Trash Rubber Band Race Car

About: I got my education and initial job experience in Ukraine, but in 1998 moved to California. I work as software engineer in one of Bay Area companies. Whenever I have a time I like to program micro controlle...

This is a rubber band car made out of buttermilk paper bottle and Starbucks oatmeal bowl lids. It resemble my previous similar project, but there is the difference: previous project utilized thick copper wire as a holder of rubber band ends. This material unlikely can be found in trash bin (unless your are an electrician). So here I made engine frame out of another paper bottle.

While this thing for sure made out of trash, one may say that it cannot be named treasure. It is true, unless your are a parent of the child, who needs to present rubber band car as school science project. In that case value of this toy will raise significantly.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Here is the list of components used for the project:

  • Two paper buttermilk bottles.
  • Four paper leads from Starbucks oatmeal bowls.
  • Seven inches rubber band.
  • Two paper straws.
  • Paper staples (not shown on the picture).

I used common set of tools:

  • Small sharp utility knife.
  • Awl.
  • Pencil.
  • Ruler.
  • Scissors.
  • Glue.
  • Some paper clips (to hold glued elements in place till glue becomes dry).
  • Small paper stapler (not on the picture).

Step 2: Making the Car Engine

  • I first made the hole (~5 mm) in the middle section of the straw. Rubber band (with attached two long enough pieces of wire) was inserted into the straw.
  • I cut paper strip, applied some glue to it, then rolled it using small piece of wire as a core.
  • As soon as glue dried out I removed wire and put paper stick into the hole of the straw in the way so it will be inside band loop.
  • Then I cut stick ends to make it even with straw surface.

Step 3: Preparing Wheels and Car Body

In the center of each wheel I draw circle with diameter the same as paper straw. Then inside this circle I made eight radial cuts for wheel axes.

And I made round holes in the car body with utility knife. Diameter should be a little more than straw.

Step 4: Assembling Wheels and Making Engine Frame

Paper straws (one with rubber band and another without) serves as wheel axis. I inserted them into body holes and put wheels (with some glue) on straws ends.

Now important part. There is need to make rubber engine frame. I cut four paper strips out of extra bottle and bent it down to T-profiles. Each T-element is 10 mm wide. That way strips got needed strength to be an engine frame.

In two frame sides I made holes, guided band loops through the holes and made them loop around T-strips.

Step 5: Preparing the Rubber Engine Frame

One element of frame I attached to the back of the car body with scotch. For opposite element I made in the car body T-cut and inserted T-strip into that cut.

Two elements holding rubber band loops created other sides of frame.

Step 6: Frame Assembly

Sides of frame I attached to each other with the help of paper stapler.

Step 7: Ready Set Go

Car is charged by rotating drive wheels in the direction opposite to the run. Here you can see how it runs on the wooden floor.

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