Introduction: Desktop Racing Game

I first saw this desktop game on Dr. NGO's YouTube channel. I was also inspired by another, slightly different version of the same game on the Kinder Mix's channel. I would like to think that my version is a mix of the two. I did not go with a traditional car theme. Instead, I was inspired by a coworkers suggestion of a Dragons vs Tacos theme based on the children's book series by Adam Rubin, Dragons Love Tacos.

This project was built as a project for LIS5970 Makerspaces: Theory and Practice.

My instructor is Dr. Kyungwon Koh.

Step 1: Gather Supplies

Cardboard, assorted sizes (see plans)

Box knife or other sharp knife

Hot glue

Masking tape/Painter’s tape (optional)


Rod for steering shaft (raided my son’s Legos)


Slow Speed Motor (I chose 12v)

On/Off Switch (12v to match motor)

9v battery

Electrical wire

Electrical tape

Paint (optional)

Obstacles and game piece – I used 3D printed obstacles and felt

Step 2: Cut Cardboard Pieces

Cut cardboard according to size indicated on plan (see picture)

1 16X32--Base

1 16X20--top

1 14X16--Steering plate or Dashboard

1 6 1/2 X 16--Dashboard Back

2 4X16--front and rear piece

2 side pieces--see diagram for specific measurements

4 7 1/2 diameter circles for steering wheel

Keep extra pieces for support
pieces, use as needed.

Step 3: Steering Wheel

Cut insets out of two pieces (optional)

Hot glue 2 solid pieces together

Hot glue 2 pieces with insets together (lining up insets)

Hot glue both pieces together

Step 4: Begin Assembling

Assemble the frame and attach to base.

Use only these pieces:

2 end pieces

2 side pieces

1 bottom piece

Step 5: Assemble Steering

Drill holes into the center of the steering wheel and where you plan to place the wheel on the dashboard.

The hole should be the size of the spindle you are using for the steering column.

Attach cardboard 'arm' with a magnet embedded into the steering column. This piece will be what moves your game piece side to side as the plate spins.

Drill or punch a small hole for on/off switch wires to be threaded through the dashboard. My switch has an adhesive strip on the bottom.

Hot glue ‘dashboard’ (14X16) with the steering wheel to base unit.

Step 6: Wiring

Wire together switch, motor and battery. (No pictures)

I attached alligator clamps to the wires which clipped to the motor and the battery.

One wire from the switch to motor.

Another wire from motor to battery

One more wire from switch to battery

Drill small hole, the size of the motor spindle, into a plastic bottle cap. Attach to the motor.

Step 7: Attach Top Plate

Attach top plate with 12-inch diameter circle cut out using hot glue. Save circle, it will be the rotating plate for the game.

Step 8: Secure Motor

Secure the motor to the base into the center of the 12-inch diameter circle. Build small housing unit out of cardboard or other suitable material, if needed. The cardboard housing unit I built was not sturdy enough so I used a small plastic container, cut to suit my needs.

Step 9: Attach Plate to Motor

Before attaching the plate to the motor, cut 1/4-inch off the plate, changing the diameter of the cardboard plate to 11 3/4-inch.

Center the plate and hot glue to the cap on the motor.

Step 10: Add Obstacles to Rotating Plate

Add obstacles to the rotating plate, leaving room for the game piece to travel slightly left and right when the game is in motion.

I 3D printed some taco shells and used felt to make the filling. The game piece is also a 3D print. For the large taco shell and the dragon game piece, I went to and used:

Cute Dragon - more easy printing by Sebastian_v650, published Jun 13, 2016

Taco by ashsmash, published May 14, 2017

[I was going to make the bridge look like salsa but I ran out of time]

Attach the magnet to game piece and set on top of the spot where the magnet is underneath (Picture will clear this step up?).

Step 11: Turn on and Play!