How to create a mousetrap car

What type of materials go into making the mousetrap vehicle?

A mousetrap car is a model car made from simple materials that is powered by a mousetrap. A mousetrap car can be made from cardboard or balsa wood with CD’s for wheels and axles of wood or brass tubing. Power to drive the wheels is provided by a mousetrap to which a wand and string is attached to the snap arm.

What makes a mousetrap car move?

The mousetrap storespotential energyin the form of the spring. That potential energy is converted into kinetic energy in the form of the arm rotating forward. The arm pulls on the wound-up string, which turns the drive wheel dowel, which is connected to the wheels, which makes the car drive forward.

What wheels should I use for a mousetrap car?

Use thin, light wheels.
  1. Old CDs or DVDs work fairly well for this purpose — they’re large, thin, and extremely light.
  2. If you have access to old vinyl, these also work extremely well, though they may be too heavy for the smallest mousetraps.

What is the best length for a mousetrap car?

The ideal size for an ultra big wheel on a long distance mousetrap racer seams to be somewhere between 10 and 15 inches. And the ideal size for a drive wheel on a speed-trap racer seams to be between 2 and 3 inches but no more than 4 inches.

Is it better to have a heavier or lighter mousetrap car?

A heavy mousetrap vehicle will required more pulling force than a lighter mousetrap vehicle in order to achieve an equal acceleration. Lighter mousetrap vehicles will require less energy at the start and can use longer lever arms for more pulling distance.

Is friction important for a mousetrap car?

Reduce the Friction of the Axle and Bearing

Reducing friction on the axles is one of the most important considerations for any machine. If you reduce friction, you reduce energy loss. The easier the axle turns in its bearing, the farther a mousetrap car will travel.

Why is my mousetrap car not moving?

If a mousetrap vehicle is struggling to move and/or needs more acceleration then the lever arms can be shortened in order to increase the pulling force. Keep in mind that you will also have to reposition the mouse trap closer to the drive axle or the system will not work as intended.

How do you build a mousetrap car for distance?

What is the fastest mousetrap car?

Description: The Speed-Trap Racer is the fastest mousetrap powered racer anywhere and was designed after Doc Fizzix’s own record-setting mousetrap racer that traveled 5 meters in 1.2 seconds.

What kind of string is best for a mousetrap car?

The string has to be strong enough to handle the pulling force but flexible and thin enough to wind tightly around the drive axle. We recommend using a Kevlar based fishing line because its high strength. You should stay away from nylon fishing line and dental floss, these do not work well with mousetrap racers.

How does Newton’s 3rd law apply to a mousetrap car?

Newton’s Third Law and the mousetrap car:

Newton’s Third Law is also applied to the mousetrap car since the mousetrap spring will have a lot of built up tension directed in the opposite direction that we’d like the car to move in. As this tension is released, the car will move forward.

How do you stop a mousetrap car from turning?

The Quick Fix Method. If your mousetrap car is already build and it would be hard to add a swivel set-up then the only other solution is to fix the alignment of the axle the hard way. Depending on the direction that your mousetrap vehicle is turning, you will need to bring the axles back into alignment.

How long should you make the vehicles lever arm for best performance?

For maximum speed, position the mousetrap 2 1/4 inches from the drive axle and cut the lever arm to a length of 4 1/4 inches. The lever arm can be cut using a dremel tool or by using a fine tooth hobby saw. The lever arm should always be “just” long enough to reach the drive axle or performance will be compromised.

Where should I place the mousetrap for the best performance?

For optimal performance the mouse trap should be positioned on the chassis so that the tip of the lever arm falls directly above the drive axle when the mouse trap is in the fully wound position (as pictured bellow). If the mouse trap is not aligned properly with the drive axle energy will be wasted off the start.

How do you attach a lever arm to a mousetrap car?

When designing a trap car What are the 2 variables that truly determine performance?

In general, mousetrap competitions have two categories, speed and distance. If you want to optimize for speed, you’ll want to design a car that exerts as much force/rotation as possible on the wheels as fast as possible.

What happens if the mousetrap is mounted too close to the drive axle?

What happens if the mousetrap is mounted too far from the drive axle? You will lose pulling force or energy to friction. The energy goes too quickly and you lose pulling force. 8.

What are the four principles for building the long distance car?

It’s called The LLLC Defensive Driving Principles™, but we just call it “Triple-L-C.” Using the Four Driving Principles of Safety, Look Ahead, Look Around, Leave Room, and Communicate, gives you the time and information you need to avoid an accident and be an all-around better driver.