Egg Drop Project

   Many of us might remember a simple egg drop project from elementary school, middle school, or even high school. You always see either some sort of parachute or a lot of cushioning (whether it is rubber band suspension, bubble wrap or bunched up paper towels) so that the egg doesn't break upon landing or even both. In a class of my niece and nephew they got assigned just such a project and I was asked to help by my sister. My nephew was fascinated with maple seeds and the way they spin as they fall, so in an attempt to make a original and creative design I combined the idea of a maple seed with a way of slowing the decent of the raw egg. Their materials were limited to 5 sheets of paper, some bubble wrap (10"x10"), some tape, milk carton, 4 rubber bands.


The inspiration and basis being this project. These are natural maple seeds shown here with 3 clustered together upon drying out and ripening they twirl as they fall and are either carried by the wind or fall directly below the tree. This is an interesting way of propagating the tree species and I have always been interested in how nature has provided a decent natural wing structure. If only people had looked to the maple tree for the solution to flight we might then have had flight many hundreds if not thousands of years earlier.
  Using some maple seed pictures from online I drew a fairly accurate representation of a maple seed in Autocad. I decided that the best approach is to have the wing take up as much of the page as possible so the it has the greatest surface area to create the greatest amount of lift. The lines to the left is to be folded up to create the rigid wing support just like there is on the maple seed and in addition give it a more aero dynamic form. You will need 4 full size wings for a egg drop contraption.

Click here or on the picture to get the full scale pdf.

Click here for a scaled down version with 4 wings on one page, this I made for fun since my nephew likes to run around the house having the "propeller" spinning around his finger or a stick, I decided that for home use a scaled down version is more manageable.

  First step is to cut out the 4 pieces from the paper. I've used the scaled down version of the egg drop device for the demonstration.
  Fold down the middle dashed line.
  Fold over in the same direction one more time.
  Fold back one row thickness.
  Finally fold over to the other side and the maple leaf structure is complete.
  These are the 4 wing structures after they had been folded.
  Next get a strip of paper that is larger than the width of the wing or a cardboard ring would work as well.
  Use tape to roll the paper in to a larger diameter then the flat edge of the wing to allow room to tape 4 of the wings on.
  Next fold the edge of the wings along the line drawn on them.
  Tape down the reinforcement rib on one edge from both sides.
  Now tape the wings onto the ring that you made from the paper strip. Make sure that the thicker side (the one that has more paper) of the rib is on top.
  This is what it should look like when all of the wings are taped on. As of now it is almost complete but will not fly because the wing structure is relatively flat.
  Now you slightly bend each wing down so it creates a slight curve of the wing to help in aerodynamics.
  This is what the curved wing should look like after you finish bending each wing.
  To help twirl the propeller tape off one side of it, for a full scale design you would need to tape off one side so that your egg doesn't fall out while it is descending. If you plan to use it as a toy tape off the opposite side. Now it's time to test it out.