Rubber Band Powered Cardboard 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

If you want to do something with those pesky cardboard shipping boxes, try making a toy car. You need rubber bands, cardboard, tape, glue, scissors and two pencils.

Step 1:

Start with a box, the smaller the better.

Step 2:

Cut the box in half. Tape all loose flaps, inside and out.

Step 3:

Poke holes, front and rear in the box. You can use scissors to make the holes (of course, an electric drill will also work). The holes should be a little larger than the pencils so that the pencils will turn freely.

Step 4:

Cut four wheels out of cardboard. My wheels are about four inches in diameter. Larger wheels will help the car to travel a greater distance (though it will start more slowly). If you have a budding engineer in the family, make two or three cars with different size wheels.

Step 5:

Insert pencils through the holes and make sure that the pencils can turn freely.

Step 6:

Cut two "V" shaped notches in the front of the car. The square in the middle needs to be fairly large and strong, since it will support one end of the rubber band.

Step 7:

Push a wheel onto one pencil, then push the pencil/wheel assembly through the back of the car.

Step 8:

Push a cardboard wheel onto the other end of the rear axle (pencil).

Step 9:

Do the same for the front of the car. Now, place glue on the pencils (next to the cardboard wheels). Slide the cardboard wheels over the glue and wait until the glue dries.

Step 10:

Add one or more rubber bands to the car. Loop one end around the notches at the front of the car. Hold the other end on the rear pencil and turn the pencil to wind up the band. After one or two turns, the rubber band will be secured to the pencil by the following turns. Winding the axle this way allows the wheel to turn freely after the rubber band is unwound.

Release the rear wheel and the car will take off!



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8 Discussions


Reply 2 years ago

Roughly how far do you think your car went? I'm doing this for a project and it has to go 10 meters.


Reply 2 years ago

I think you can get 10 meters out of this, but you might want to make the body a little longer and the rear wheels larger in diameter. The distance is mainly determined by how many times the rear wheel turns before the rubber band is unwound, so a larger wheel (as long as the rubber band can turn it) will take you farther.


1 year ago

I made it and it was by far the best thing ever!!! I made it for my daughters 16th birthday and she was so ectastatic. It goes 37 meters! Would definitely recommend


2 years ago

Im going to make it it sounds like a good idea!

Mr AbAk

3 years ago

We were used to play with this Awesome kind of stuff when we were young...