Aaron Burton and Rebecca Pinn
Fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering 24-101
The objective of the design project is to create a car that is able to complete the course given. The car must first go through the starting gate to a midpoint point gate and then go through the final gate which is behind the start gate. What makes this course particularly challenging is that the car can not just go in a circle in order to complete the course. It needs to either go in a spiral or make two semi-circles.
The vehicle has a simple and clean design. The car turns simply by having a measured piece of string go from the axel to a pin that holds the wheel so that after a certain distance the pin will be detached and the wheel will turn. The car is propelled by two rubber bands that are attached to the axel. The axel is winded up and when released the axel turns. When the string that is also wrapped around the axel releases the pin, the front wheel goes from the position it started in to a new position that creates a circle of a larger radius.
The car itself has a fairly simple design. The feature that makes this vehicle particularly good is the solid structure. Since no wood has been used the frame is incredibly strong and has little chance of breaking.
Another great aspect is the use of hardware. Aside from the three part frame, the rest of the vehicle uses all hardware that can easily be replaced if it needs to be. It also makes it easier to rebuild and makes it so that the wheels are centered extremely well. It is important that the vehicle be strong so that repeatability is high. However the feature that makes this vehicle stand out is the front wheel. It is extremely adjustable and when it turns it is very smooth.
The vehicle is able to perform over and over again which is good because that means it has strong repeatability. However, if the car does not complete the course after adjustments are made it will not make the course by some fluke. The best time for the car so far has been approximately 8 seconds to complete the course. However, this number varies depending upon the surface the car is raced on. Since the car uses rubber bands for propulsion it sometimes has trouble completing the entire course.