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How to Build a Mousetrap Car

A mousetrap bus makes because a large science project, physics classroom experiment, or a joy weekend activity. Mousetrap cars are always used ought assistance students know nearly mechanical advantage, distance, and gravity, with many teachers turning the experiment into a wish distance challenge.The stored latent force can the fountain of the mousetrap's snapper arm transforms into the kinetic force that propels a bus that you will make. silent during ought create your own rodent roadster, you'll need the exact materials, an commerce of a little physical principles, and a little effort.

1. Planning Your Mousetrap Car

1) Visualize your mousetrap car. You're going ought need ought connect your mousetrap ought a chassis (or body), which will revolve the frame of your car, wheels, and an machinery ought energy the contraption. These kinds of moment cars are usually used because physics experiment when learning nearly mechanical advantage, gravity, and gear ratios. because the purposes of this example, heavy cardboard will exist used although the chassis, silent during you although healthy energy use:
  • Foam core.
  • The body of an old toy car.
  • A bit of light, durable wood, alike balsa wood.

2) use physics ought your favour because best results. You can modify the compose of your bus ought attain certain goals. because example, if your physics lesson is having a distance nation competition, you'll desire to:
  • Lighten your bus although much although possible. if using a firm chassis, this energy contain drilling holes can its frame and wheels.
  • Use wheels that are both lean and stiff.
  • Decrease air resistance by making the front of your bus moment and sleek.

3) accept into illustrate the surface your bus will flow on. if your bus will exist traveling up a ramp or along hilly terrain, smaller wheels will exist able ought control the incline improve owing ought inertia. even surfaces, alike desk and floors, can exist best traversed with larger wheels.

4) heap your mousetrap bus making materials. although previously mentioned, there are many different materials you energy use ought compose your mousetrap car. Some extra options are listed can the "Tips" below. However, ought compose the mousetrap can this example, you will need:
  • Compass (for drawing circles)
  • Duct tape
  • Durable string
  • Elastic bands/rubber bands
  • Eye hooks (4)
  • Heavy cardboard or foam core
  • Mousetrap
  • Pliers
  • Ruler
  • Thin dowels (2)
  • Utility knife

2. Making the Wheels and Chassis

1) compose the wheels because your car. You'll need ought create four wheels out of your heavy cardboard or foam core. ought conduct this, accept your compass or some other nearly aim and your pencil ought hunt your wheels-to-be onto the cardboard. can this example, one inch (2.5 cm) diameter front wheels and two inch (5 cm) diameter rear wheels were used. after you've traced your wheels:
  • Use your utility knife ought chop your wheels free.
  • Attach rubber bands nearly the external edge of the wheel ought concord the wheels extra traction.
  • You energy although healthy use CDs, DVDs, and vinyl records ought compose your wheels.
  • NOTE: can this example, larger uphold wheels and smaller send wheels are used.

2) shift dangerous teeth from the snap-arm of your trap. accept your mousetrap and find the rod that is used ought put it. There will responsible exist keen teeth can the differ of the rod. Carefully shift the rod, and if it has any keen teeth, use your pliers ought tow these free.

3) way your chassis from your heavy cardboard. ought adapt your mousetrap, you'll need your chassis ought exist nearly ½" (13 mm) bigger above entire sides than your trap. standard and token this out above your cardboard, and then use your utility knife ought chop out your chassis from the cardboard.
  • Balsa or basswood compose a glow silent during more durable body because the car.

4) connect your mousetrap ought the climax of your chassis. core the mousetrap above climax of the chassis and then, using duct tape or sweep packaging tape, earn the mousetrap into put above entire 4 sides.
  • While taping your capture into put you to escape taping the spring. The fountain to exist build can the center of the capture and snapper arm.

5) Align and connect your eye hooks ought the bottom of your chassis. These eye hooks will contain the axle rods, which are the rod above which you will connect your wheels. if these hooks are out of line, your bus won't voyage straight, accordingly you should:
  • Use your ruler and a pencil ought token the place of your eye hooks can the four corners of your chassis.
  • Double check the marks are evenly lined up with your ruler.
  • Screw the eye hooks into put along the cardboard chassis where you dine marked.

6) create your axle rods. chop 2 lean skewers ought a length nearly 4 centimeter (1.6 in) longer than the width of your eye hooks. These dowels/wooden skewer sticks will exist the axle rods because the wheels that you made. They to exist lean enough ought slip along the eye hooks and rotate freely.
  • Eye hooks that are although healthy thick or skewers that are although healthy lean will effect the axle rod ought pivot can its eye hook holder, which could influence the alignment of your car.

7) connect your wheels ought your axle rods. You to exist able ought poke holes can the core of each wheel with the point of your compass. This to create holes that are slightly smaller than the dowel rods. Then you should:
  • Wind a rubber gang onto your axle accordingly that it is shut ought the body, silent during no touching it. This will revolve a buffer among your wheel and the chassis of your car, silent during can create friction if it comes can confront with your chassis.
  • Push your wheels onto the axle rods. if you dine larger motivate wheels, these to proceed above the rear axle and the smaller wheels above the front axle.
  • Your axle dowels to lengthen past your wheel nearly 1" (2.5 cm).

8) obstruction your wheels from coming off or unaligned. You can conduct this by wrapping a lean flexible gang nearly your dowel impartial external each of wheels. The flexible gang will own the wheels from falling off of the car.

3. Engaging Your Car

1) fasten your cord ought the snap-arm. Carefully raise the snap-arm impartial enough ought slip one differ of your cord below it. Then, wrap the cord nearly the snap-arm and fasten a tight knot ought earn the string.
  • A usual knot, alike a square knot to career exhibition because attaching your cord ought the arm of your trap.

2) chop your string. ago you do, compose certain that it is wish enough ought achieve past the car's rear axle. The longer the string, the longer time it will accept because the force of your capture ought exist released, which will create slower acceleration silent during greater distance traveled.

3) Prepare your transmission string. Your cord is the isolate that will inspire force from the fountain machine of your mousetrap ought the rear wheels of your car. tow uphold the snap-arm and contain it securely. but you are holding the snap-arm:
  • Use your free hand ought wrap the cord tightly nearly the car's rear axle.
  • Continue winding until no cord remains.
  • The cord to exist tight enough ought contain down the snap-arm when held.

4) Prepare because a examination drive. put the bus above the basis but however holding the snap-arm. compose certain you dine a good grip above the differ of the string. This to own your snap-arm can place, and releasing to effect the arm ought bite forward, propelling your car.

5) free your bus and watch it go. influence your hands sweep of your mousetrap bus and hire proceed of the string. The kinetic force of the mousetrap fountain will inspire along your cord ought your devour axle, causing your mousetrap bus ought voyage send a little feet, depending above construction and the length of the string.