GOAL: I want to make my car go furthest, fastest on the roller coaster track –
For this year’s OneDay, I decided to build a car that moves along the roller coaster track
(*Pictures and videos of cars are included on the bottom)
First, when I just started to build my Roller Coaster Car, I first thought that I should just build an ordinary race car just like ordinary cars people ride. However, because I had much time to try something new and creative, so I decided to make something unique and special. But when I really got into the project, I mainly focused on the weight of the car (making it heavier) because I knew that the heavier something is, the more energy it has.
After finish building prototype I, it worked out pretty well, but it was not able to go over the small hill (Use video on the bottom as a reference) And then, my friend gave me idea, using water bottle, which will probably make car a lot heavier. So I just simply put the water bottle to the new main board and attached wheel and axels and tested it, just to observe what will happen. That was a big success. I was allowed to go over the small hill and climb about half the 2nd hill (which is pretty high), and go back again. I kept developing my car by stabilising the whole system, by making every parts stronger, etc.
For the prototype I, I used 16 by 35 (centimetres) plastic thing as a main board, and I used 4 big wheels and 2 long axels. And the total weight was about 480g. For my prototype II, I used the same thing as a main board, same wheels and axels, but the weight was over 600g since I added an additional thing to it, which was a water bottle.
There were many challenges and problems during this process of creating new car. The most annoying thing during this project was the axels. Those axels was keep falling off, which made wheels stuck, and which lastly made car stuck in the middle of the roller coaster track. I think this part was the weakest of all the parts because I wasn’t able to find a good way to stick the Axel onto the car’s main board. After building by simple and quick prototype 2, I was surprised because of the fact that the car took me one single minute to build a car was way better than the car took me 1 and a half hours to build. Later, I soon faced one more minor problem, was the track. Since the track had nothing that keep my car from falling off, so my car broke many times, which made me to repair my car over and over and over again, also the knots on the roller coaster rail was annoying because I had to change my design or else the car will going to stuck.
There are many elements that plays a huge role in judging whether the car would hit a big success or failure, such as aerodynamics, weight, friction and so. I personally think that being able to control, mainly reducing the dissipated energy as much as you can is very important since making most energy and keeping it is the key for building the good roller coaster car. Therefore, I think I should have made my car more streamlined, which will probably decrease the dissipated energy (wasted energy) and air friction. Also, I should have made my car’s front part heavier instead of making my car’s back part heavier.
I think in order to make a best car on thee roller coaster track, we should first consider about science, and we should try to bring science closer.
Prototype1 All the pictures of cars (prototype 1,2)
(PROTOTYPE 1) (LEFT AND RIGHT: PROTOTYPE 2)
Prototype 1 video: IMG_3997
Prototype 2 video–1 :IMG_4011
Prototype 2 video–2: IMG_4014