Two Secrets To Improve Your Science Olympiad Boomilever

what is a boomilever

A boomilever is model cantilever that is designed to hold 15kg. Many science and engineering competitions, such as Science Olympiad, host boomilever competitions to help teach basic physic concepts to students.

In this post, we will outline the basic concepts needed to consider when creating a boomilever hook attachment.

so what's the secret?

1. Boomilever Hook Attachment

By far, the area that most boomilever competitors neglect the most is the hook attachment of their device. However, without much attention allocated to improving this aspect, failure is sure to follow.

This is because a boomilever, or any device for that matter, is only as strong as its weakest link. Using this logic, although you may have designed the best boomilever in the world, it will all be for nothing is the boomilever breaks at the hook attachment.

If you want an in depth over view on what you should consider when building your boomilever hook attachment, check out our other post here

2. Balsa wood tube

Balsa wood tube boomilevers, better known as compression tube boomilevers, are one of the strongest designs to use, given that the rules permit its use.

This is because round tubes have a higher resistance to both flex and torsional twisting than a square for a given weight. In fact, it is possible to see that you can build a chassis out of round tube that is both lighter and stronger than its’ square counterpart.

Below, you will find the step necessary to build your own balsa wood tube.

how to make a balsa tube

1. Materials needed

To roll a balsa wood tube, you will need:

  1. A 3″ x 40 cm balsa wood sheet (1/32″ or 1/16″ thick)
  2. 1″ diameter pvc pipe (length > 40 cm)
  3. Water
  4. Masking tape
  5. Razor blade
  6. Super glue
  7. Wax paper

2. soak The wood sheet

After getting all the materials, get hot water and thoroughly soak the woos sheet in the water for at least 30 minutes. 

3. Wrap The Tube

After the wood sheet has been soaked, gently wrap the balsa wood around the pvc pipe. Make sure that the wood is straight when wrap to prevent any unintentional bends or warps in the tube.

After it has been wrapped, take a generous sheet of wax paper and tightly layer it onto the wood. 

Then, take the masking tape and secure the wax paper to the tube.

4. Dry The Tube

Let the balsa tube dry overnight.

5. Connect the Tube

Remove the tape and wax paper from the balsa sheet. Then, take your super glu and connect the two edges of the unconnected tube together.

Another method would be to connect the tube by gluing any overlap together, which should be used if the fist method is too difucult to accomplish.

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