and other academic programs offered by the School of Industrial and Engineering Technologies at Penn College, call 570-327-4520 or visit online.

For general information about the college, visit on the Web, e-mail or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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