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Old 01-15-2008, 09:35 PM   #1
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Help me design a self propelled car!

I have an engineering design class and we have to design and build a car to race.

The car can be no longer than 12"
There can be no remote control
There can be no electricity involved at all
There can be no combustion engines
The car must start from zero, so no throwing or anything

It just has to go straight, no turns, and the car must stop on it's own, you can't touch the car until it stops
The car must track straight because it's traveled distance is measured parallel to a wall.
The person whose car goes the farthest gets a certain amount of points, and then everyone else gets a certain percentage of those points depending on how far their car went in relation to the winning car, ie, if my car goes 100ft and someone else's goes 65ft, I get all of the points, and the other guy gets 65% of those points for himself(not 65% of MY points.)

I was thinking building it out of legos or balsa wood(I have a **** ton of legos so that would make it free.) I was thinking of having it start with the basic rubber band twist drive shaft just to get it the first few feet. Then, try and get some magnets situated like an electric motor to keep it going as far as possible, or something that will store a lot of inertia from the initial spin of the rubber bands.

I just wanted to get the idea out there...I have to wake up early for work but my brain won't stop thinking of new ideas.
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I was a bit frightened at first, to think that something with that kind of girth had actually passed through my rectum.
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:37 PM   #2
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Yeah I was thinking rubber bands.
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i will clarify my position by saying you misread a very clear statement.
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:39 PM   #3
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A couple of booster engines from a model rocket kit would work well unless there's an additional requirement that you didn't add, such as that the wheels have to be the source of power.

edit: you said no combustion engines. I suppose a rocket would be an external combustion engine. Oh well.
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:40 PM   #4
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Throw a turbo on it.
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:42 PM   #5
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Another idea...have a balloon secured on a balsa wood frame and three wheels. Then, put a rubber band driven puller prop on the front under the balloon. When you inflate the balloon it will touch the prop and keep it from moving; that way, the balloon deflating with rocket it off the line, then the prop will start to spin once the balloon is deflated to rocket it even more.

This is going to drive me crazy.
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I was a bit frightened at first, to think that something with that kind of girth had actually passed through my rectum.
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:42 PM   #6
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how about one of those 12 gram co2 cartridges used for paintball and pellet guns. Attach this to the car (http://www.paintball-online.com/pain...r_prod_TKCAQCA), put in the 12 gram, twist it, and off it goes
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:44 PM   #7
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i think that involves touching the car which breaks the rules
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:45 PM   #8
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You could make a mag-lev track and car that would initially run off of a rubberband propeller? or can you not make your own track?
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:47 PM   #9
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Use a mouse trap with some cd's as wheels. Keep the weight as light as possible, yet make it strong enough that the mouse trap doesnt rip it apart.
or you can cheat --->>> http://www.mousetrap-cars.com/
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:52 PM   #10
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No track, sorry. It will run on tile like found in a normal school.

How does that mouse trap car work.
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I was a bit frightened at first, to think that something with that kind of girth had actually passed through my rectum.
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:53 PM   #11
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Round clockspring from a grandfather clock. You could get a tremendous amount of potential in that, and build a really DEEP gear for it. It wont be very fast, but it'll go a heluva lot farther than you might imagin! I'm thinking a nice billet aluminum frame with bearings and such to keep it going straight and contain the energy of the spring.

That would be a FUN project to work on!
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:54 PM   #12
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Or the steam powered cars http://www.kbears.com/sciences/scien...ocketboat.html

just put wheels on it
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:56 PM   #13
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Or the steam powered cars http://www.kbears.com/sciences/scien...ocketboat.html

just put wheels on it

That's a pretty sweet idea...

What if it catches on fire?
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:58 PM   #14
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The steam powered car wouldn't work since that's still external combustion (the flame)... right?
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:02 PM   #15
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http://users.bigpond.net.au/mechtoys/mouse.html
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