Rubber Band Cars

A stretched rubber band is a great source of elastic potential energy. When released, that energy is converted to kinetic (motion) energy. You can attach your rubber band to a simple machine, for example, a wheel and axle, to build a simple rubber band–powered car. In this lesson, students will design and print the wheels and gearing system for a pre-designed rubber band powered car. While the project is intended to be a single lesson with 3D printing following the lesson, the project can be extended to a second lesson by either testing the printed designs or testing different sized wheels / wheel designs.
Design and TechnologyScienceComputingArt and Design
Years | Grades
7th Grade | 11-12 years8th Grade | 12-13 years9th Grade | 13-14 years10th Grade | 14-15 years11th Grade | 15-16 years
Lesson 1: 60 minutes Print Time : 4 to 5 hours

Rubber Band Car trailer
Play 0:46


  • Know the affects of gearing and traction on speed and torque
  • Know how to measure the circumference and diameter of a circle
  • Design and manufacture a set of wheels and gears suitable for 3D printing 

Tools and equipment

  • BE3D eDee printer
  • Set of example models
  • Internet-enabled computer with access to TinkerCAD®
  • Paper pad and pencil
  • Printed lesson resources
  • Rubber bands
  • Ruler / measuring tape

Skill requirements

To participate in the lesson, students should be able to:
  • Use TinkerCAD, Fusion 360 or Similar CAD software at a beginner/intermediate level
  • Be comfortable using DeeControl software including adjusting print settings
  • Use the BE3D eDee printer

Rubber Band Car walkthrough
Locked Play 2:09

3D models overview

  • Total print time 12 hours 10 minutes
  • Total filament 26.7 m
  • Additional non-printable components
  • Printed all at once
  • 6 hours
  • 14.2 m
Note: Values are calculated for one set of models.

Lesson resources

  • Lesson plan
  • Example Matryoshka models (Doll and egg)
  • Worksheet
  • Walkthrough
  • Presentation
  • 3D models
  • 3D print instructions
  • Curriculum Alignment: ISTE standard compliant