There’s no denying the engineering and building skills of YouTube’s The Practical Engineer. But it’s the “practical” claims we feel the need to question because as impressive as this invention is, does anyone actually need a handheld blaster that can hurl playing cards at speeds over 120 miles per hour?
The video goes into quite a bit of detail about how this contraption was built, but there’s even more information about its design and engineering over on Emiel’s website. The battery-powered blaster uses a pair of motors; one that grabs a single card from an inserted stack and a second, spinning at speeds upwards of 25,000 revolutions per minute, that works with two high-speed bearings that launch the card with a spinning motion to improve its speed and stability in the air.
It was a build inspired by a similar creation from ex-Nasa engineer Mark Rober, but Emiel’s version is more compact, and from the sounds of it, slightly more terrifying. High-speed cameras clocked the cards hitting speeds of around 200 kilometers per hour, or about 124 miles per hour, en route to their target. But on his website, Emiel points out that’s the performance of the blaster running at around 60 percent of its full power, which feels like its limits of safe operation. It could potentially launch cards even faster and farther, but pushing the power even further would make the blaster too dangerous and risky to hold. Either way, we can’t help but feel someone is going to lose a finger playing with this machine.