Long Distance Rubber Band Car




Introduction: Long Distance Rubber Band Car

About: I am an author and a maker. My current project is Santa's Shop. I'm working on a science fiction type book--more later. @EngineerRigsby

Because the rubber bands in this "tricycle style" assembly rotate in the same axis as the wheel, it is possible to rotate the drive wheel dozens of times per rubber band. The video below shows a thirty foot run (would have been longer, but the transition from driveway to asphalt was too high).




(2) pencils

(2) eye hooks

Step 1:

Create the drive wheel and the body (cut 3 wheels and 2 of the body). Glue the wheels together to form one wheel and glue the two body pieces together to form the body.

Step 2:

Cut (12) 1 1/2 inch x 1 1/2 inch squares. Glue them together in groups of three. Drill a 5/8 inch hole in the center. These are the axle supports.

Step 3:

Glue two of the axle supports to the body. Be sure that the wheel has room to rotate.

Step 4:

Glue two axle supports on the bottom rear of the body.

Step 5:

Cut (2) two inch diameter wheels. Insert a pencil through one of the wheels and glue it into place.

Step 6:

Insert the pencil through the rear axle supports.

Step 7:

Glue a two inch wheel to the other end of the pencil.

Step 8:

Cut four rubber band end supports as shown. Glue them together in two groups of two, then glue the supports onto the body in line with the holes for the main wheel's axle.

Step 9:

Cut a pencil three inches long. Drill a 1/16 inch hole in each end.

Step 10:

Insert the pencil through one axle support, then through the wheel, then the other axle support. Apply glue to both sides of the wheel where the pencil penetrates the wheel.

Step 11:

Thread small eye hooks into the pencil on both ends.

Step 12:

Add rubber bands to each side.

Step 13:

I found this to be a bit "front heavy," so I marked three inches of the body for removal.

Step 14:

Remove the excess from the front of the body.

If you want more range, extend the "wings" (rubber band holders) so that longer rubber bands may be accommodated. I'm pretty sure that 100 feet of range could be achieved--if you can keep the thing running in a straight line.

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Make it Move Contest 2020

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    6 Discussions


    10 days ago

    Awesome!!! I think I might try this with light plywood for my grandson!


    Reply 10 days ago

    I would love to see that--please post a picture here when you make one!


    10 days ago

    You had me at cardboard! I love how simple and efficient this works! Definitely saving it for the STEAM camps!


    10 days ago

    Très facile a réaliser...je vais l'éssayer


    10 days ago

    This is awesome! Love how far it goes. May I offer a minor suggestion: Could you please add drill, drill bits, saw (or however you cut the pencil) and scissors/box cutter to your supply list (and ruler)? I was excited to be able to possibly do something like this with students given such simple materials and then quickly realized its not practical given all the tools not mentioned in the supply list. I still may do it at home, though!! Definitely a cool project. Thanks for sharing!