Design criteria :
After a lot of brainstorming,considering everyone's ideas and debating we have come to the conclusion that these will be our best design for our mousetrap car.
- Mass : The mass of the car will immensely affect the distance travelled by our car.As most of us know,the mass is inversely proportionate to the acceleration.Lesser mass translates to lesser resistive force like friction.F=m x a so a = F/m.Lesser the mass more the acceleration and the further our car travels,hence we come to the conclusion that the mass of the car is important.
- Wheels : The type of wheels will affect the resistance the car experiences and that will affect how far it travels.We must strike a balance between a really thick wheel and a super thin wheel.A thick wheel will cause too much resistance while a super thin wheel will make the car unstable and more force will be required to push the car as surface area is lesser and the force distributed is lesser too.We used discs which have lesser surface area in contact with the ground.To solve that problem,we put duct tape around the wheels to increase friction which will push our car forward.
- Materials : The material of the car will affect the mass and the shape of the car too.Heavier the material,harder to make it move forward.Well with materials we also faced the problem of taking too much time to cut and saw it.This wastes time and reduces efficiency.
- Length of rod/pen : At first we thought longer rod will cause the car to move forward faster and further but in the process of doing this we realised that we have to consider a lot of things.A longer arms will cause the car to travel further but slowly.Longer arms will pull the string more causing more rotations in the car.More rotations,further the car will go.A shorter arm will cause the car to move faster but not further.In this project we have to make the car go further and not faster so why not use a longer arm? Well,as the arm is longer,the car will travel slower.While travelling slowly the counter-force increases which will make the car stop even faster on a hard tarmac ground.A shorter one will be able to counter the counter-force and travel further but still we have to find a balance between both.