1-3 Hours
In Progress
Lesson 1 of 0
In Progress

Tumble Race Game

1-3 hours

Novice

Ages 11-18

What Will You Learn?

Here’s a simple gravity-powered race game you can build from almost any sheet material. You could cut out the parts by hand but why not try a laser cutter? No excuses: Your local makerspace can help you out.

Make the Game

Cut!

Download the vector path pattern for the parts here. You can edit and position the parts to fit your material. (The layouts were drawn to make snug fits for the tab-and-slot construction for 3mm-thick material, but you can scale the entire drawing up or down slightly to make a different slot size to fit your material exactly.)

Build!

Assemble the tower as shown.

Race!

Each racing disc has holes and slots that fit onto the vertical track of spaced tabs. Drop the disc onto the first tab: the disc stops, swivels around the tab, and when the slot swings back to vertical, the disc falls again onto the next tab, where the cycle repeats. Lots of random action! The first disc to make it to the bottom is the winner.

What's Next?

Make modifications to create a faster racing disc.

Try different slot widths: Wider slots may fall faster but at the risk of falling off the track.

Try different thicknesses and types of material: MDF, plywood, or acrylic.

Add some nonfunctional cutout holes: Will a lighter disc go faster? Or just get crafty and add some cool-looking etched designs with the laser cutter.

Cut lots of extra track parts and connectors, then join them to build a super tall racetrack tower!

About the Magazine

Check out our collection of current and past issues of Make: magazine, rich with new ideas for projects, technology, and DIY articles, this magazine is not to be missed! Or subscribe today to get all the new issues!

This article was originally posted on Make: on November 3, 2016 by Bob Knetzger.

Maker Camp May 20, 2021
Maker Camp is a do-it-yourself online resource to help leaders like you organize a summer camp that engages children in making. Our goal is to provide you and your campers with the inspiration and the helpful resources, along with many possible projects to fit a wide range of interests and abilities. The idea is to focus on making as a playful, social activity. Maker Camp provides enough support for anyone to get started. Making provides experiences that help children become self-directed learners and good problem-solvers.
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