FAQ: How To Build A Simple Mousetrap Car?

How do you make a fast mousetrap car?

Making The Vehicle Faster

  1. Thicken the axle: Wrapping some tape radially around the axle or adding a spool. It may be surprising as to how much faster this makes the vehicle.
  2. Use smaller wheels. They will require less force to complete a rotation.
  3. Make the vehicle lighter.

What is the best way to build a mousetrap car for distance?

Use large rear wheels.



In practice, this means that once they start rolling, they’re harder to stop rolling. This makes large wheels perfect for distance-based contests — theoretically, they’ll accelerate less quickly than smaller wheels, but they’ll roll much longer and they’ll travel a greater distance overall.

What is a good 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.

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What materials do you need for a mousetrap car?

What You Need:

  • Wooden snap-back mousetrap.
  • Duct tape.
  • 4 eye hooks.
  • Wooden dowel that fits inside the eye hooks.
  • Heavy cardboard.
  • Large and small rubber bands.
  • Foam board (usually found at a craft store)
  • String.

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.

What is an axle hook?

An important part of a mousetrap vehicles propulsion system is the axle hook. If the string does not properly release from the drive axle the string will rewind around the drive axle and cause the mousetrap car to come to an instant stop.

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 is the key to a quick start in a mousetrap car?

Lever Arm Basics



Shortening the length of the lever arm increases the pulling force but decrease the amount of string that can be pulled from the drive axle. Understanding this basic concept is the key to building a successful mousetrap powered vehicle.

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How do mousetrap cars reduce friction?

Use a small axle to reduce friction. A large diameter axle will contact the bearing farther away from the center of the axle than a small diameter axle will. The farther from the center a force is, the more effect it has.

How does friction affect a mousetrap car?

The axle spins while the body of the car does not, creating friction. This friction adversely affects the motion of the vehicle, slowing the spin of the axle during and after the release of the mousetrap. The greater the friction between axle and body, the shorter the distance of travel.

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.

What forces act on a mousetrap car?

Friction is a force that acts against the motion of all moving objects. Energy is required to overcome friction and keep an object moving. Mousetrap cars start with a limited supply of energy. This energy is used to overcome friction and propel the vehicle.

Is a mousetrap a lever?

A mousetrap makes use of a simple machine called a lever. In a third-class lever, the load is at the end and the effort force is between the fulcrum and the load. When you set the mousetrap, you are using a second-class lever. The load is the arm of the spring that is being pushed down to compress the spring.

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