How does digital product development work? What does it mean? We attempted to answer exactly these questions during our own personal experiment. To do so, we had to reinvent the metaphorical wheel. In this instance, we are referring to the catapult. Yep, you heard right, it’s also possible to digitally design and produce analogue products.

SolidWorks was only in use on the first day (we’d like to thank Dassault systems) and soon the first drafts became parts and then the first parts became components. How long does the cantilever have to be? What spring forces affect the lever? How quickly does an object have to travel in order to reach its target (this caused many sleepless nights!).

In spite of all our failed attempts, we finally succeeded in catapulting an object and (much later) actually hitting our target!

Production attributes varied greatly, from [laser] precision at the beginning to speed and flexibility of our [big CNC milling machine]. We let the students of the Alpbach Summer School on Entrepreneurship, who participated in the first Werkstätte Wattens Catapult Challenge, demonstrate the results.