Siege Engine.com: How to Build a Travelling Frame

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How to Build a Travelling Frame
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All of our larger machines have been designed and built to facilitate travel to Punkin' Chunk events. This has led us to build machine frames unlike those from history. We have a few simple tricks for this.


Truck Size & Static Frames

It is important to first figure out how much room you have when traveling with your machine. You can then design the parts to fit into your vehicle or trailer. We built our early machines in different sections. Some sections (Like the triangles on the left) were made as large as possible to fit in Roger's truck. Longer beams travel on the roof of the vehicle.

We built our machines to use these static frames. Starting with Juggernaut, whose small triangular frames were sized to fit in the back of a ford explorer. When we built Juggernaut 2, pictured here, we created even larger static frames.

Because they are static, the joints can be made sturdier via gussets than a standard bolt together system which has opportunity to skew. We found these static frames sturdy and useful enough that we continued to use both sets of frames in the Pumpkin Putter.

The major drawback to making a machine in so many parts is that it takes much longer to set up and shoot stuff.


Bolt Together Stays


In order to make even taller frames, we needed to add in longer stays. In this picture, they travel front to back, and attach at the foot and top of the machine. These stays travel on the roof of our vehicle.

Our combination of static frames and stays keep the machine quite sturdy, even when the 'putter was off balance after launching a pumpkin.


Load Balancing


To prevent a machine from falling over, it is important to make sure that the base of the machine is long or wide enough to overcome any overbalancing forces. In the Pumpkin Putter, we made the base of the machine roughly the same size as the length of our throwing arm. This is easy to do in a centripetal machine because the forces attempting to tip the machine over are very small.


Our machine Juggernaut also had a base about the same size as the arm, but did not account for the arm when it swings forward. A side effect of this is that a crew member needs to stand on the back side of the machine, or it will tip over. You can see the effects placed on the machine in this video.


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Last Modified: 11/26/16