PT1.4 - Design Rationales

Design rationale 
  1. Wheels
  • Number of wheels
    • 4 wheels improve stability
- Materials
    • Thick and light
    • Try to remove mass from the wheels, the wheels would then require less force and energy to accelerate. This will allow the car to travel further and hence improve its performance. 
  • The diameter of the wheels
    • A smaller wheel as we wanted it to turn easier so that less energy will be wasted. 
  • Traction
    • High-friction tires as it will produce more traction. The highest acceleration of the mousetrap car is affected by the traction of the wheels on the surface it is on.
  1. Chassis
  • Shape of chassis must be aerodynamic so as to produce minimal air resistance
  1. Lever arm and string type
  • Short: Shorter distance moved by the arm while the mousetrap is releasing. However, the distance travelled after the mousetrap is fully released the distance is larger that a long lever arm
  1. Axles
  • Smaller diameter than the wheels so that it will increase the distance travelled by the car but only when a large wheel is used too as it will allow the same amount of string to make more revolutions around the axle and therefore more distance covered than a larger axle. 
  1. Positioning of mousetrap
  • At the centre of the whole vehicle as its the central position, providing an equal distribution of forces. Preventing the car from swaying to the left or right.

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