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Plastic Gondola

The egg drop is a classic engineering project, one I've done a handful of times since I was as young as 7 years old. The trick for this assignment was only using recycled materials, so I had to dig through my and my roommate's trash to see what my materials were before I could even start designing.


For this ideation, I decided to use a milk carton as a case and pad it with plastic bags. I cut a round hole in the corner to nestle a Starbucks cup in to hopefully help cushion the fall and protect the eggs. A washed yogurt carton fits snuggly into the carton, which can hold the three eggs. After the eggs are placed in, I can pad the top with more bags, then replace the section of the carton I cut to keep the padding in.

The rigging system was a challenge to figure out. The egg drop would happen indoors, so the apparatus had to hook up to a zip line that would lead down to the floor. I liked the milk carton because it had a built-in hold for a rope to wrap around the zip line, and then wanted to use plastic grocery bags for a makeshift carabiner but got nervous that they might be too weak. I ended up braiding three strands of a different, polyethylene plastic bag together into a rope that I would then tie around the zip line.

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