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I have to make a car that starts under its own power and must travel far. I know all about the mousetrap way but im thinking there has to be some better way to do it. Does anyone have any ideas?
 

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We use this lame computer program to simulate everything this year in Physics. Last year, when I was in honors (this year it's AP) we made rockets and one kid cut his hand on the pull string. It was intense.
 

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Any ideas for the wheels, they need to be pretty well gripped because this will be going on school tile, and they cant be too heavy. Nothing prefabricated. I was thinking mayb bouncy balls, any other ideas?
 

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lolz i know, was jk anyways.

springs can be good if you get a long enough one, (basic mousetrap) or if you want a gravity type weight/pulley system.

Whatever design you choose, pick large diameter wheels. wider wheels=more distance/revolution.

edit: CD's with rubber bands wrapped around them might work, glue teh bands down to the outside edges of the CD's and you are good to go.
 

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how big are they? i mean diameter, that's all that matters really. only a small fraction of the surface of the bouncy ball touches at any given point. theoretically it's the tangent of the curve (someone correct me if i'm wrong, calculus screwed me up a bit on this stuff) but since you have gravity and the ball is rubber (and thus compresses under weight) there is actually more touching than theoretics allow.

Either way works, i suggest widest wheels possible, slap it on a solid surface with a solid, locked axle (ie a pencil), and attach a rope to it. make a tripod type contraction on top, with a pulley at the top. the taller it is the better. tie a small weight to it, pull the string over the pulley (on top of the tripod) and down to the axle. Tie the string on tight and wrap it tight. you can measure too by letting the weight hand loose on the platform and measure from there, that way there won't be any slack. alternatively, you could tie the string loose but wrap it tight so that when the weight finally hits the platform (thus transferring all it's potential energy into kinetic energy)the string will not stop the axle from spinning free.


lol just a suggestion, do it the way you think is best :)
 

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When I did mousetrap cars in physics, we used some big wheels from a k'nex set that I had lying around. They were big diameter, and they had real rubber on then so the could get some grip. Worked like a charm.
 
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