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Car Design


Each student will design and form a car out of a block of wood.
The students should consider aerodynamics, weight and final appearance of the car.

The sequence of design, production and testing can be seen in the following pictures:
 Simply sketch a couple of ideas and designs on a piece of paper.

 On a large sheet of paper trace the stencil of the top and side view of the block that will be cut to make your car.

 Draw the top view and the side view of what you want your car to look like.

 Cut out both the top and side view.

 Trace the top and side view onto your styrafoam block.  (This is not your car but a prototype of what your car will look like.)

Always drill holes for the axles in the block of styrafoam and the block of wood before you cut them. 

If the block is cut it will not sit flat when you drill. 

If the holes are not perpendicular to the block then the axles will sit at a slight angle and your car will drift to the left or the right and roll off the track.


 Use the hot wire to cut your line on the styrafoam.

The hot wire melts its way through the styrafoam.

The wire is hot enough to burn your fingers. 



 Here is a close up of the cutting.

 Set the prototype car on the wind tester to check its wind resistence.

Then turn on the wind.


 If your car moves or blows off the tester you will want to trim a little more off to make it more aerodynamic.

Aerodynamic information is available at these sites:

Aerodynamics of Race Cars

Paper Airplanes


 Make your aerodynamic adjustments back on the hot wire.

 A good design should allow the car to sit in the wind with out moving.

 Trace your design on your block of wood.

Trace both the top and side views.


 Drill both the axle holes before cutting

 Cut out your car on the band saw.

Remember safety:
1) Keep the upper guide down close to the work. (1/4")
2) Do not reach in to remove small scrap pieces.
3) Do not brush dust off with hand.
4) Sharp turns can break blade.
5) Wear safety glasses.


 Shape your car with files and sand paper.

 Put on the wheels and test the car on the wind machine.

 Race the car.


Tournament Brackets are drawn up and hung on the wall to be filled out during the races.  The winner must win 2 out of 3 races.  The Loser goes into the Loser Bracket.  The winner of the Loser Bracket gets a chance to challenge the champion from the winners bracket.
To overthrow the champion the winner of the loser's bracket must win 3 out of 5 races.







Research and Resources:

Car Design Ideas
More Car Designs

See Pitsco's Steps HERE