Build a Mousetrap Car

How to Build a Mousetrap Car? Full Guide

Build a Mousetrap Car – In my native state of New Hampshire, 4-H clubs have been using these mousetrap automobile blueprints, so I drew them out for them. Even though there are many other great mousetrap car Instructables and movies out there, as well as designs for cars that move further and quicker, I like these plans because of their simplicity and adaptability. This would be a great hands-on activity for students in introductory physics and engineering courses, such as 4-H.

If you’re looking for something entertaining to do over the weekend or a vehicle for a physics experiment or school project, a mousetrap car is an excellent choice. When teaching kids about mechanical advantage, distance, and gravity, many educators have them compete in a long-distance challenge using mousetrap cars.

How to Build a Mousetrap Car?

Learn how to construct a mousetrap vehicle from common household items by following along with this guide. This quick and easy activity will spark imagination and creativity in youngsters of all ages. You can play catch with it or race it against your buddies once you’ve done the project. Therefore, if you want to have some laughs while learning how to construct a mousetrap automobile, keep reading!

The potential energy held in the spring of the snapper arm of the mousetrap is converted to kinetic energy, which drives the vehicle you will construct. To build your own rodent roadster, though, you’ll need the right supplies, an awareness of some basic physics principles, and some time. Slower, less energy-efficient mousetrap cars can travel further on the same amount of fuel because they encounter less frictional resistance on the road. Increases in the size of the driving wheels and the length of the lever arms reduce the amount of power that can be generated. The most energy is expended by Mousetrap automobiles because of their modest speed.

Build a Mousetrap Car
Build a Mousetrap Car

Build a Mousetrap Car Details

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How to Build a Mousetrap Car? Full Guide

Putting together a mousetrap automobile is a simple and entertaining weekend project. From finding the parts to putting the car together, we cover it everything here. We’ll also provide several tricks for improving the efficiency and difficulty of your mousetrap car, should any rats (or anyone else) dare to steal your food supply. Building a mousetrap automobile is a fun and easy project that is guaranteed to delight, whether you’re searching for a simple method to occupy yourself or you’re hoping to teach your kids about science and engineering.


  •  2 pieces of Cardboard (4” x 10”) many dimensions will work, but this is a good starting place.
  • 4, DVD’s (old used ones work great or new black ones from an office supply store)
  • 4, 1/4L (19/32”) Beveled Faucet Washers (found at most hardware stores in the plumbing dept.)
  • 2, 3/16” Dowels – 6” long (these will need to be longer if you use wider pieces of cardboard)
  • 1, ¼ inch dowel, 10“ long
  • 2, Straws
  • Tape – Masking & or Duct
  • zip ties (an assortment of 4” & 8” works well)
  • String
  • Hot Glue

Car Body

Make two cardboard notches, each about 1 inch by 2 inches, and glue them together down the centre. Make sure the notched edges are touching. Then, tape the ends of the two cardboard sheets together to make a single, double-thick sheet. Confirm that the notches are properly lined up.

Attach the Straws

Three pieces of straw should be trimmed to fit the car’s frame as illustrated in the diagram. Put some heat into your glue job. The bottom of the vehicle will look like this. You must ensure that the straws and the leading (short) edge of the cardboard are parallel to one another.

The Mousetrap

To disassemble a mousetrap’s release trigger, remove the following: (the bait holder and the wire bail, as shown in the picture). Two or three 4-inch zip ties are needed to secure the 14-inch dowel to the snap arm before you can add reinforcements such as hot glue or tape. The mousetrap should be affixed to the front of the car’s roof using hot glue. When you pull the dowel back, it should rest in the middle of the cardboard notch and point away from it.

Please refer to the placement diagram at the very top of this Instructable. Attach a length of string to the tip of the 14-inch dowel using a zip tie. A little further than the hook is needed at the back axle. Finish the finish by attaching a little loop. The loop needs to be the perfect length to reach the hook on the back axle.

Preparing the Wheels

Duct tape the DVD back together where it broke. To use, flip the DVD over and position the faucet washer so that it is adhered to the tape. You should use a lot of glue to make sure it stays put. Repeat the process for each wheel.

Adding the Axles and Wheels

After inserting the 3/16″ dowels, press the wheels onto both ends of the straws. Sometimes it’s hard to get the hubs to stick to the dowels. Smoothing or sharpening the edges can make this process easier to manage. Check to determine if the vehicle rolls straight by driving it. If that’s the case, maybe the straws aren’t set up properly.

Attaching the Hook to the Rear Axle

Once the zip tie is in place, the centre of the axle will be visible through the notch in the cardboard and may be easily accessed. The loop of string is at this point. A small amount of glue will keep it in place.

You’re Done

If you followed the instructions, your car should now resemble the one in the photo. Thread the string through the hook’s eye in reverse. The car should start rolling away from you when you tip it on its side and release go. Give yourself some time to get to know your car. It may take some fiddling and practise before it starts rolling straight and smoothly. After you get everything set up and running smoothly. Try running it again, this time paying close attention to its progress, to figure out what might be interfering with its normal operation. Look into what you can do to improve its performance. Then, once you’ve figured out how it operates, you can try to improve upon it by building a new vehicle. Experiment with different materials for the frame, axles, wheels, and anything else.


Everything you need to know about constructing a Mousetrap Vehicle is included in this detailed tutorial. We’ll go over the numerous commercial mousetrap options and the materials you’ll need to construct your own trap from scratch. We’ll also go over some typical pitfalls and how to prevent them when setting up and using your trap. If you’re interested in constructing your own “mousetrap automobile,” we think you’ll find this guide to be an invaluable resource.

This manual explains all you need to know to build your own mousetrap vehicle. We have also described the car’s components and their interrelations. A conclusion has been included that reviews the key points and advice presented throughout the manual. This manual is meant to serve as a starting point for anyone interested in constructing their own mousetrap vehicle.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you set up a mousetrap for a mousetrap car?

When the mouse trap is in the fully wound position (as shown below), the lever arm’s tip should fall directly above the drive axle for optimum performance. Energy will be wasted off the start if the mouse trap is not aligned properly with the drive axle.

How to make a fast mousetrap car?

Increasing the length of the lever arm attached to the mousetrap increases the overall mechanical advantage of the vehicle, if you haven’t noticed yet. As a result, you may shorten the length of the lever arm attached to the mousetrap in order to boost your vehicle’s speed.

What is the fastest mousetrap car design?

Doc Fizzix designed the Speed-Trap Racer after his own record-setting mousetrap racer, which traveled 5 meters in 1.2 seconds.

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