Mousetrap car2 Essay Example

Mousetrap Car Project


A representative of FunTime Toy Company from Sydney approached our engineering company to design and develop a mousetrap car racer to be used as a racing toy, where the finished product would be marketed to children above eight (8) years old. The company provided a standard mousetrap to act as the only propulsion system in the mousetrap racer. No physical alterations were allowed on the standard mousetrap, except the holes drilled to attach it to the racing frame.


The mousetrap racer was to be designed to develop the maximum speed to cover a specific distance in the shortest possible time, from a standing position. The distance it was required to cover was five (5) metres. To achieve this requirement, the project was divided into two main objectives;-

  1. To increase the acceleration of the mousetrap

  2. To reduce the resistance experienced by the mousetrap

Design considerations

The following alterations to the design were considered and/ or implemented in order to fulfil the aforementioned objectives;

  1. To increase acceleration

This objective would be achieved by these alterations;-

  • Shortening the lever arm

  • Increasing the traction of the wheels

  • Increasing the size of the axles

  • Reducing the sizes of the wheels

  1. To reduce resistance

This objective would be achieved by the following alterations;-

  • Reducing the weight of the mousetrap car

  • Limiting the air resistance impact on the mousetrap car

  • Eliminating the friction between the axle and the frame

Technical information

The total cost for the components used in the design and manufacture of the mousetrap car amounted to AUD 5.07. Accounting for other costs crucial to the manufacture of the speed- racer, such as labour costs, changes in elementary design and time, the expenditure for the development of the final model lies well within the AUD 50 budget provided by FunTime Toy Company.

The maximum speed achieved by the speed- racer falls below the theoretical value calculated due to losses caused by inherent deficiencies in the model itself, such as its lack of rigidity and the rolling friction between the wheels and the ground.


The final model of the speed- racer presented meets the objectives set out by the client. The mousetrap racer covers the 5 meter distance in a straight line and in a reasonably short time. Recommendations were made on further design alterations that could be made to the speed- racer to improve its performance.