Publication Date

Fall 2022

Document Type

Final Report

Embargo Date


Problem Statement

This project designs a wiffle ball pitching machine that would demonstrate the Magus Effect to the audience in St. Louis Science Center. Primarily made out of wood, this design is portable and able to pitch wiffle balls both indoor and outdoor. With two spinning wheels whose maximum spinning rate is 5044 rpm, this design is able to pitch balls with topspin, backspin, and no spin, and the trajectory of the traveling balls can be recorded by naked eye. The highest recorded traveling velocity of the pitched ball is 67 mph. Several function that would facilitate the demo process are included in this design: accurate pitching and angle adjusting--it is able to pitch balls at an angle range of 0 degrees to 90 degrees and in the testing trial, 12/12 balls are able to hit a 20' by 20' target placed 20 feet away from the machine. There are several risks that a user might take notice of when using the machine: the spinning wheels might scratch a user's hand when it gets too close; the wires connected to the motor would trip users; a user might be hit by a traveling wiffle ball; and if used improperly, a user may get electric shock. Warning signs are prepared on the device to prevent the such risks for happening.

Author's School

McKelvey School of Engineering

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Class Name

Mechanical Engineering Design Project (MEMS 411)