After my wooden life-size wind-up car did not propel forward when bearing my weight, I reached out for help from a few peers including a Landscape Architect, Software Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, and Construction Engineer (and, as discussed in a previous post, fellow Industrial Designers). I asked for their input on both how to adjust the vehicle so it could transport an adult and how to improve the vehicle overall. Through my consultations, I plan to investigate the following adjustments.
Larger Wind-Up Axle: Not broadening the entire axle but the part about which the rubber band wraps up. I don’t remember the exact physics reasoning behind this, but I think it will aid torque.
Rubber-Lined Wheels: Wrapping rubber bands around the circumference of the wheels to improve traction.
In-Wheel Axel Hook: Connecting the rubber band to the axle via a hook within the axle (opposed to an extended dowel) should ease winding up the vehicle (the user will not need to guide the rubber band and prevent it from catching the end of the dowel). Furthermore, removing the dowel removes the potential risk of it falling out.
Rubber Band Catch: Preventing the user from having to feed the band through the hole every time it is freed from the axle after wound up.
Peg-Held Wheels: The Landscape Architect recommended I take a long drill bit and drive a hole completely down both sides of the wheel, through the axle, and then secure the wheel to the axle via a dowel on each side, held in place by the rubber bands extended about the circumference of the wheels. I’m not sure if this is the most effective or efficient way to secure the wheel, but I think it does hold potential.
Altering the Contact Size of the Body: While one argued that I should increase the connection board, therefore increasing the surface area and more evenly dispersing the weight on the axles, another posited that this would be detrimental as it would increase friction.
Altering the Size of the Wheels: There was discussion on making the wheels bigger (especially the rear wheels, which power the vehicle), with the argument that speed racing cars have large back wheels, the Mechanical Engineer argued that while it may make a difference, the wheels are probably alright in terms of size.