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Picture Gallery: Distance Mousetrap Cars

August 31, 2011

Checkout these pictures of other great mousetrap cars that were designed for distance. Look for design elements that you can use in the design of your own racer.

mousetrap car mouse trap car mousetrap car
mousetrap car mouse trap car mousetrap car
mousetrap car mouse trap car mousetrap car
mousetrap car mouse trap car mousetrap car
mousetrap car mouse trap car mousetrap car
mousetrap car mouse trap car mousetrap car
mousetrap car mouse trap car mousetrap car
mousetrap car mouse trap car mousetrap car
mousetrap car mouse trap car mousetrap car
mousetrap car mouse trap car mousetrap car

Larger images: We will have our larger picture viewer working shortly, please check back.

Long Distance Mousetrap Cars

When it comes to building a good long-distance traveling mousetrap powered racer the most important concept is gearing. Gearing controls the rate at which energy is used and how far the mousetrap powered vehicle will be pulled by the pulling force. Mousetrap cars designed for long distance should use a small energy consumption per second or have a very small power output (in other words they should move slow). Smaller power outputs produce less wasted energy and therefor have greater efficiency. The power out put of a mousetrap vehicle can be controlled by changing one and/or all of the following: the length of the mouse-trap's lever arm, the diameter of the drive wheel, and the diameter of the drive axle. The challenge with an project is to not over exaggerate the design concepts but find a harmonious balance between all elements.

Common Design Elements of Distance Cars

  • longer length lever arm
  • large diameter drive wheels
  • small diameter axles
  • slow moving vehicles
  • reduced friction bearings
  • light weight components

Lever Arms

A long lever arm has the same amount of torque as a shorter lever arm but the difference between the two is the pulling force. Longer lever arms have less pulling force than short arms. Longer lever arms slow vehicles down and decrease the power output. If a lever are is to long it will not have enough force to pull the string from the drive axle.

Drive Wheel Diameter

Larger diameter drive wheels cover a greater liner distance for each turn of string that is removed from the drive axle. Larger drive wheels slow a vehicle down and decrease the power output. Keep in mind that larger drive wheels require more torque (or pulling force) in order to turn. If the drive wheel becomes to large the mousetrap will not be able to turn it.

Axle Diameter

Drive axle diameter is part of the drive wheel and axle gearing that controls the power output. Smaller drive axles produce less torque and decrease the power output. You can get more turns of string around a smaller drive axle and therefore you will have more turns of the drive wheel translating into a great liner pulling distance. Caution, if the drive axle it to small there will not be enough torque to turn the drive wheel.

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