Some of us, in our childhood, had toy cars that were powered up by rubber bands. With these toys in mind, a group of students created Cirin. The toy car was designed after the mid-1950s Formula 1 cars. However, its most interesting feature is the 5 m long rubber band. This rubber band allows the mini racer to travel about 152 m at a speed that can reach 48 km/h.
The car was designed by a team made of three students: Max Greenberg, Sameer Yeleswarapu and Ian Cullimore. The three are students of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Their toy car was designed to enter the school’s Formula E Race. This competition takes place every year and has students pit their custom-made rubber band powered cars against one another.
“We focused on creating a vehicle that would combine all of our past engineering education with the sculpture and industrial design skills we have acquired at art center,” explained Greenberg. “We drew inspiration from mid 1950’s formula 1 cars as well as the truss structures found inside the bones of a birds wing. these structure are both light and rigid, ideal properties for the car we wanted to design.”
The mechanical layout of the car was designed using the SolidWorks software. Based on those, several prototypes were built. The final prototype was built with the aid of the 3D printing company SolidConcepts. The “bio-truss” structure of Cirin was inspired by the inner structure of bird bones. The rubber band that powers Cirin is wound in 8-inch loops. It is also held tight by a servo motor. A second servo is used for the steering system of the car.
Cirin cost US$500 to build without taking into account the 3D printing which was donated by SolidConcepts. Do you think it has a chance to win the competition?
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