Heath, Mouse, Daniel, Erin, and I decided to build a trebuchet this year for the Bloomington Pumpkin Launch. We didn't have the time or inclination to design and develop something ambitious, so instead we opted for simply copying someone else's work. Heath found an instructable of someone who'd made a floating-arm type machine in a technical school competition. One of the constraints of this competition was that the machine must fit in an 8 foot cube, not counting the throwing arm.
Obviously building a machine with this limitation in an unlimited class means we never had a chance of winning the distance contest, but it seemed fun anyway. Heath and Mouse did most of the carpentry, I did the welding, Erin and Daniel made the slings from nylon.
We were expecting throw distances of around 200 feet. The day of the contest however, it managed 368 feet. We were last in the distance contest, but set an all-time record in the accuracy portion of the competition.
I'll snap a picture of the trophy and post it here:
Some video of test throws. We were experimenting with different hook angles, weights, and sling lengths. These are not very long throws.