Upcycle project report

Design Process

   I am a big fan of cars. For this upcycle project, I planned to make a car made of pure recycled stuff. However, finding the right parts of the car is a tough issue for me. I researched online and found that the idea of rubber band powered car would be a perfect fit for this project. The design process is listed below.



design loop

    Fig 1. Design loop


  • 4 bottle caps
  • 2 straws
  • 4 toothpicks
  • modeling clay
  • rubber band



Fig 2. Materials for the upcycle project


    Firstly, I labeled the hole position on each straw and used heated hot glue gun to punch hole on each straw, which was the location to insert the toothpick. And then I punched holes centered in each bottle cap. After that, I used inserted toothpicks in each straw with the bottle caps connected. I used hot glue to secure the caps on the toothpick and put modeling clay into the caps in order to increase the weight of the caps. Finally, I used several looping rubber bands to build the “power system” for my car. Rubber connects the rear wheel and bonded to the front support bar.The mechanism behind it is that when the back wheel rotates backwardly, the rubber band will be stretched and the elastic force of the string will pull back the back wheels’ axial, which will cause the back wheel rotates. When the back wheels rotates, the car will be moved.


Fig 3. Side-view of the rubber band powered car


Fig 4. Front-view of the rubber band powered car


End result

   The end result turned to be pretty good. Although the car can’t run that far, it still turns out to be moveable. It’s really hard to imagine that a moveable car can be made with those unrelated usless materials. If anything I have to choose to change next time, I will probably switch to a smaller looping rubber band and aligh the holes more accuratedly, since the caps were a little bit uneven this time.


Lesson learned

  After this project, I realized that how important our creativity is. You can use all those wasted material to build a moveable car with your creativity. Also, always remember to over-estimate the time for making the model. I spent a lot of time building this “seems easy-building” car this time. All the process will take more time than you expected.   


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