Mouse Trap Car Design

This report is a design for the Mouse Trap Car which would be effective in real life. I was responsible for the working of this machine, because I was assigned for the motion and alignment factor of this car. We faced many hurdles during the manufacturing phase, but we didn’t give up and continued our work with full concentration.

DESIGN OBJECTIVES

 

Design Objectives

                                                            Wish  

Demand

Mousetrap as the only power source No
Travel 15m or more No
Has to be best   Yes
Light   Yes
Cost Effective and Reliable No
Travel straight No
Use of Recyclable Materials No 

DESIGN METHOD

It was very hard to think of such a Mouse Trap Car which could travel some distance on its own. As it was the first project for all of us, and no one among the group had any idea about the development of this kind of thing. It was very hard to bring the thoughts into actual reality. We started with the group meetings and shared our ideas. We selected the best idea of all and started working on it. Our very first step was making the labeled design on a paper chart, than we followed that chart accordingly. Our design included such a mechanism in which source of motion was rolling/revolving DVD discs, and source of energy was the elasticity of Mouse trap. Now the main aim was to somehow link this rotation of discs to the elasticity of the mouse trap.

The best idea upon which we worked was to connect discs and mouse trap in a single platform, so we build a wooden structure which was composed of wooden scales and picks/sticks. We used the strongest adhesion for all the pieces and were successful in making such a structure. The discs were rolling free on the long wooden picks and the mouse trap was fixed hard in the center of the machine. In the next step we tied a piece of fishing wire(because of its 0% elasticity) on the mouse trap and pulled the Mouse trap open, meanwhile the other end of the wire was rolled on the rear axle which had two discs at its ends. When the mouse trap was restored, the elastic energy pulled the wire rolled on the axle, thus causing the axle and the discs to roll. Hence we finally created a Mouse Trap Car. The last step was the decoration of the car, so we taped it with black tape at every inch.  However, we constructed a morphological table and gave scores with respect to the materials performance and the dangers it had in utilizing it.

The Morphological Table is demonstrated as follows:

                  Ideas

Functions

Idea 1 Idea 2 Idea 3 Idea 4
A.   Number of mousetraps Only 1

(3:3)

(P+R=6)

2 of them together

(5:4)

(P+R=9)

3, 2 of them together and another one on the other end which will be triggered after finishing the first one

(5:3)

(P+R=8)

B.    Wheels CD

(5:5)

(P+R=10)

Cottage cheese   lids

(4:3)

(P+R=7)

Tuna cans

(4:4)

(P+R=8)

Sliced bottle

(4:3)

(P+R=7)

C.    String Nylon

(4:5)

(P+R=9)

    Fishing String

(5:5)

(P+R=10)

          Cotton

(2:4)

(P+R=6)

D.   Body Plastics

(3:3)

(P+R=6)

Cardboard

(4:4)

(P+R=8)

Wood

(4:3)

(P+R=7)

Sticks and wooden scale

(5:5)

(P+R=10)

E.    Sticking method Only tape

(4:5)

(P+R=9)

Only glue

(4:4)

(P+R=8)

Tape + super glue

(5:4)

(P+R=9)

F.    Power stick Steel string

(5:3)

(P+R=8)

Wooden Stick

(5:4)

(P+R=9)

Plastic stick

(4:4)

(P+R=8)

The numbers associated with each solution (e.g. 5:5) are a way of helping to rate the solutions.  The first number is a score for “performance”, i.e. how good is that solution at doing what it is supposed to do? 5 = good, 0 = bad. The second number is a “risk” score and we can treat this as how difficult the solution option is to build. 0 = hard to build, 5 = easy. So the higher the score, the better the solution.

Mouse, Trap, Car
Our Mouse Trap Car Ready

After going through the morphological table, it is clear that why we used these objects for the making of this car. We used wooden sticks and scale so the car could be light weight and could move a long distance. We used DVD discs so the car could move on any surface with the minimum effect of friction. We used two mouse traps instead of one because it would increase the pull on the string so it could unroll smoothly off the rear axle. We used fishing wire instead of normal thread because it had less chances of getting broken or it has nearly 0% elasticity in it.

TEAM DYNAMICS

This project gained us experience for future projects. Working on this project together made us good friends and understand each other in a better way. We are now aware of each other’s pros and cons. Everyone did very well and participated equally in the making of this car.

Here is a table demonstrating the merits and demerits of our final design:

Merits Demerits
·       Easy and simple mechanism ·       Slow
·       Recycled materials are utilized ·       Purchasing required
·       Travels long distance(17m)
·       Light
·       Creative design

Here is a list of the materials used in the project:

Materials Quantity Cost($) Where it was found
Rulers                3 NIL     Home
Mouse trap 2 2    K-Mart
CDs 4 NIL   Home
Wooden Stick 2 NIL   Home
Ball points 2 NIL   Home
String 1 NIL   Home
Tape 2 2   K-Mart
Super Glue 1 NIL   Home
Scissor 1 NIL   Home
Cigarette Boxes 2 NIL   Home

DESIGN EVALUATION FOR MOUSE TRAP CAR

On the day of the demonstration, we moved outside the University near the main road. We hoped that our machine would surely travel for at least fifteen meter but unfortunately just before the few minutes of demonstration the lever arm (joint) of the car broke by mistake. Hence, due to this tragedy we were quite shocked but we didn’t lose hope and tried to modify the broken car.

We removed some of the tape so it the car could lose some weight and fixed it with the stickiest adhesive material. We also tried to make new axle and alignment of the wheels. However, we participated and our car moved a distance of eight to nine which was, at least, better than nothing. The aim was creative as well as effective and innovative but unluckily we didn’t achieve our main destination. Anyhow the overall project was not that bad and was understandable. Also, if it were the hall or the airfoil were little smoother it would go up to 14 -15 meters even in its later conditions.


 

Featured Image Credits: Stock Snap

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