Exploring Car Tech
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With this set of 437 parts you can embark on a journey of discovery. A storybook (pdf can be downloaded from this link) guides you through seven projects to explore basic components of automotive technology: brakes (3 models), suspension (5 models), steering (11 models), differential (2 models), engine (4 models), gearbox (13 models), and clutch (1 model). We discuss different solutions and also show a bit of car technology history along the way. There is also an Exploration section that compares front and rear steering. To cut down on building time, the builds are modular whenever possible. In particular, one core construction (car frame and rear wheels) is used in almost all models in projects on suspension, steering and differential.
To show how things fit together, three cars are offered. The simplest is a trycicle (296 parts) with an adjustable seat, a V2 engine, a sprung rear wheel and hand brake. The larger B model (358 parts) is a car with suspension, steering, and a V4 engine that drives rear wheels through a differential. The A model uses all parts in this set and combines engine, 2+R transmission, differential, steering, and suspension.
In all, this set offers 42 models.
The aim of this set is to show children (and adults!) key components involved in making cars work and introduce them to the world of mechanical engineering. Hopefully, it will encourage children to become curious about other devices that surround them and show them that there can be creative challenges found also in other places than their computers.
It has been play-tested by my children and their grandfather and works as advertised. As you can see in the photos, I did not get all the parts as designed, but apart from the colors, the only truly different parts are the wheels.
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