Rubber Band Powered RC Car: Making, ID, Testing, Design


My alma mater – Art Center College of Design – is renowned for automotive design.

Because of this, I was fortunate to work on interesting mobility challenges and designs.


RC Car

Our team Les Karpas, Lindsay Nevard, Eric Yip and myself built an rubber band powered RC car that eventually had to race around three different courses.

The first challenge: a figure 8 course that tested for agility.

The second challenge: a straight-away that tested for pure speed.

The third challenge: an the uphill climb with a sharp turn that tested for power and control.

We drove our cars ourselves and spent weeks practicing while iterating, breaking, and remaking the cars..


Our team was obsessed with 3-D printing as the first $1,000 at-home option had just come on the market. This process was great for iterating on design and having spare parts for the inevitable high speed crashes.

However, using this new material would eventually be our downfall, as our car was the fastest by far – until race day – when it was on the hottest day on record and literally melted. We all learned a very valuable, and somewhat hard lesson that day, but had a lot of fun throughout the process.

Materials: Carbon fiber, ceramic bearings, PLA, Poron, Silicon.

My Contribution: Designed drive train, steering, wheel positioning, tested materials, built car and rebuilt it many, many times.