For our Mechanisms class Kody and I had to create a Mousetrap Racer. The requirements were:
- Make a car powered only by 1 Victor brand mousetrap (NOT rat trap)
- No electricity allowed
- The goal is to travel 10 feet.
- There are no specific size, material, or weight requirements. However, it should be able to fit next to 2 other cars inside the class room.
- The only human interaction should be to trigger/start the car.
- Fastest car wins
Using these rules we knew that the racer had to be as light as possible to efficiently transfer the potential energy into speed.
We used the actually mousetrap as the cars chassis. For the back wheels, we made wooden wheels out of scraps wood and attach rubber strips to the wheels for traction. The front wheel was made out of a ping pong ball and again we attach a rubber strip for traction. The front wheel has a aluminum shaft with a wooden dowel through it. This aluminum shaft and dowel assembly acts as a bearing for the front wheel.
The car’s acceleration is really fast. We took 1st place in our class competition!