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Rubber Band Cars vs Mouse Trap Cars

01/08/2019 9:13 AM

Hi,

I have a challenge in my engineering class where we have to decide what type of car would be best to carry a ball (a heavy plastic ball) a certain distance (no more than 5 feet) and can fit in a 2 x 2 foot box. We have the option to choose between a rubber band car or a mouse trap car.

I have tried looking up ideas for both cars but nothing I've found could hold the type of ball that we have to use.

What would be the best option to complete this challenge?

Thank you in advance.

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#1

Re: Rubber Band Cars vs Mouse Trap Cars

01/08/2019 9:31 AM

Define <...best...>, please?

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Rubber Band Cars vs Mouse Trap Cars

01/08/2019 10:14 AM

what would be able to successfully carry my ball and do what it needs to do

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: Rubber Band Cars vs Mouse Trap Cars

01/08/2019 12:01 PM

One cannot help feel that a personal voyage of discovery is the underlying purpose of the challenge. One wonders how the course tutors would respond if it became known that an anonymous global internet Engineering website were the source of thrust for that voyage!

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#3

Re: Rubber Band Cars vs Mouse Trap Cars

01/08/2019 10:21 AM

define <...heavy...>, please

..the best car would be the one that is designed and constructed to perform better than the other.

Either could be made in a way that would ensure victory or defeat.

Case in point, I successfully designed a pinewood furby car to cross the line in last place. Yes the car was covered in furby parts.

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Rubber Band Cars vs Mouse Trap Cars

01/08/2019 12:04 PM

One hopes that the general arrangement drawings might be withheld from the forum!

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#11
In reply to #5

Re: Rubber Band Cars vs Mouse Trap Cars

01/08/2019 11:29 PM

... well it's a good thing they never existed.. and I not only tossed the car, but the award. (Certificate)

..yes there is a an award for slowest car and nobody ever goes for it.

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#12
In reply to #3

Re: Rubber Band Cars vs Mouse Trap Cars

01/09/2019 12:26 AM

Define, 2 x 2 foot box.

Wouldn't a box dimensions be : length, width, height ?

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#6

Re: Rubber Band Cars vs Mouse Trap Cars

01/08/2019 12:57 PM

I would think that the means of propulsion is less important than the precision and quality of the design....You also fail to mention any restrictions, other than the car must be <2 ft sq....for instance, could you use a bungee cord for storing energy? and the weight of the (bowling)ball will determine the wheel and axle requirements...

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#7

Re: Rubber Band Cars vs Mouse Trap Cars

01/08/2019 3:17 PM

There are so many mousetraps and mousetrap cars but none of them will fit inside a 2 X 2 ft Flatland box.

Engineering is a technical discipline. Your first requirement must be to be technically precise.

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#8

Re: Rubber Band Cars vs Mouse Trap Cars

01/08/2019 4:16 PM

Get a mousetrap and measure the amount of force at the halfway point between set and tripped, which should be the average force. Figure the distance the outer part of the trap moves when it trips (radius x pi). Multiply these two numbers to get the energy available from the trap (force times distance).

Get a rubber band and measure the force when it is fully stretched. 1/2 this force times the distance stretched is the amount of energy stored in the rubber band. (Average force x distance)

Figure out how many rubber bands store the same amount of energy as a mousetrap.

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#9

Re: Rubber Band Cars vs Mouse Trap Cars

01/08/2019 4:45 PM

Shannon87,

The purpose of school is to learn how to find answers to problems you may have never encountered before.

It is not to ask anonymous forum members to do the work for you.

I suggest that you perform another more intensive and focused search.

Search for mechanical engineering challenges, if you must.

You'd learn much more if you stared looking for formulae to work on the basic challenge.

Finally, if "nothing I've found could hold the type of ball that we have to use," look some more, or take a different approach.

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#10

Re: Rubber Band Cars vs Mouse Trap Cars

01/08/2019 11:16 PM

Mouse traps are mostly too fixed/nonvariable. Rubberbands come in all sizes. try cutting a heavy duty innertube into rubberbands.

"...nothing I've found could hold the type of ball..." Epoxy it on.

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#13

Re: Rubber Band Cars vs Mouse Trap Cars

01/09/2019 3:04 AM

What size is the ball, that a 2 x 2 x ? box can't hold it, and how heavy is the ball?

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#14

Re: Rubber Band Cars vs Mouse Trap Cars

01/09/2019 11:31 AM

IF we were to help you we need all the details.

Size of ball.
Weight of ball.
Define rubber band: purchased? any disallowed materials?
Define best: fastest? cheapest? prettiest? most reliable?
Does the ball also need to fit in the box?
How tall is the box?

You will probably find, that defining the requirements will put you well on your way to having a design plan.

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#15

Re: Rubber Band Cars vs Mouse Trap Cars

01/09/2019 11:56 AM

Alternatively, you could start by re-framing the challenge by first demonstrating how to do a simpler project in class, over two weeks, say, as a preparatory example of project management...

(one possibility is to ''demo'' the design of a catapult to fit completely inside, say, a 2'x2'x2' box, and heave a (something like a small ~2" diameter, say...) rubber ball a distance to be measured...)

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#16

Re: Rubber Band Cars vs Mouse Trap Cars

01/10/2019 7:55 AM

The purpose of the challenge is to make YOU THINK,and explore the possible ways to achieve the solution.

Research is good,but asking someone else to solve the problem for you does not benefit you at all.Be creative.Exercise your mind.

Can you build muscle by watching someone else lift weights?

Don't expect your first attempt to succeed.

Failure is the most indelible part of learning.

If you have never failed,you have never tried anything new.

“A well-educated mind will always have more questions than answers.”
Helen Keller

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DavidSMullins (1); Dennis R. Levesque (1); HiTekRedNek (1); JE in Chicago (2); lyn (1); MR. Guest (1); PWSlack (3); redfred (1); Rixter (1); Shannon87 (1); SolarEagle (1); tonyhemet (1); Tornado (1)

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