Category: Drafts

Release mechanism

The release mechanism for the ballista will be the most complicated part of the whole to build. There are two sleds; one for holding the projectile and one for pulling back and releasing the first. The second will be connected to a rope at the back of the slide, which will pull it back when cranked. (1) In this drawing, it releases the other sled with a fork, which has a stopper under the back of it. (2) The other sled, now finally free, rockets away and (hopefully) hits what it’s supposed to.

Ballistae in ancient times had two prominent setups. One, where the outer and inner posts were in line with each other, (left) and another where the outer posts were in front of each other. (right) I’ll be making the swept forward design, because the layout gives the arms of the ballista a larger range of motion, which means they can be cranked back farther and store more energy than a non-swept design.